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Residents call for council control of Old Ford housing association after ‘avalanche’ of problems at Orchard Village, Rainham

PUBLISHED: 13:15 19 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:58 19 April 2016

Just under 100 people attended a meeting at the Mardyck community centre last night to present a petition asking for Old Ford housing association to be brought back under local authority control

Just under 100 people attended a meeting at the Mardyck community centre last night to present a petition asking for Old Ford housing association to be brought back under local authority control

Archant

Residents have called for a housing association to be brought back under council and community control after “an avalanche” of problems remain to be fixed.

The petition will be handed over to councillors on SaturdayThe petition will be handed over to councillors on Saturday

Nearly 100 residents from Orchard Village estate, Rainham, attended a meeting with their ward councillors last night to raise their concerns over a host of on-going complaints against Circle Housing Association.

This comes as Circle, one of the largest housing providers in the UK, is negotiating to merge with Affinity Sutton, to create one giant housing association.

The housing association also secured a deal earlier this month to build 500 new homes within the Rainham and Beam Park development, which will see the construction of 3,500 homes.

Residents at Orchard Village have been complaining about rats, damp, leaking windows, wooden balconies and lack of insolation in their homes.

A petition is circulating among residents demanding for Old Ford housing association, the subsidiary association managing the site, to be brought back under the control of Havering Council.

The petition states the service “will get worse not better if centralised” and Old Ford should be a “community-based” housing provider.

Cllr Graham Williamson told the Recorder, there was “an avalanche” of problems raised at the meeting and the option to bring back Old Ford Housing under the council’s control should be considered.

Director at Circle Housing Mike Ward said he was aware of some outstanding issues at Orchard Village and was working with building contractor Wilmot Dixon to resolve them as quickly as possible.

“I visited residents at Orchard Village personally yesterday and the vast majority are very satisfied with their new homes and the regeneration,” he added.

The petition will be handed over to councillors on Saturday with statements of complaints from residents ahead of a meeting between councillors, the chief executive of Circle Housing and the council’s housing director on Monday.

More to follow. Read the full story in this week’s Recorder.

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