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Renters protest Notting Hill Genesis housing association over dangerous housing

Members of the London Renters Union (LRU) have held a protest outside Notting Hill Genesis’ head office over the housing association’s failure to tackle unsafe housing conditions faced by tenants.

LRU members who rent privately from the housing association in Brent say they were stonewalled by Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) after repeatedly reporting serious problems with leaks, damp, mould, and cold in their homes for years on end. One member’s children have developed new health conditions since moving into a cold and mouldy property managed by the association.

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This isn’t the first time residents at the housing association have raised the alarm on dangerous conditions. In May this year, tenants spoke out about the severe health impact of squalid conditions in NHG’s properties across Brent. In August, the housing ombudsman found severe maladministration in the association’s management of a property with unsafe windows.

Last year, the death of Awaab Ishak shone a light on the public health crisis resulting from England’s hazardous housing. Citizens Advice reports that 2.7 million households face damp, mould, or excessively cold homes. One in four privately rented homes in England fail to meet the decent homes standard. In Brent alone, the council estimates that around 10,000 privately rented homes present a serious health hazard to residents.

NHG is headed by former Foxtons CEO Patrick Franco and generates a turnover of £728m, including a £106m surplus.

LRU is demanding that Notting Hill Genesis comes to the table with the union and agrees a timeline for the essential safety repairs.

Sameera Hashi, LRU member and NHG tenant, said: ‘The list of problems in my home is growing larger with every month. The shower, the heating, the stove, the bathroom sink, the floor, the list goes on. More things are broken in my home than are working. But no matter how much I complain, the response from the housing association is always just to ignore us. I can’t believe we have to live in conditions like these in 2023.’

LRU organiser Alva Gotby said: ‘No one should be forced to become sick because of their housing. But Notting Hill Genesis seems more interested in its bottom line than the wellbeing of its tenants. Notting Hill Genesis would do well to remember it was founded to tackle slum housing, not create more of it. NHG must sit down at the table with the union and agree a timeline to ensure that the repairs are done and our members have a safe home for their family.’

Image: Priscilla Gyamfi

More on this topic:

Ombudsman finds maladministration by housing association after family left in unsafe conditions

Government calls on social housing residents to raise poor living standards

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