Repairs to Newham’s London Plane House, owned and neglected by One Housing Group (OHG) are now being completed after SHAC became involved in the case. It was originally reported to the landlord by tenants two years ago.
We reported previously on London Plane House in Newham, where a lump of metal falling from an upstairs window created a hazard to tenants and workers.
Shortly after publication of the article, OHG sent in scaffolders to make sure the landlord looked busy, and that’s where they thought they could stop. We thought otherwise and kept up the pressure, including an approach to the local council insisting that they too intervene.
Early this week, just as a meeting was scheduled between SHAC, Newham council, and the tenant, we were alerted to the noise of work now being carried out on the window and roof. Sure enough, the repairs were finally underway.
Tenant Bessie Smith recognised this as a victory for collective organising, saying:
Thank you very much to SHAC! When we as tenants and residents go to OHG, they ignore us. When we join forces and link with SHAC, we get immediate results!Bessie Smith, OHG Tenant
The Beginning Not the End
This is not the end of the process. The meeting with the council and Director of Housing was fruitful in establishing that OHG had previously lied to them when they claimed the work had already been done, that this represented a familiar pattern, and that constant monitoring was needed.
SHAC and the council agreed to keep in touch and work together on ensuring safe, secure homes for housing association tenants in the borough. A meeting was promised with other OHG tenants and residents in Newham.
The council will also request a report on the works being done to the building and those of similar construction so that faults and remedial action can be identified. The report will be shared with tenants and residents so that it is clear whether the landlord is being honest about what is actually being done.
The council expressed shock at the refusal of OHG to meet tenant representatives with SHAC, and suggested facilitating a meeting with senior executives.
We will continue to report on progress. If you are an OHG tenant or resident and want to be active in SHAC@OHG, please register here.
2nd December 2020