Hackney Homes first target for new Shoreditch Citizens action group

More than 100 disgruntled residents bombarded the Hackney Homes headquarters this week after members of a new ‘people’s commonwealth’ ranked poor housing top of their hit list.

The Shoreditch Citizens group, which had its first meeting last Thursday (May 12), held a demonstration on Tuesday morning (May 17) following research showing damp, decaying and overcrowded housing was the area’s prime problem - even above child poverty and unemployment.

Tenants turned up outside Hackney Town Hall near the housing manager’s offices in Wilton Way at 10am and delivered about 70 complaint forms, calling for better repairs and improved communication between Hackney Homes and their tenants.

Senior community organiser Dan Firth said: “Today was about getting a meeting for Shoreditch Citizens and parents and teachers from local schools with the chief executive of Hackney Homes to look at how we can work together to address the issues.”

Shoreditch Citizens is an association of 25 voluntary groups, schools, churches and mosques around Shoreditch, Haggerston, Hoxton, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green, Finsbury and Clerkenwell,

At its launch at Shoreditch Town Hall, Valerie Serette-Figaro, headteacher of Randal Cremer Primary School in Ormsby Street, said: “Lots of children in our schools have bad housing. Landlords need to take responsibility on the impact on children’s health, on overcrowding and on conflict in families.”

Charlotte Graves, chief executive of Hackney Homes, agreed to a meeting with Shoreditch Citizens following the action this week.

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A spokeswoman for Hackney Homes said: “We have received the complaints forms today and we will respond to the individual enquiries from Hackney Homes tenants as quickly as possible. We will also explain face-to-face the options available to those tenants involved.

“In the meantime we encourage those residents who have repairs issues to get in contact with us to register the repair on 0208 356 3691.”