In May 2021, the recurring problem of pigeon infesting communal areas recurred in Williams House. This ongoing problem had been pointed out for years but only this year did MTVH take appropriate measures.
This perpetual infestation was flagged several times throughout the years and, in 2021 only, it was reported at least twice, in January and then in May. The only thing was that those complaints were made by individuals which was easy for MTVH to ignore. The residents making these complaints were made to go in circles, filling out forms on the website, being referred to different teams each time. Never did an individual complaint was taken seriously.
When residents came together and realized that they were individually ignored they organized and planned for collective action. Some residents went door to door collecting pro forma complaints. They were baffled to hear some of the stories the residents shared with them. The main concern was about safety and hygiene because of the pigeons’ droppings. Some people also pointed out that small children live in the building and that pigeons are scary. And some pointed out that they had to take it upon themselves to clean the communal areas which was an added stress to their busy lives.
Those pro forma complaints as well as a cover letter asking for a professional assessment of the situation and cleaning were sent to MTVH via email and hard copy. After they received this collection of complaints and our clear demands they acted very quickly and, so far, the pigeons seem to have deserted the communal areas proving that collective action can be successful!
We are happy that MTVH heard our complaints but there is still a lot to be done. Next time, it would be appreciated if individual complaints were taken seriously and acted upon. Until they are the residents of Williams House will have to continue to work together and make collective actions which, apparently, is still the best way to get what we want.
Thanks to Laurene Gernez from Williams House for writing this