Merton Council has called on Clarion Housing to ‘restore confidence” with residents after a number of many worrying images on housing on the Eastfields Estate which were broadcast on ITV news last night in Mitcham. This included a ‘significant amount of repairs” which needed to be carried out on the estate.
In April 2010, as part of its transfer of housing stock, the Council transferred all of its tenant properties to a housing association Merton Priory Homes which is now part of. Clarion Housing Group who are responsible for ensuring that social housing is maintained and repaired in accordance with tenancy conditions.
In early June, the council met with Clarion Director of Housing and Chief Operating Officer to request urgent action on a series of repairs, and to ask for a timeline for the overdue regeneration and rebuilding of the estate. We are awaiting a response.
Following the images broadcast on national news yesterday, and additional resident complaints, the Council is now writing to Clarion to call for a further reassurance that it make good on its commitment to face tenants and address their concerns.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and the Climate Emergency, Councillor Martin Whelton, said: “As soon as we were made aware, we met with Clarion and have been pushing for a full response and a timeline for the wider regeneration of the estate, which is long overdue. But these images are a disturbing insight into the quality of housing that some tenants are living in and must be addressed as an urgent priority. There can be no excuses about their failure to undertake basic repairs on many houses.
“We also found it very disappointing that Clarion failed to attend a recent meeting with residents, but we now need to move forward and ensure that Clarion commit to working with residents and the council to address the repairs. There also needs to be a clear timeline that puts residents first and involves Clarion listening and actively engaging with people on the estate. We have insisted on much better, more regular communication between Clarion and residents, as well as the council. That starts with a safely-managed discussion to understand the views of tenants. Clarion are responsible for the supply and maintenance of the borough’s housing stock and we expect them to put this right –every resident has the right to a decent standard of living.”