Denny family's anger at year long wait for council to extend their home

A Denny family has hit out at Falkirk Council after spending a year waiting on it building a two-bedroom extension to their home.

Care worker Susan Barka-McKenzie said she was told that the work to their house in Anderson Drive, Denny, would take 12 weeks.

But they were only given the keys back this week after moving out last February.

Susan, her husband Ahmed, along with their five children, stayed with her parents rather than be decanted while work took place.

Ahmad Barka 39 and Susie Barka 37 with two of their children, Yazmin Barka 9 and Ameer Barka 8. (Picture Michael Gillen)

As the first Covid lockdown took hold last March, the family realised there was no way they'd be back in within that timescale.

Contractor, East Fife Joinery, started work in June and the family was first told they would be finished by October.

However, by December, work was still not finished because of delays in getting windows, doors and roof tiles.

The strain of living in such a small space started to tell on everyone, including Susan's parents.

The youngest children, Yazmin (9) and Ameer (8), had to sleep on cushions on a bedroom floor as there was no room for an airbed, while two of the teenagers slept in the living room.

It was also impossible for the children to do their schoolwork with such little space and they were eventually given hub places.

An increasingly anxious Susan said: "I asked so many people to help us and nothing seemed to get done.

"It was so frustrating - it was not just the cramped conditions, it affected everything in our lives.

"I have been trying to study for an HNC that I need for my job but it was almost impossible.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We have offered a full apology to the tenant for the delay in delivering and completing the planned works to this property.

“We are continuing to work with our contractor to achieve completion of the remaining works as quickly as possible."

On Tuesday, the family confirmed they had been given the keys to their house.

They said: "Although we are so glad to be going home they have given us back a disgusting, dirty house."

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