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Can anyone give me advice?

I have joined this forum today on the behalf of my sister who has been long suffering from multiple sclerosis which is now in the advance stages. She has lost her mobility and her speech is severely impaired. For the past 20 years my sister has be fighting a legal battle with her housing association (Network Stadium Housing) as she has been living in conditions described by a surveyor as “prejudicial to health and unfit for human habitation”.

I am hoping that someone will be able to offer advice as to how to deal with this ongoing housing problem she has faced. The property she has been living in has suffered from infestation of mice, severe damp, mold and condensation which has led to structural defaults. The condition of the property is so bad it has prevented my sister from being able to occupy her bedroom for many years.

When my sister initially approached her housing association for repairs and resolution they were dismissive and unsympathetic towards her. It was only when threatened with court proceedings did they agree to carry out works however, because the problem is structural the severe damp recurs which caused my sister to have to go through the same legal process for Network Stadium Housing (NSH) to bring her home back into a livable condition. My sister has now gone through this process four times and is currently fighting a similar case with NSH (of which I am now assisting her due to her failing health). I am horrified that a social housing group which is not only founded by local government but has also been awarded with the 2 tick symbol has be allowed to get away with this for so many years and not be held accountable. Her lawyer is currently negotiating for the property to be bought back to a livable condition which I ultimately disagree with because what she really needs is to move out of the property permanently. She then may be able to make some recovery and not be at risk of the property falling back into an unlivable condition. I am sure the stress of legal proceedings over the years coupled with her living conditions have been directly responsible for her relapsing on several occasions;

Has anyone had a similar problem? If so, Can anyone give me any pointers as we are quite desperate.

Many thanks,

Claudine

hi claudine

have you or your sister written to your mp?

drop jeremy corbyn a line too because this cause is right up his street.

write to your local paper and maybe a national paper (if you write to national paper make sure it is not one of those biased towards the right wing).

the housing association needs to feel shame because they are treating your sister shamefully.

hope you get something done soon.

carole x

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Hi,

I would ask the housing association for a copy of their vulnerable person policy. All mortgage companies (in which I work) and housing associations should have one. From what you say the housing association have not followed their vulnerable person policy.

Take photos of the place as proof of the condition and how it affects her health. As long as the rent is paid correctly and on time then they have no reason to not improve the place or offer alternative accommodation.

All the best in sorting this out.

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Great advice so far: I would aslo consider puttting your case also to the Ombudsman (theres a bit for housing)

Google Housing Ombudsman and Local Government Ombudsman

They have a list of housing associations under their jurisdiction…

Good luck and keep fighting

Your local council should have a team that can help. At my local council they have a private sector housing team and a council housing team. Both have telephone help lines. Have you tried something like this already?

You mention it is a social housing group funded by the local government. Housing association properties are maintained differently from council housing as far as I know.

Hi

20 years to sort a property out why not just move.

Ombudsman MP have you tried these.

Ronin.

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My suggestion is to contact Shelter for specialist housing advice and they may also be able to help with other support. It may be enforcing the law as you recognise is not the ultimate solution. You already have a lawyer but are they a housing specialist? As its a London HA I recommend Bindmans as a very good rights focused solicitors.

Ronin - she is probably in London and is severely impaired so my guess is that she needs social housing so “just move” is not an option. She is at the mercy of social housing providers who can be amazing but when they are not the tenant is really stuck.

Thank you for you advice Carol,

I am in the process of getting in contact with national newspapers as the story has already been covered in the local paper.

Regards,

Claudine

Thank you for your advice Pops,

I will make inquiries about the vulnerable person policy.

Thanks,

Claudine

As far as i know we have to exhaust the complaint procedures firsts which we are in the process of doing so.

Thank you for your advice.

I am shocked! It`s like reading something from 2 centuries ago!

Living in such poor, health damaging housing, whilst paying rent is ludicrous.

Hope things get sorted…going above their heads is the only thing left to do.

pollx

Contact MS society legal people for advice

Could the damp problem be alleviated by using a dehumidifier or two in the property? A good one can remove a considerable amount of moisture each day and make the place feel warmer.