Morningside: ‘Deep clean’ of problem-hit estate was done with ‘two cloths and a bottle of spray’

Morningside Estate is riddled with problems. Picture: Polly Hancock

Morningside Estate is riddled with problems. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

A deep clean of a neglected South Hackney estate is to be redone after unimpressed tenants complained it was done by workers with “two cloths and a bottle of spray”.

The Morningside Estate off Morning Lane is riddled with problems. As reported by the Gazette last month, lifts don’t work, security doors don’t lock and repairs are put off. Some of the 17 blocks have no lights in communal areas and others are being used for dealing drugs.

After years of complaints landlord Sanctuary Housing has agreed to speed up a major improvement programme following an eye-opening tour of the estate.

And in the meantime, Sanctuary told the tenants’s and residents’ association (TRA) that a deep clean would take place to spruce up the blocks.

Chair of the TRA Nicolette Nixon decided to make a video beforehand detailing the state of her block, Retreat Place, for documentary evidence. But while doing so – camera in hand – she was astonished to learn from a neighbour it had already happened.

“I videoed my block before I thought it had been cleaned but someone came out and said they came yesterday with two cloths and a bottle of spray. It was typical Sanctuary. It was apparent there wasn’t even a clean let alone a deep clean. When I eventually got through to them they tried to blame the TRA for not telling them where to clean. I said: ‘It’s not our job to tell you’.

“Then they said a ‘deep clean’ doesn’t consist of the whole block, it consists of the stairwells and lifts.”

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Councillors viewed the results themselves and said they were “disappointed”, telling Sanctuary it must do better to win back respect. And the housing association has now agreed to get the cleaners back in.

But the TRA still has little faith in the landlord, which has still not provided any schedule for the major work project it promised.

“It’s a fiasco,” said Nicolette. “I told them not to start any work anyway because they can’t even do a deep clean.”

Sanctuary’s housing chief John Hanson said: “We had a meeting with the TRA on Thursday and reassured them the deep clean by external contractors is not completed until we are happy with the work and sign it off. We will have further discussions about the specification of additional work required and believe it is right to focus on one block at a time.”