Tuesday, November 11, 2008

East Dulwich Estate and Ruskin Park House

On Sunday I spent time on the East Dulwich Estate carrying out a mobile surgery. Although the regeneration is having a visible impact on the Estate and improving many homes, there are still a number of residents who are bing left to live in appalling conditions until the regeneration reaches them. I spoke to a resident who has had no light in her bathroom for two months because of water leaks from above, and who has not got an effective heating system in her flat. Add on top of this a boiler which barely works and you can understand her real misery at the Council's failure to sort her repairs issues out. With so many void flats on the Estate I wonder whether it would not be simpler to move her and her son to a renovated flat. At the moment I am not sure that her home is fit for human habitation.

Last night Veronica and I met with a number of residents from Ruskin Park House who remain concerned about the works which are due to take place on their Estate over the next few years. Two real issues emerged which I hope will be explored further. Firstly, I am not sure that the company which manages RPH have fully explored all of the funding options for the works, which may be of real assistance to some of the residents of the Estate. If those options have been explored residents need to be given full details. Secondly, the issue of residents views concerning sub-letting on the Estate also needs to be explored. During the present economic difficulties everyone needs to be mindful of the financial problems many of their neighbours may be facing and strictly controlled sub-letting may provide a short-term workable answer.

I have no strong views on the issues facing RPH, but with Veronica I am anxious that residents know that every option is being explored on their behalf. It was a very constructive meeting and I was pleased to play a small part in it. In the longer term RPH residents may have to recognise that the problems arising from the management of a fairly large Estate may benefit from greater professional assistance.

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