Mum's anger amid mice infestation: 'Housing association fobbed it off'

A block of flats within the Orchard Village estate, Rainham. Picture: Google Maps

A block of flats within the Orchard Village estate, Rainham. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Google Maps

A pregnant mother is fearing for the health of her 18-month-old son following months of a mice infestation in her housing association property. 

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, moved into Clarion Housing Group's Orchard Village in Rainham nine months ago.

Previously this paper reported Orchard Village residents were left without heating or hot water and women feel "unsafe" walking through the estate at night.

The woman has said builders had left holes open in her kitchen, but when she contacted Clarion Housing, she said it told her the housing association “didn’t deal with pest control”. 

She told the Recorder it has been "awful": "There are mice in the flat because of Clarion’s poor work. 

“But they have fobbed it off and haven't taken responsibility.” 

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A Clarion Housing Group spokesperson has noted that while residents are "responsible for preventing and tackling rodent infestations in their homes", keeping homes and communities clean and safe is its "priority".  

mouse droppings

The mother found mouse droppings on the floor and is worried that her toddler might eat them - Credit: Archant

The heavily pregnant mother said she then waited six weeks for someone to fix the holes, which were eventually closed using wire mesh as a “temporary fix”. 

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However, some of the wire was sticking out and she feared her 18-month-old son would put it in his mouth. When she phoned to express her concern, she claims the housing rep laughed at her. 

“She didn’t take it seriously at all, and was not professional,” she said. 

The next day she found her son holding the mesh, and had to seek medical help when she saw his gums were swollen. 

The infant is now taking antibiotics, but his mother fears he will put the mouse droppings on the floor into his mouth. 

“I’m also concerned that workmen keep coming in and out, because as a pregnant woman I’m at risk if I catch Covid,” she added. 

A Clarion Housing Group spokesperson said contractors had sealed the holes temporarily on April 15 using wire wool, and resolved the issue at a follow-up visit on April 20. 

They said: “Keeping our homes and communities clean and safe is a priority for Clarion.  

“Whilst residents are responsible for preventing and tackling rodent infestations in their homes, where there are openings providing access, we will organise for these to be sealed."

The spokesperson added: “We are not aware of any complaint made regarding the conversation (the resident) had with our customer service team but we would like to reassure her we take residents’ concerns very seriously and their wellbeing is paramount to us.”

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