New “luxury” flats require extensive repairs before they can be let out to people on the housing waiting list.

Brighton and Hove City Council bought the Kubic Apartments, in Whitehawk Road, last year for a seven-figure sum after the building was valued at £8.9 million in 2022.

Despite the council’s hope of letting homes there in the spring, work is still under way to fix a leak and make improvements to bring the building up to the council’s standards

Residents’ representative Christine El-Shabba, who co-chairs the council’s east area housing management panel, said: “It seems bad … The council have bought them but you’ve had to go in and do quite a bit of work to them to make them safe.”

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Her comments came as housing management panel members discussed freeing up more homes for people on the council’s waiting list.

The council’s interim corporate director for housing, Martin Reid, told the panel of residents, leaseholders, councillors and officials that helping older people to downsize would free up more family homes which were desperately needed.

He said: “When we build our own homes, we build to a certain specification and that allows us to manage them for 60 years.

“We purchased them as a good opportunity to deliver 38 homes at social rents because we have a grant to support that.

“What we have had to do is look at adjustments to the homes and a leak in the property we’ve had to rectify. We’ve had to factor in bringing a home up to the standard we would like.”

Mr Reid said that council and housing association homes were built to a “more resilient” standard than homes on the private market – not least because the council would have to manage them.

Labour councillor Gill Williams, the cabinet member for housing and new homes, said: “They were advertised as luxury homes so people need to be aware of that.”

Improvement works were “factored in” to the sale but the council said that there was no fixed repairs budget to deal with snags in the first year of occupation.

A nearby scheme, Kite Place, on the corner of Whitehawk Road and Findon Road, required repairs and maintenance costing £31,000 in its first year.

Three years after the first tenants moved in, residents complained of poor water pressure, sagging floors and high temperatures.

The council said: “We purchased the Kubic building using HRA (Housing Revenue Account) funding specifically meant for buying properties that we can use to provide much-needed additional council homes.

“As a council we must ensure our properties are in optimal condition and compliant with all regulatory requirements so funding was also set aside to adapt the building to meet these necessary requirements and the developers also made a contribution towards this work.

“We had originally hoped to move residents in during the spring but this date had to be put back after a substantial leak meant a delay for drying out and for some redecoration.

“We are committed to ensuring all our residents have safe and secure homes and we are looking forward to seeing the first of our first residents setting up home in the Kubic building soon.”