FAMILIES are up in arms after building work on their homes stalled.

Residents of Seabrooke Rise, Grays, are having new kitchens and bathrooms installed as part of a £65million programme to upgrade more than 10,000 council homes in Thurrock.

Work started on January 6 but tenants say work has now stopped, leaving them with bare kitchens and bathrooms with no ceilings.

One resident, Hannah Newton, 26, lives with her partner, Grant Hayers, 27, and two children, Christian, five, and Harry, three.

She said their heating bill had quadrupled in the last month to cope with the conditions, while contractors were passing the blame on to each other.

Miss Newton said: “I have to shut my kids in the living room because it’s the only room that is warm in the house and it’s the only place they can play.

“When I run hot water in the bath, I have to dip them in quickly and then get them dry because it’s cold within minutes.”

About 2,000 homes a year across the borough will have work done on them by 2018 in a bid to improve the overall standard of Thurrock’s housing stock.

Lakeland, Wates and Keepmoat have been employed to carry out the improvements.

Work has been completed on about 1,200 homes, with surveys or renovations currently under way on another 250.

The council’s transforming homes initiative started last summer and over five years all the council’s 10,300 homes will be assessed – with many expected to be renovated.

A council spokesman said work should be completed within 20 working days, though unforeseen circumstances could arise.

He added: “A resident liaison officer is attending each home to record tenant concerns in more detail, and to ensure our contractors are delivering their obligations under their contract.”