Government regulator steps in over ‘appalling’ council flats

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The squalid conditions of homes in South Norwood has seen the council found to be in breach of 15-year-old regulations introduced to prevent people having to endure slum conditions.

Hamida Ali: admitted the council was in breach of legal duties

The council has been found to be in breach of its duties as a landlord over the appalling conditions of flats in residential blocks in South Norwood.

Hamida Ali, the leader of the Labour-controlled council, told Monday’s cabinet meeting, “We have learned today that the Regulator for Social Housing have found us in breach.”

The Regulator oversees standards and regulations for landlords. Ali said that the Regulator will publish more information next week.

Homes in three residential tower blocks on Regina Road have been suffering from leaks, damp, mould and dangerous electrical wiring, with complaints to the council and its contractors, Axis, going back four years, according to an urgent investigation conducted by inddependent consultants last month.

The report was commissioned after the dreadful conditions were exposed in a series of television news reports.

Today, the Regulator confirmed that action was being taken against the council, but they said that they would not be commenting until they issue the formal, public notice.

The Regulator’s office reports to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

An MHCLG spokesperson told Inside Croydon, “By law all landlords must ensure properties are fit for people to live in and all registered providers of social housing must meet standards set by the Regulator of Social Housing.

“This includes complying with the government’s Decent Homes Standard, which ensures properties are safe and decent.”

The Decent Homes Standard is a set of rules and regulations which were introduced in 2006, under the then Labour government, with the aim of reducing and eliminating slum  conditions in the nation’s housing stock.

Read more: ‘None of the tenants in Croydon trust anybody in the council’
Read more: Ali accused of cover-up over findings on council flats scandal
Read more: Croydon shamed over ‘dangerous squalor’ in council flats

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9 Responses to Government regulator steps in over ‘appalling’ council flats

  1. Stephen Tyler says:

    The front page of the Croydon Advertiser dated 4th November 1994 had an article detailed appalling conditions / leakages at Gordon Crescent and Regina Road – the Council were thinking of replacing them then. So why am I not surprised?

  2. Tony Watson says:

    This council has shown it is utterly incompetent in every way, and fails to listen to the very people it’s supposed to serve. It’s actions – or rather it’s total lack of action – verges on the criminal. It is meant to serve the people of Croydon but, instead, has made Croydon and its residents a laughing stock. It’s high time these so-called council officials got replaced by professional, experienced and caring people who are also non-political. It’s sad and galling to see lessons just aren’t being learnt. Croydon is fast becoming a hell-hole. It’s embarrassing to admit you live in Croydon.

  3. “Found to be in breach of its duties as a Landlord”. Well thanks for that Regulator; that has to be the “no shit Sherlock” statement of the year.

  4. And this is the Council who gave a £0.5m golden handshake to its CEO who would have been sacked for gross incompetence in any other organisation.

    This is a low point for Croydon.

  5. Marzia Nicodemi Ehikioya says:

    Croydon Council is a rogue landlord for council tenants and also pays housing benefits to private landlords who are rogue landlords. There is total lack of care and accountability. Where did all the money go? Where is all the money going? Perhaps we really need a competent Mayor!

    • D. Madlow says:

      I completely agree. Another shocking Croydon Council blunder, and rogue behaviour is the diabolical situation at Lansdown Hostel on Lansdown Rd (off Wellesly Road, near Jury’s Inn) The old YMCA building is used by Croydon Council as ’emergency accommodation ‘ for different levels of vulnerable people including addicts and mental health care patients.
      The conditions within the building (which was supposed to be demolished, along with surrounding buildings for another of the councils less than transparent redevelopment schemes) are primitive at best, and wholly unsuitable for vulnerable people. Having had the misfortune of being a resident there a few years ago, I speak from experience.
      From my time there, I can say they are not in my opinion providing safe and adequate facilities for those in often very difficult and traumatic times.

  6. In 2015, the council introduced a licensing scheme as part of Croydon Labour’s “ambitious” manifesto, to protect tenants from rogue landlords and sub- standard properties.

    In 2017, the Deputy Council Leader, with overall responsibility for Housing, Councillor Alison Butler, declared (contrary to all the evidence) that her scheme was “working well”.

    In 2021, Croydon council was found to be a slum landlord, and yet Butler is still a councillor on the public payroll.

  7. Brian says:

    The government regulatory urgently needs to look at the social services and the damage they have done over recent years and try to alleviate the suffering

  8. Maurice says:

    The craziness of the system is that the council is meant to manage the licensing of Landlords and was quick out the blocks to implement the scheme. How ironic that it’s own housing stock is in such a state. I do believe the council needs to be stripped of anything to do with housing, planning, etc it is a complete fiasco

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