Fishersgate in 2022: too many cold, damp and draughty flats, too many Adur Homes tenants tired of wiping the walls down to remove mould.

A survey of tenants has found an extraordinary 70% of council tenants who responded reported they had outstanding repairs – and they had been waiting for up to 18 years for the work to be carried out. This startling revelation follows a survey conducted by the Labour Party members on behalf of local Eastbrook councillor Carol O’Neal.

The survey also revealed…

  • 44% rated the quality of their repairs as poor or very poor
  • 50% reported problems with mould in their home
  • 50% reported draughts in their home
  • In terms of security, 44% said they had broken locks or windows
  • Almost 30% reported having broken fixtures or fittings, eg damaged windows or plumbing
  • 29% reported having damaged walls or ceilings
  • Over a third of all respondents said that the state of their housing impacted negatively on their physical health
  • Nearly a third of respondents said that the state of their housing impacted negatively on their mental health
  • A separate survey on the flats found that only two of the 19 blocks had fully functioning door-entry systems and complete external door security

Carol O’Neal said: “The survey, of 52 households, sought to quantify the scale of disrepair of Adur Homes properties in Fishersgate after it became apparent to me that most council tenants experienced some problem with their housing.”

Comments from residents included:

A  woman with two children and husband with serious illness: The condition of our housing is shocking. We were homeless before we came here and were grateful for a home, but it was in a terrible condition. The few repairs carried out on the property have been ‘very poor’. When I have asked for repairs to be done, I have been ignored or treated like a second-class citizen.

A man living with an elderly relative: Outstanding repairs include problems reported five years ago. The flat is cold, damp and draughty.  He is “tired of wiping the walls down” to remove the mould. The windows are at least 30 years old, “antiquated”, and simply do not work, and there is a hole in the ceiling. The response of Adur Homes to the report of these repairs is that they have been noted, “but no-one comes”.

A 13-year-old: Communal stairways were disgusting and commented on the “horrible colour” of the walls. He said that he was embarrassed when his friends came to visit the block because they had nice places to live.

Councillor Carol O’Neal says: “I have reported countless repairs since I was elected last May and am still finding new cases every day. I have been appalled and saddened by the long-term neglect of our social housing, and have seen the toll that it takes on the individual, the family and the wider community. I will continue to champion the needs, hopes and aspirations of all Eastbrook residents.”

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