'We haven't been allowed to go home in a year after our neighbour's roof fell apart'

'We haven't been allowed to go home in a year after our neighbour's roof fell apart'
'We haven't been allowed to go home in a year after our neighbour's roof fell apart'

A family that was forced out of their home more than a year ago after a neighbour's roof fell apart still don't know when they'll be allowed to return.

Allison Ewing first moved into the Mount Florida home back in 1996.

On September 20 last year, the 61-year-old, husband Alasdair Hepburn and daughter Sarah Ewing were made to move out abruptly due to health and safety reasons after render fell off the neighbouring building.

Packing only a few personal items, the family-of-three were made to vacate the property in “half-an-hour”, without any guidance as to when they could return.

Since then, they claim, they have received no support and no confirmation as to when they can go back home.

One year on, Allison told the Glasgow Times how the sudden uproot caused her distress.

Allison Ewing in front of her home

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She said: “Around 7pm at night, we were told we had to leave our property and that it could have fallen [on] us at any point.

“When we left, we thought we would only be out for a couple of days or a week or so, and now we are here a year later.

“We were actually made homeless. Other than asking if we had somewhere to stay that one night, we were given absolutely no support or help and we were given no timeframe for when repairs would happen and until when we would be expected to be out.”

To further complicate the matter, the block of flats changed property factor in September last year and the homeowners found out their insurance does not cover any arising costs.

Since this time last year, the family was only allowed into the building a couple of times, to collect more belongings and submit meter readings.

They said they were left in “limbo for months with no information” as their home was boarded up in October 2021.

For nine weeks, they were “all over the place, living out of suitcases”, before finding temporary accommodation at another flat.

Repair works on the tenement’s roof finally started in June this year and Allison was informed that the construction would take around four months to complete.

With this information, she is hoping the end is in sight, but there has still not been any official correspondence confirming when the family are able to move back.

The Glaswegian mum-of-two also told of the major effect the move had on her mental health.

Allison, her husband and daughter have lived here since 1996

There is still no confirmed date as to when the family can move back in

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She added: “Last year, I had to get medication for my blood pressure. I was spending hours a day calling and emailing the council, the factor, our insurance company.

“Basically anytime there was any kind of high winds or storms over the last winter, we didn’t know whether our house would be destroyed.

“We were very fortunate that we had some money set aside but part of it is my pension pot, it’s money that we had set aside to get refurbishments done.

“We are very privileged and I am grateful we had that money, but the stress has been horrendous.

“I don’t think I have felt properly mentally well until the repair works started and the threat of my home being badly damaged without insurance was lifted.”

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A spokesperson from the building's previous factor, Hacking and Paterson, said: "Our role as property factors ended at 11/15 Cordiner Street following a decision taken by the homeowners at a meeting in June 2021.

"We can only discuss matters concerning maintenance on our former customers' buildings, with our former customers."

Current factor Indigo Square stated: "The owners at No15 Cordiner Street have every sympathy with the Ewing family.

"The events of September last year came as a surprise to everyone.

"Surveyors and engineers worked promptly with contractors to assess the issues.

"Costs were known at the turn of the year and by Easter, the owners - with a little help from Glasgow City Council's Missing Share Loan Scheme - had obtained the six-figure funding necessary to undertake the repair.

"The 18-week repair programme is now nearly complete and hopefully Glasgow City Council will shortly allow the Ewing family back in their home."

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “The family had to leave their home for their own safety as a result of the property next door being declared a dangerous building, with works then having to be carried out by the owners of the neighbouring property to make it safe.

"These works are nearing completion and hopefully the family can return home soon.

"The timescale of the works is a matter for the owners and their contractors.”

Contractor EBS, which is carrying out the works, was also contacted for comment.