Thanks to all 27 residents who came to our Annual General Meeting. Here’s what happened
- 27 Residents (including Cllr Saleha Jaffer)
- Cllr Maria Kay –
- Chanelle R – MTVH
- Althea Callum – Optivo
- Michele Naclerio MTVH
- Ludovic Basse NHG
- Emily Thompson – NHG
- Wayne Davies Optivoi
- Cllr Olga Fitzroy
“How the council can help people affected by damp”
Opening talk by Cllr Maria Kay, cabinet member for housing
Cllr Kay related the history of the complaint about damp.
1. She has requested the landlords to focus on resident dissatisfaction
2. She has asked that there be post-inspections November-February of 10% of properties, and that this be followed by Council to check compliance.
Lambeth Council is to launch a Damp Charter, with 10 points, with staff to be assigned. The principle will be that Damp is never the resident’s fault. Inspections should be respectful, and not condescending. This Charter will apply across Lambeth, and include Registered Social Landlords.
She will speak to the Chair of the Lambeth Council Scrutiny committee who can investigate residents’ experience with housing associations.
Residents, including Leaseholders, of housing associations will be expected to use the housing associations complaints procedure which allows residents to go to Ombudsman after stages 1 & 2. Local authorities can intervene is there is a risk to health and safety. She is looking to have a protocol to regulate RSLs
The condition of the estate with respect to damp was appalling.
Questions to Cllr Maria Kay
- Sylvie Blanche, of Godolphin House(NHG) said she had been told damp would not be treated because not a tenant.
- Cllr Jaffer asked to see Damp Inspection Report prepared by Council. She also asked if the RSLs had accepted the Charter
- Yemi Deji asked how residents could get Lambeth to enforce breaches of the law by NHG.
- Cllr Kay replied said she could not say when the local authority might intervene without knowing the facts of each case. Lambeth council had soft power only, but residents could email her on individual issues.
- Subject to rules on privacy local councillors could join Cllr Kay in sharing information.
- Council will share Charter with housing associations, but cannot force them to adopt the Charter.
- Sylvie Blanche raised the problems she faced, having to pay for 2 surveyors, and issues with lift, and obtaining key fob to front door.
- Ludovic Basse of NHG said he would discuss how to contact leaseholders. Lift is being renewed.
- Chair said NHG had had 11 housing officers in just a few years.
- Cllr Kay said Lambeth had had similar problems with staff.
She said there were 2 options open to residents. The first was to utilise the complaints procedure, and the second was for her to talk with housing assoc.s and expedite issues.
- Cllr Olga Fitzroy said she would be happy to sit in meeting with Cllr Kay.
- D. Natasha, of 16 Harbin House said that since January NHG had sent plumbers into her flat, and failed to resolve damp, removing the light switch, which was no longer safe, and obliging her to light up flat from the mains.
Report back from 2022
Damp campaign successes – Despite the problems still faced there had been successes. For example Elizabeth Riordan said she had had persistent mould. The survey had shown there was insufficient insulation, and the work in her flat had been done.
Gardening – Cllr Jaffer gave a report on the gardening project using slides prepared by Annalisa Premoli. Residents were now harvesting fruits from projects, lots of tomatoes, and there had been 4 community awards. People are now approaching St Martins to ask how we achieved so much. Children were engaged. There was a mini orchard with 10 fruit trees, now in flower. There were plans to extend gardens to Morrison and Saunders houses, and the RSLs were very enthusiastic.
MTVH lift failures – Mimi Discher In Sheppard House a lift door had been unreliable for 2 years, and this affected a disabled resident who had had to be brought down stairs by ambulance staff. Cllr Jaffer said there were similar problems at Kynaston House.
Campaign for more cycle parking Report by Chris. Ongoing campaign for 2 years. Optivo had provided racks but not access codes. MTVH had offered encouragement but so far no more than that. Cllr Jaffer said she would have a meeting on whether use of cycle parking could be free of charge.
NHG Leaseholder Issues – Yemi Deji said NHG had not provided reconciled accounts since 2017. This year NHG were asking significantly more money. There had been poor investigation by NHG when properties handed over by MTVH. There had been a complaint to ombudsman.
Emily Thomson said NHG was working towards sending out accounts. NHG were having difficulty recruiting an Estate manager, and knowledge of leaseholder issues not an essential requirement of role. She would wish to involve residents in the selection of staff , and being an NHG resident on the TRA committee would be relevant.
Sylvie Blanche said she was constantly asked for money by NHG which she did not owe, and whenever she appeared to resolve the matter, there would be changes of staff, and she would be asked for the money again.
Treasurer’s Report – Terry Curtis said we were in surplus, and he thanked Annalisa Premoli for her help, and he pointed out how much money had been raised for the gardening project.|
2 exceptional charges: We were changing bank accounts and this would mean bank charges would drop out. Also using zoom had a cost.
Accounts 2021-2022 were accepted.
Election of new chair – Chaired by Cllr Saleha Jaffer
Stephen Kearney proposed by Peter Hurst, seconded by Mmi Discher. Elected unopposed
Chris Blake proposed for secretary by Saleha Jaffer, seconded by Stephen Kearney. Elected unopposed
Terry Curtis proposed for treasurer b y Peter Hurst, seconded Cllr Jaffer elected unopposed
Committee members: Saleha Jaffer, Mimi Discher, Terry Cooper, Edmund Crawford, Justine Harrison, Peter Hurst, Annalisa Premoli, and Craig Williams all 8 elected unopposed. We can elect up to 9 committee members and co-opt up to 2.
Any Other Business
Nicola said there was a problem with ASB Godolphin house. Cllr Jaffer said she could invite Lambeth Council leading councillor on ASB to TRA meeting, and this was agreed. Then meeting felt we should also invite reps from housing assoc.s Terry Curtis said that Emildah Chabata and Tracy Dada were Housing Assoc officers taking the lead on ASB on the estate (including and especially Godolphin house), and Cllr Jaffer thought we should first consult with them.
The secretary proposed we adjourn to Tulse Hill Hotel, 150 Norwood Road (optional). Saleha Jaffer pointed out this could be exclusionary, why not go to a curry house? Terry Curtis asked if she could recommend a local curry house and she did so, for future consideration.