Frank Field MP
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Victorian housing conditions

20
Jan

Social surveys that were undertaken a little over a century ago picked up on the mouldy, damp and poorly ventilated homes in some parts of the country that were wreaking havoc on their tenants’ health and wellbeing.

Fast forward to 2016 and still there are parts of Birkenhead in which parents are having to throw out their children’s toys and clothes because they are caked in mould, while the bathroom light cannot be switched on because there is water dripping through the ceiling. For others a broken storage heater meant spending Christmas Day in the cold.

These are just some of the horrors that have been reported to me in recent weeks. Even after each fault was reported to the relevant housing association – on this occasion, Liverpool Housing Trust – no action was taken.

Even though the workmen who were assigned to assess the condition of each property agreed on the need for essential repair work, again it seems their reports were not acted on.

Only after I wrote to the housing association last week did there seem to be any urgency to deal with these problems. But is this an acceptable state of affairs for tenants to have to get their MP involved in order to have urgent repair works seen to?

I asked the housing association to consider allocating a sufficient sum from its investment budget to prevent housing stock falling into disrepair. Will it be necessary to make a similar request of Birkenhead’s other housing associations?

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