Politics column: Rainham MP Jon Cruddas discusses Orchard Village
- Credit: PA WIRE
Housing associations have a proud history in delivering for their tenants and more generally are part of a rich tradition of mutualism and co-operation: of charitable and non-profit-making commitments to housing stretching back into the 19th century on behalf of working people.
In short, they have played a civilising role in our society for decades. I hope that will continue.
However, the experiences at the Orchard Village Estate – formerly the Mardyke – in south Hornchurch endanger this historic legacy.
This week I held a debate in Parliament to discuss the issue, and to find a route forward for the hundreds of residents – and we are literally talking about hundreds of residents – that have registered complaints about the poor standard of the new homes.
The main problems concern the failure to build homes to an adequate standard – leaving residents vulnerable to reported issues of damp, mould, noise pollution, fireproofing, and with an inadequate maintenance and repairs service. There have been serious concerns regarding insulation and heating costs.
On December 19, I was forced to contact Public Health England regarding concerns of methane exposure on the estate. In short, Circle Housing has failed the residents and it is completely unacceptable.
Due to the efforts of local residents, these issues are finally attracting the attention they deserve. The key question is what will happen to the estate in the future.
- 1 Hornchurch ranked top place in UK for takeaway fish and chips, study finds
- 2 Man threatened and robbed of iPhone and bank card at Romford station
- 3 Several hectares of Rainham grassland destroyed in fire
- 4 Launch events held for businesses targeted at the ‘more mature raver’
- 5 'What about vulnerable people?’: Couple protest parking ticket from Gallows Corner Tesco after alleged ‘double dipping’ issue
- 6 Appeal to find missing girl, 16, with links to Romford
- 7 The Bitter End: Former Romford pub for sale again, with draft plan indicating it could be turned into 35 flats
- 8 London among areas where drought is declared
- 9 Road closures in place after Romford flat fire
- 10 Harold Hill landlord accused of housing tenants in unsafe property
The good news is since the recent merger, Clarion Housing Group – formerly Circle – has established a project team to begin resolving issues.
They are also independently reviewing building quality and heating systems and the main contractor has been pulled off the estate and compensation is now being discussed. The council is also investigating matters.
Councillors have been instrumental in raising awareness and I will continue to work with them and residents to keep an active watching brief as this situation progresses. Happy new year to all Recorder readers.