Rehabilitation and corrective work on earthquake-damaged homes has started in the ravaged Mora Heights development in Rio Claro, but some residents are complaining of substandard work. Others are also complaining that unoccupied homes with fallen steps are being given priority over cracked houses occupied by families. When Guardian Media visited the community yesterday, several contractors were seen repairing staircases and cracked posts. Reeta Mohammed said she and her husband Michael Degrilla have been sleeping inside their vehicle since the earthquake last Tuesday. Their children are staying with Mohammed’s family at another location in Rio Claro. Mohammed said when the contractor started repairing the stairs, he allegedly started using steel which could not hold the weight of the stairs. It was only after the family complained to the HDC that the proper standard of steel was prepared for use by the contractor, she noted. “It is a week since the earthquake and my stairs and home are still unfinished. It is frustrating. We don’t want relocation because we are afraid they will forget to fix our house,” Mohammed said. Another resident, Kion Scipio, said they were hoping the repairs could be done before the start of the new school term. Looking frustrated as they sat under the unfinished home, Scipio said, “It is hard for us. We want the repairs to be completed soon.” Another resident whose home was cracked up after the earthquake said the HDC was focussing mostly on repairing fallen staircases. “Some of us have big cracks in the house and HDC telling us to wait. They will see about that after. How they expect us to feel when we see the contractors fixing houses which are unoccupied. We want the HDC to prioritise better,” the resident said. Resident Bhimdath Ramdath said the HDC should have supervisors on hand to monitor the contractors. “We want to make sure that the houses get a proper fix. We are thankful that the HDC is doing the work and we know they are moving as quickly as they can, but we need the supervisors to check out the project because we do not want shoddy work,” Ramdath said. Parasram Singh, one of the contractors on site, said several small contractors were hired by the HDC to complete the job. “Every contractor got two houses to build but not all of us are doing the same kind of work,” he said, pointing to another construction project. He said the construction will be completed within three to four days but it will take another 14 days for the cement to “cure.” Brian Barrow, from Johnson Construction, said the HDC sent out project specifications for the job and after consultation, they changed the quality and size of the steel from Mohammed’s house. But a spokesperson from HDC said all the projects are being evaluated by their engineering team. Efforts to contact HDC managing director Brent Lyons were unsuccessful yesterday as calls to his cellular phone went unanswered.