A FAMILY say they have been left feeling “utterly worthless” after battling their landlords for almost 30 years to fix chronic damp in their Archway home.
Sara Araia claims her mother has suffered ill health due to problems with her flat but an endless cycle of complaints going back years has got nowhere.
The 22-year-old had hoped the issues would be resolved when she came to an agreement with Partners for Improvement, the private consortium that has a long-term contract to manage council repair works, to hack back the damp walls. But she says she has watched on in despair as the work failed to resolve the problem. Partners have now told the family to return to the property despite the fact that Ms Araia says that damp remains in several rooms and there is a hole in the roof in the hallway.
She said: “We feel worthless, completely and utterly worthless. It’s like we’re living back in the 1600s – like we have no rights. I’m so frustrated. It’s been so long.” In reply, Partners say they have been met with “hostility” over the work. Ms Araia’s mother emigrated from Eritrea in 1992 when she was offered the flat.
“As soon as I could write I was writing letters to the council,” Ms Araia said. “The damage it has done to our family is crazy. I used to think it was my mum’s fault because she couldn’t speak English, but it’s that they don’t care. “Why don’t they just investigate something when we bring their attention to it instead of thinking we’re mad. Wouldn’t it be better just to get the work done properly?”