Inside the mould-riddled estate overdue demolition where the landlord makes £100m surplus | World | News


Milford Towers in Catford, south London, is perhaps one of the most rundown estates in the country.

It was due to be demolished in 2012 by Lewisham Council, however it still stands and harbours danger and deprivation throughout.

The 276-flat site has seen three stabbings in the last twelve months, according to residents and is plastered with graffiti in the communal areas and mould on many of the internal walls.

There are reports of the outer doors not being lockable and one flat is said to be sitting empty, burned out by fire.

According to the Independent, street gangs brawl and target their victims within the walls of the complex, because it is easier for them to get away with it under the cover provided by the sprawling property.

A non-profit social housing provider Notting Hill Genesis is charged with the upkeep of the flats, while Lewisham Council is responsible for the communal areas. Despite two points of contact, residents complain that their concerns are ignored.

Residents have made a slew of wide-ranging complaints. One such resident, Erica Figueiredo, 42, was forced to vacate her flat when a leak on the eighth floor spread and caused an electrical fire.

She said: “I was living on the sixth floor and there was a leak on the eighth floor that was reported several times but was not fixed. As a result of the leak, the water got into the electrical boards, where the fuses for several apartments were.

“That led to a fire and as a result of that, they had to turn off the water. So there was no electricity and no water.”

Ms Figueiredo added that her new flat is beset with mould, but she noted that this was common.

“I had to clean the mould in the bedroom myself over Christmas because I couldn’t let it stay like that and I can’t wait for them to do something about it.”

Asked if the mould impacted her child’s health, she said: “My child had to be on a course of antibiotics in December and January for respiratory issues. I constantly have some sort of allergy symptoms.

“It’s always hard to say 100 percent that it is related to this but it definitely contributes to worsening our health symptoms.”

A spokesperson for Lewisham Council told the Independent that they “recognise that the management of the estate has not been up to the standards we expect”.

They added: “We are fully committed to working with residents to address these issues and are carrying out extensive improvements works across the estate, investing over £14million to support this work.”

A Notting Hill Genesis spokesperson said: “We are only responsible for repairs within individual flats and not for lifts, communal areas or external doors and to ensure we carry out our responsibility as best we can.

“We work closely with Lewisham Council, as well as London Renters Union, to push for further improvements throughout the building. We know the council is committed to making Milford Towers safer and more comfortable for everyone living there and will support them in that goal.”



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