A HOUSING association has apologised to a pregnant woman and her neighbour who say they have experienced a catalogue of problems over the past two years since moving into new social housing homes.

Neighbours Joanne Casey and Vicki Smith moved into their houses in The Boulevards, in Pencarn Way, Duffryn, Newport around the same time in 2017, and quickly became good friends.

Both were excited to move into their new homes, managed by housing association Charter Housing.

But their problems started before either could even begin to settle in.

The pair have endured floods, cracks in the walls, a Christmas without electricity, and a lack of real roads and pavements outside their homes.

South Wales Argus:

(Joanne Casey (L) and Vicki Smith who are unhappy with the state of the new builds on The Boulevards in Duffryn. Picture - www.christinsleyphotography.co.uk)

Ms Casey says her windows do not close properly, the flooring is coming up, the house smells of raw sewage due to blocked drains, the back door doesn't lock, there are major cracks in walls and stairs and the toilet has had to be repaired five times.

The problems began when she first moved in, as she noticed that her garden had been left unfinished.

“There was no grass and patio slaps were missing. It was a mess,” she said.

South Wales Argus:

(The front of the garden where gravel was recently put down)

Not long after, the garden began to flood due to there not being a suitable drainage system in place.

“There is only two-centimetres of soil, the rest is just bricks and concrete under the grass, so the patio floods as there is nowhere for the water to flow,” said Ms Casey.

On top of the that, Ms Casey experienced three floods, and has since had to have three new showers fitted and was forced manage Christmas 2018 without electricity in the home.

“The wet room flooded as the floor was not level," said Ms Casey.

“We had an upheaval before Christmas 2017 to try and level the floor and get some new flooring down.

“Then we had two floods from the upstairs bathroom, which went into the kitchen and left us with no electric from December 18, 2018 to January 3, 2019."

South Wales Argus:

(The plug in the wet room where the water won't drain)

Ms Casey keeps a list of the many problems she has faced, but as there are so many, she says she cannot keep count when talking to Charter Housing customer services.

South Wales Argus:

(Cracks in the walls of Ms Casey's house)

Mrs Smith, who is pregnant and due in September, said she was hoping to get her garden drainage done before the arrival of her baby so that she would have time to enjoy it.

She already has a younger son who can’t use the garden to play outside as it’s not suitable due to the constant flooding.

South Wales Argus:

(The shed is stained by mud due to how high the flooding gets when it rains)

“There are stains on the shed where the flooding goes so high,” she added.

“I’ve re-painted the shed too many times but now I’ve given up."

After finding out she was pregnant, Mrs Smith had to move out of her house for a week so that a split in her wet room could be repaired.

“At first they said because we had another bathroom upstairs, the wet room was not a priority,” she said.

Not long after, the family had to move out again due to the flooring throughout the house beginning to raise and lift.

“It all had to be re-laid, and it’s still not perfect,” she added.


Both say they do not feel safe in their own homes and blame Charter for their “diabolically shameful” lack of communication.

Mrs Smith said: “It feels as though we’ve been chucked in and left.

“It feels like your own house is going to crash in on you at any moment.

“On-site health and safety is awful. There have been no roads or pavements since we moved in."

Mrs Casey described the situation as "an absolute disgrace".

A spokesperson for Charter Housing said: “We will be in contact to arrange a visit to the property at the earliest opportunity and we apologise for the difficulty Ms Casey has experienced since moving in.

“There are inevitably lots of issues to address during the first few years in a brand-new property and these have or are being addressed at no charge to Ms Casey under the defects process for new homes.

“We will also raise our concerns about site safety, traffic and road conditions with the site developer.”