‘Depressed’ tenants’ fears of estate ‘purposely run down’

Residents who are campaigning for the Charles Square Estate

Residents who are campaigning for the Charles Square Estate - Credit: Archant

Residents of a Hoxton estate which is plagued with lice and insects claim Hackney Council is deliberately running it down to pave the way to sell it off to developers.

Families living on the Charles Square Estate say they are continually left without essential services like hot water and heating, meaning their children are unable to wash regularly.

They also complain that regular electrical faults plunge communal areas into darkness, lifts often break down leaving residents with mobility problems housebound, and that homes on the estate have not been renovated for more than 25 years, meaning they are affected by damp, mould, leaks, broken fittings and dangerous electrical wiring, putting their health at risk.

Residents have also reported wood lice, tiny red ants, cockroaches, bed bugs and wood mite infestations.

Angry tenants have now formed a residents’ group to demand action from the council, which owns their flats through its arms length management organisation Hackney Homes.

Residents felt their fears were confirmed when the basement of Shoreditch House, one of three blocks on the estate, was rented out to trendy ping pong bar chain Bounce, which opens last night.

Mother-of-two Tracey Brown, resident of Shoreditch House for 28 years, said: “We’re afraid that the council just wants to get rid of us so they can just sell the blocks off to the highest bidder. House prices are going up and up in Hoxton and we feel like we’re not wanted here any more.

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“We know that councils in other parts of London have run down estates in similar ways before trying to move residents out to make way for redevelopment. That’s what we think could happen here. We’re left isolated, not knowing what will happen and where to go for help. It is making us all depressed.”

Cllr Philip Glanville, cabinet member for housing, said: “I completely oppose the selling off of social housing and I can confidently say that the council has no plans to sell the estate to a private landlord or housing association.”