Campaigners’ anger at ‘abominable’ Clapton flats

Campaigners protesting about “abominable” living conditions forcing residents to live without heat and water demonstrated outside a council housing department on Friday.

The Hackney Housing Group – a “mutual help” organisation set up by people dealing with housing problems – brandished banners emblazoned with the word “justice” outside Hackney Service Centre, in Hillman Street.

They were furious that some residents in a privately-rented block had not been re-housed after the council slapped a “prohibition order” on the building last summer because of its unsafe and insanitary conditions.

The council rehomed some of the residents from the building in Lower Clapton Road, but four others tenants – including a mother and her teenage daughter – are still waiting.

They are living in flats which don’t have running water or heating, are covered with mould, and are due to be disconnected from the electricity supply.

A spokesman from Hackney Housing Group said the living conditions were “abominable” and added: “It is unacceptable that people in Hackney have to choose between living in these terrible conditions or sleeping rough.

“Hackney Council should instantly help the remaining residents find housing and make sure that no one has to return to this place so that it can be finally shut down.

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“We want to know why no action has been taken by the council against the landlord who was making thousands from renting this terrible place.”

A spokesman for Hackney Homes, which manages the council’s housing stock, did not comment on whether the council was pursuing the landlord, but said the council had rehoused the “majority” of tenants shortly after the order was issued.

He added: “Since that point the council was made aware that additional tenants moved into the property after the order was made.

“Although the council was not responsible for rehousing these individuals the service has provided assistance to ensure alternative accommodation can be arranged.”

The Gazette was unable to contact the landlord.