Residents have shared the shocking conditions inside of number of properties on a housing estate in Mitcham, South London.
Families living on Eastfields Estate say they have been forced to live in unfit housing full of damp, mice, and asbestos panels. Since publishing a story last week, more residents have come forward to speak on the appalling conditions. Some say they have been complaining to their housing association for “decades.”
A family of six who live in a one bedroom flat, said they have also had “constant leaks” in their bathroom. They said that they have “lost count” of the number of complaints they have raised over the past seven years. “We ended up with mould and mushrooms in there while pregnant,” they said.
Several tenants said that despite the “whole estate” being riddled with rats, the housing association has ignored their concerns.
“My daughter even trod on a mouse. I’m on the second floor! They are in the walls everywhere,” said a woman who has lived on the estate for 20 years. Another referenced an email from a pest control company which stated that they believe there is a “wider issue inside” their flat block concerning rats. She said she was forced to call the private company after the housing association said “they don’t do pest control anymore. Honestly, I don’t even go into the kitchen I’m that scared,” she said. “My boyfriend fills up a jug of water for me before he goes to work, and I just buy food out.”
Residents also complained about maintenance issues. One person said that a broken fire door and main entry door has allowed people to come in and take drugs and said that others “urinate and poo” in the block. Another resident spoke on how gaps in the windows have led to mould on the curtains – costing her a “great amount of money.”
One parent said that she and her disabled daughter have been left without a shower for an entire year. She said that every time she showers it leaks through the kitchen ceiling – running onto her electric cables. While another person said that her ceiling collapsed during lockdown and hasn’t been fixed despite paying over £1,000 in rent each month.