Saturday, 30 January 2021

Brent Council and Shepherds Bush Housing Group shamed by neglect of Prospect House residents who are face eviction - action needed now!

 

Prospect House

The front entrance

Guest post by Selina, a resident of Prospect House about the issue that has galvanised social media in the past few days. See Kilburn Times coverage HERE.  The families are faced with eviction with no apparent help from Brent Council or Shepherds Bush Housing Group. See former councillor Alison Hopkins' post on the scandolous background to this issue HERE.


 

Selina writes:

The squalor office conversion flat BrenCouncil  dumped 17 families into meant, from the day myself and my son moved, in it has been one nightmare after another living here. 

The area is infested with rats, half the time and even up until now we have no hot water or heating.  We are constantly having to chase up Shepherd’s Bush Housing Group who are working for the private landlord of the property. 

Sometimes we have no running water from any of the taps for more than one day at a time. We shouldn’t have to face this in the U.K.

The property is located on the busy North Circular Road we are constantly faced with noise pollution and air pollution. 

The entrance gate is constantly broken so anyone from the streets walks into our car park and sometimes are flats' communal area. The other day a tenant was faced with a group of youths loitering around our flat communal stairway.  We should be able to feel safe. 

We are all being faced with eviction and  quite frankly I am happy to say good riddance to this building but my main concern and stress is where are all 17 families being rehoused?  Brent Council seems to be offering tenants little help and no options. Private letting landlords do not want DSS tenants or ask for high income guarantors which tenants cannot provide. so what are we left with little option and no response from Brent . 

Our eviction notice is up on May 23rd 2021 where are all 17 families going by that date, which will be fast approaching?

Some of the story on Twitter:


 


 






2 comments:

Trevor Ellis said...

I read an article about this in The Brent and Kilburn Times Newspaper on Thursday and to be frank, I just rolled my eyes and thought to myself, here we go again.

By coincidence I just posted a comment on an article from 2012 on the Wembley Matters blog about the ousting of the former leader of Brent Council Ann John.

Cllr John, (as some of you may know) took the lead in the regeneration of the former council owned estate known as Chalk hill.

Further to that, Cllr John, made a proud speech in July 2002 about "listening" and addressing the concerns and needs of the former tenants.

Twenty years on, Chalk hill estate is anything other than a true example of
the local authority doing it's utmost for the lasting benefit of local residents.
Judging by the two photographs which reflects negligence on the part of whoever is responsible for the broken window and graffiti and the property owner.
Using my (unpleasant experience) of living on Chalk hill before and after the supposed regeneration that Cllr John spoke with great pride about in 2002, I see familiar signs that signify the negligence, weak management, low standards on the part of Brent council and the irresponsible attitudes on the part of tenants who committed acts vandalism on the old Chalk hill without any accountability for years before a decision was made to demolish it and start again which proved to be futile and prolonged the frustration of the few good residents that hoped for something better from their landlord.
I don't know about the track record of Shepherds Bush Housing Group,
but judging by the feedback from the tenants, I think it is reasonable to suggest that they are no better than Genesis, MTVH (Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing) and last but not least Brent council
who have a long and an unenviable reputation for dumping people in poor quality accommodation.
It happened to me when I made the mistake of moving to Wembley Park and was offered a flat that was in an appalling state of neglect on the since demolished Chalk hill estate.
The sense of hurt I felt at that time is no different to the hurt I still feel 20 years after making another mistake of signing a tenancy agreement to live on the so called "regenerated" Chalk hill
that was supposed to inspire trust and confidence in Brent council under the leadership of Cllr Ann John.
On the contrary, my faith in Brent council has gone and reading about the way the way that the same council under the rule of Cllr Butt
has treated these people, makes me feel even more disillusioned and unable to trust the people who rule over us.

Alison Hopkins said...

SBHA knew about the planning application and hence the eviction. This is from the officers' own report to committee:

A review of the financial appraisal has confirmed that the maximum reasonable amount of affordable unitswhich can be achieved on site is seven units (25%), taking into account the potential decanting costs forthe existing 17 units (an unknown figure at this stage, and which can only be resolved once a contractor isin place, and following further discussions with Council’s Housing Department and Shepherds BushHousing Association (SBHA)), the cost of breaking the 5 year lease and the repayment of grant funding. Itshould be noted that the existing units, which are a result of the prior approval process, are not secured asaffordable housing, as there is no requirement for this via the prior approval route. Moreover, their leases areonly for five years as opposed to a 125 year lease that would be expected through the full planning route.Whilst the Council will gain some affordable units, the remaining units will be provided for homelesspersons (again managed by SBHA), thereby still meeting a housing need. The level of affordable housingprovision which is being secured is subject to a post implementation review, to enable the Council topotentially benefit in any uplift in values. It should be noted that the affordable units will be located on thefirst of the proposed additional floors (i.e. the third floor) and will all be affordable rented, with the councilretaining the nomination rights.