Written evidence submitted by Mr Vincent Piggins [RSH 034]
I've been living social housing since 2009 under a NFP housing association that was a very trust worthy and fair, about three years into the tenancy the government cuts forced the housing association to float as a charity as it could not afford its over heads. During this time I saw the management lose control of the housing estate and lose touch with its tenents.
I've witnessed zombie contractors subcontracting from the local council, removing tenents property and without informing them. I personally had two bicycles stolen from a purposely built bike shed. Its now like fort knox with 3 seperate locks coded and yale just to secure a bicycle. Also during this time the issue of white goods and the arguement of the insurance and disposing of them was on going for a long time, and along side this arguement was a ongoing fire regulation upgrade that was frankly appalling while a take over from the first social housing organisation through a buy out to another had made matters worse when it came to safety checks. One example I can give you.
Management were told to seal doors, all fire doors in the tenants appartment to a specific measurement, half the tenants brought dogs during the time. the specifications were not carried through with, I personally started to have problems with door handles and catches, i.e. banging and cutting my hands on locks. I complained to the new landlord, Catalyst housing. and was told if i was having problems with disorientation and cognitive action to remove the fire doors and dispose of them! The properties are clearly not designed to keep certain dogs.
Around the time of the updating of the fire regulations there was a very serious fire in the local care home, and many of the residents had died as a result, This had a devastating effect on my health at the time and i've struuggled to sleep ever since. My local GP cannot help the issues i report to him because of history of mental health.
Next year the Housing association is again changing hands, this time to Peabody Housing. I know that the amount of work these companies take on and that they will not address their current tenants concerns and brush them aside under a blanket of corporate confusion.