Mum who's been moved four times blasts Clarion over 'shocking' state of its homes
PUBLISHED: 12:55 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:12 06 June 2019
A single mother has been forced to move home four times by her housing association due to "major disrepair issues" in each property.
Samantha Trent has had mushrooms sprouting off furniture, subsidence, "ice cold" bedrooms and floorboards she couldn't walk on for fear they'd collapse beneath her.
In recent years the postal worker has been shunted from flats in Tufnell Park Road, to Penn Road, then Hungerford Road.
As of April, she's been living in a Shaftesbury Road flat with windows painted and nailed shut and suspected asbestos. Clarion has apologised for this "highly unusual case".
But Samantha, who pays £140 a week in rent and gets £40 in housing benefit, told the Gazette: "It's shocking because I shouldn't have been living in any of the properties. I'm suffering from depression and this is making me feel really ill. I feel really deflated and let down. All I'm doing is calling and repeating myself but nothing's happening."
The 43-year-old claims she's taken all her annual leave waiting for repair workers who either don't turn up or cancel last minute.
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She added: "When operators turn up, they just say: 'We can't do that, Clarion won't pay for that.'
"It's all to do with money. Clarion owns a lot of property around London but they don't maintain them. It's a big mess.
"My old property in Hungerford Road would have cost about £50,000 to repair but Clarion will probably auction it privately."
Clarion told the Gazette it hasn't sold any of its properties in Islington in three years and would only do so following a full review.
Samantha and her daughters Olivia, 15, and Yasmin, 22, viewed their current address in December. The mother claims she identified disrepair issues that day that still haven't been fixed. "Outside my bedroom window there's black stuff hanging out," she claimed. "An operator said: 'That's asbestos.' I have odd lino, two different types, on the floor of my new home and we have damp in the communal hallway."
A Clarion spokesperson said: "We apologise for the inconvenience the resident has experienced. The wellbeing and safety of our residents is always our first priority and in some circumstances the best option is a permanent move to another property.
"We invest significantly in maintaining our properties to a good standard and we have a £15million programme of planned investment in our existing homes in Islington."