Residents of the Exmouth estate in east London have shared how they face a daily battle with rates and cockroaches and say the Swan Housing Association has failed to address the issue.
Image: MyLondon/BPM MEDIA)
Residents have told how they have to wipe mouse poo from their kitchen counters every morning because they say the housing association has not addressed the infestation.
Kirsty Barker, 32, grew up in Exmouth Estate in east London with her mother Marianne and says locals face a daily battle with mice and cockroaches.
Residents also talked about how they deal with constant flooding and leaking sewers.
Kirsty has decided to take matters into her own hands to challenge the Swan Housing Association which she says has neglected the needs of tenants.
She also recounted her grief at seeing her 67-year-old mother’s mental health decline and tufts of hair fall out due to stress, reports MyLondon.
Kirsty Barker/BPM MEDIA)
The estate was taken over by the Swan Housing Association in 2006 from Tower Hamlets Council.
Images of dead mice, cockroaches, bare wires, flooding and sewer paint illustrate the conditions in which residents live.
Resident Jackie Clarke says she has to wipe mouse droppings off her kitchen counter every morning before making breakfast.
She said: “They tell us no one else complained but us, we thought we were the only ones complaining.
“I was knocking on people’s doors to ask if they had mice and they would say yes, so it’s not just us who are dealing with the infestation.
“I can’t take it anymore. At one point I was going down to the pound every day to buy gloves, mousetraps and disinfectant to get rid of the smell, then the next morning it was back to how it was. .
“I prefer mice to cockroaches, though, because at least I can see them crawling.”
The estate is home to a mix of old and young families as fears grow over the health implications of rodents and sewage issues.
Kirsty said: “The sad truth is that Swan Housing is negligent and neglectful in all matters relating to its accommodation. The Exmouth estate is neglected and run down.
“It is currently home to over 200 people, but the environment and properties are left in dire straits due to neglect and lack of care.
“Residents of Exmouth Estate have been left to live in degrading and dangerous conditions ranging from vermin infestations spanning a 4 year period, asbestos missed by reclamation works, plumbing problems leading to serious flooding as well as sewage pouring out of toilets and kitchen sinks and the list goes on.”
Elaine Quirk, who lives in the block opposite Marianne, added: “You go on the landings and there are mouse boxes everywhere, but then they tell us it’s ok, if there is no problem, so what are they for?In this area, it seems like we are fighting a losing battle, they just don’t want to listen to us.
“I have cockroaches that come up through the sink. I normally have to put my plug in a sink at night to keep them out of the apartment, no matter how many times you try to get rid of them, they come back without cease.”
Kirsty said: “They let the tenants down and they put their health at risk. How far is Swan willing to go before they listen to us?”
She added: “I have told the Swan Housing Association that unless we replace the kitchens, the pest control is properly put in place, that is, the whole block is finished, compensation for service charges and now compensation for people’s health, we will have to go further.”
A spokesman for the Swan Housing Association said: ‘We are aware of the concerns raised by some residents about the conditions and upkeep of the Exmouth estate and we are sorry that the upkeep of the estate has fallen below the standard.
We met with a group of customers on site last week to discuss their concerns and have implemented an extensive three month improvement plan, immediately prioritizing reported vermin issues. We will also be undertaking a comprehensive program of communal cleaning and repairs, starting June 6, 2022. Weekly walk-in sessions have been held every Tuesday so residents can speak to a manager about any other concerns.