Haggerston family complain of being trapped in flat after builder's error
PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 June 2013
A family says builders trapped them inside their block of flats as they prepared it for demolition work.
The Noor family, of Laburnum Court, Laburnum Street, Haggerston, say they were unable to leave their home of 16 years when workmen employed by a housing association assumed the block was empty and put up hoardings around it on Saturday, June 8.
The family said they were forced to call police who contacted an emergency housing number. A workman provided a small access point in and out of the building that night.
L&Q Housing apologised for the error and removed the hoarding on Monday – but insisted that there were two access points in and out at all times.
The family, the last residents remaining in the block, say they are unable to move out of the block – which is due to be knocked down – as L&Q Housing will not rehouse Mr Noor’s mother with them.
Forida Noor, 42, who lives at the two-bedroom property with her husband, Mohammed, his mother and their two children, said: “They boarded up the building at the weekend and left us like that for two days. We had to fight with the builders to leave us an access route.
“The landlord asked us to move out two years ago but they don’t want to accept my mother-in-law as part of the family.
“We want her to come with us and asked them to add her name on the tenancy agreement as a dependent.”
A spokesman from L&Q Housing said contractors put up hoardings in error but said that Mr and Mrs Noor were not left without any access at any time.
“L&Q visited Mr and Mrs Noor and apologised unreservedly for this error and investigated the matter with our contractors and the remaining hoarding was immediately removed.”
The spokesman continued: “Recently L&Q arranged for a removal contractor to move Mr and Mrs Noor to the temporary accommodation, at which point we were advised that the family were insistent they would refuse to move unless we included Mr Noor’s mother as part of the tenancy agreement and placing an obligation on L&Q to re-house her as well.”
However, he pointed out that Mr Noor’s mother must be assessed by Hackney Council if she requires social housing.
He added: “At present the refusal of the family to move into temporary accommodation is preventing the regeneration of the estate and much needed affordable accommodation for the residents in temporary accommodation to return to the estates.”