UPDATE: Hyde responds to YouTube and Carlex shaming (Monday pm January 11)
Dead rats, a kitchen carpeted in mouse faeces, water pouring through bedroom ceilings … these are the conditions filmed at the Hyde Housing’s St Mauritius House, in Lewisham, south east London.
A video of conditions at the site of 36 flats has been posted on YouTube.
Meanwhile, “service charges have increased and the on-site manager no longer exists”.
Gutters are forest of weeds, which have not been cleared out, and water has poured onto a lower roof for “six years”.
Maureen Bryan says: “My 89-year-old father is a resident at St Mauritius House, which caters for elderly residents with a high level of need.
“Over the last few months I have noticed the distress of my father and the other 40+ residents due to their current living conditions which has included a mice, rat and cockroach infestation which started in approx. March 2015.
“However, the following issues have been on-going for some time: the leaking roof, blocked gutters, over-flowing rubbish bins, lack of adequate lighting inside and outside the building, and poor maintenance of the gardens.
“There are also issues regarding the laundry room, which has one washing machine, and two dryers, for 40 tenants. The washing machine often breaks down and tenants are left for weeks without any other alternative means of doing laundry.
“Yet again the washing machine has broken down, this time with my fathers laundry stuck inside.
“The tenants have raised the repair issues with Hyde over and over again, but the response received has been vastly inadequate in most cases.
“In others, there has been no response at all. I have made a formal complaint to Hyde on behalf of my Father in regards to the infestation within his flat and received no written response. I then contacted Environmental health and the local MP.
“Both contacted Hyde and again Hyde failed to respond. Environmental Health, having been ignored by Hyde, were unsatisfied by the lack of response and therefore followed up with an enforcement notice which gave Hyde a period in which to adhere and comply. Hyde failed to do so.
“As a result, I decided to take action and create the short film that documented some of the issues that my father and the other residents have been faced with.
“The purpose of the short film was to give these elderly residents a voice when Hyde has continually chosen to ignore them. The tenants have been advised that the warden/support worker who provides advise to tenants regarding rent, repairs and any other queries is also due to be terminated in April.
“However, Hyde has written to residents in the meantime, informing them of the increased annual service charges.”
The Hyde Housing made the following comment to Carlex this afternoon:
“We are sorry. This level of service is not acceptable. There will be an investigation to understand how we failed in this instance to make sure it does not happen again.
“I have visited residents at St Mauritius House today (Monday) to apologise to them again, listen to their concerns and to give them my personal assurances that we are committed to improving the service we provide to them. We will also ensure that we continue to communicate with them and keep them informed.
“Working with pest control specialists we have been trying to eradicate the vermin problem at St Mauritius House. Bait has been laid down in common areas on several occasions. It is clear that our efforts were not enough. Further baiting is ongoing in communal areas and individual flats and this will be followed by ‘stopping up’ work. We will make sure there is focused effort on ridding the scheme of the problem.
“On Thursday morning I directed senior housing staff to St Mauritius House to rectify the problems highlighted in the video. I issued a personal letter of apology to each resident later that day which included commitments on what would happen and when to quickly resolve the outstanding issues.
“Most of the repair issues mentioned in the film have now been fixed and we’re working to complete the few remaining repairs as soon as possible this week.
“Residents will be compensated for any reasonable costs incurred for vermin treatment in their homes during the time it has taken to resolve the current situation. We will investigate the reasons for the issues at St Mauritius taking too long to resolve to make sure such this situation doesn’t occur again.”
Group Director of Housing