Nightmare stories of Westminster CityWest Homes problems revealed
PUBLISHED: 16:45 09 February 2018
The problems include a broken intercom which meant one resident in Maida Vale wasn’t able to get his medication delivered.
Westminster Labour Party have revealed a dossier of “nightmare” stories from CityWest homes residents in the borough.
Complaints include rotting window frames, leaking pipes near electrics, and calling the emergency number for repairs and not getting an answer,
One resident said that it took eight months to repair a blocked drain that was affecting several flats.
Another living on the Queen’s Park Estate said the repair phone line “takes hours of your life, and nothing gets resolved.” Another slammed the repairs team as “incompetent.”
There were concerns raised there hadn’t been an annual fire, or smoke alarm check being carried out.
Problems mentioned in the case studies have all been reported to CityWest Homes, after a Labour councillor intervened, according to the party.
One elderly resident in the Mozart Estate, in Queen’s Park, has had intermittent electric, heating and hot water since September 2017 meaning she has been heating the downstairs of the flat by using their oven. A formal complaint has been made about the lack of progress.
“I don’t think I have the words to convey how upset, tired, angry, and completely disappointed we are with this service,” they said.
The Ham&High previously covered the story of Aris Giourgas who missed the delivery of medicine because the intercom system in Maida Vale’s Falkirk House had been broken for three months.
Residents have also criticised the closure of the St John’s Wood office.
Labour Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said problems showed the Housing Association needed a rethink: “This is not the way to run an organisation responsible for 12,500 tenants and 10,000 leaseholders.
“City West Homes is in need of a radical overhaul and Labour is pledged to do this following the May Council elections,” he said.
A spokesman for CityWest Homes said: “CWH staff always try to be accommodating when arranging appointments. Clearly, there are times when residents are not available and we work around this to find the best times to suit everybody and ensure repairs are completed.
“Closing the St John’s Wood office has meant that we have been able to invest more in providing direct services to residents. The customer service centre did experience issues with call waiting times but this has improved significantly with average waiting time now less than three minutes. We are continuing to focus on call waiting times as a priority as we want our residents to feel they can easily get in touch with us when they need to. “In addition we are making it easier for residents to interact with us and have more control in how they use our services. For example we are now visiting residents in their own homes, particularly those who are the most vulnerable.
“Residents should not feel they can’t contact CWH; indeed it should be the opposite. Emergency issues will be dealt with on the day of the call unless it is an issue outside of CWH control (e.g utility services) who will be contacted immediately for them to resolve. Over the past few months Cadent has been working on its external gas network and some of our residents have been affected by this. Glasgow and Falkirk House were two blocks affected by this, these works have now been completed and residents were kept up to date with progress by Cadent and CityWest Homes throughout. We are also working more proactively with the utility companies to make sure our residents are not adversely affected by any works.”