May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Saturday, September 8, 2012
A Stroud Green woman says she would rather have been taken to court by the authorities then let them replace her “beautiful” windows with “shoddy” double glazing.
Christine McNiff finally bowed to pressure last week and allowed Homes for Haringey (HfH) - the council’s social housing arm - to replace her Cittal windows for double-glazed units after they threatened legal action.
But the Granville Road resident is now distraught after seeing the replacement - which is only guaranteed for 15 years and cannot be repainted or spruced up.
Ms McNiff said: “Since when did wanting lovely windows become a crime? I wish I had called their bluff, now I’ve seen what they are offering.”
Her fight began three years ago, shortly after HfH rolled out the £120million Decent Homes programme of improvements to council-owned properties.
Ms McNiff refused to have double glazing installed at the time, but 12 months ago HfH approached her once more insisting on it.
Ms McNiff said no neighbours had complained, and she “stalled as much as I could”, but the threat of court action proved too much.
Having finally allowed workmen in last week, she says the replacements are “shoddy” and “made of aluminium and plastic”.
She added: “What’s wrong with diversity? A whole mish-mash of different windows? I am so angry.
“They would dare to knock out all these beautiful windows which were of very good quality materials. They have lasted 60 years, they would be good for another 60 years - if not another 160.”
An HfH spokesman said: “As part of this programme we replace windows when they have reached the end of their useful life, improving the energy efficiency and security of residents’ homes.
“We would like to encourage residents to provide our contractors access to their homes to allow us to complete these important improvement works.”