Estate of misery plea for better homes

FAMILIES living on a crumbling estate who say damp and mould are causing health problems in children petitioned the council for better homes last week. The Leys Estate in Dagenham was supposed to receive a �7million refurbishment in 2008/9 but due to the

FAMILIES living on a crumbling estate who say damp and mould are causing health problems in children petitioned the council for better homes last week.

The Leys Estate in Dagenham was supposed to receive a �7million refurbishment in 2008/9 but due to the country's economic situation this did not happen.

Residents say they have been forgotten and are furious about squalid living conditions like; mould, damp, broken windows, doors which can be opened from the outside, leaks, cracks and the lack of anywhere for youngsters to play.

Parents complained that children have developed respiratory problems due to the dank flats and houses which let in water when it rains.


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At a meeting of the Assembly on July 22, Chairman of the Leys Tenants and Residents association, Michael Pennock, presented a petition for better homes to councillors.

Mr Pennock said: "Properties on the Leys Estate are in a terrible state.

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"They contain some of the worst housing in London.

"We have surveyed the whole estate 26 times with council officers, councillors and MP John Cruddas.

"But still we have doors and windows missing or damaged for years, structural cracks and flats that are a fire hazard because of poor planning.

"Poor housing gives an area a bad reputation and may lead to the breakdown of the community."

Mr Pennock also went on to describe damp and mouldy houses in Birdbrook Close where asbestos has been found crumbling and powdering.

He added: "Living in these conditions is a kind of torture.

"These are real problems that are not being addressed. These people deserve better."

Birdbrook Close on the Leys Estate was built in the 1960s and residents and ward councillors, Lee and Phil Waker, say the homes there were poorly constructed in the beginning.

Cllr Lee Waker said: "It's about time these issues were brought to the fore.

"The residents have had my support all the way.

"Structurally, the estate should have been built much better and management down there has been poor.

"The Leys did not get the �7million it was supposed to and decent people have been left in terrible conditions.

"It either needs major refurbishment or complete redevelopment."

Head of Spatial Regeneration, Jeremy Grint, said: "A program of works was prepared in consultation with residents to bring the homes up to the Decent Homes standard.

"It was to take place in 2008/9 but the resources of the capital planning program fell short and we had to review the investment program.

"What we are proposing to do now is to look at the problems over the next couple of months, work with the residents and look at how to find funding.

"The work will probably consist of a mixture of refurbishment and redevelopment.

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