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Winchmore Hill tenant left with mould problem for two years by Enfield Homes 'going through hell'
A tenant has blasted the council’s housing organisation for leaving her Winchmore Hill home with severe damp and rising mould for two years.
Francesca Ahmadi, 54, said living in her Oxford Gardens ground floor flat had become a “nightmare” while Enfield Homes failed to deal with the problem, despite admitting in a letter in February last year they had been too slow to react to the complaint.
Miss Ahmadi has been forced to pile her belongings her front room to keep them away from the mould-infested walls of the flat, which have turned green from the problem. The stench of mould fills the building.
She told the Enfield Independent: “I can’t believe they’ve taken two years to get to this point, and we still haven’t solved the problem. There’s no way you can live a normal life.
“All my stuff, my sofa, my fridge, even my mattress is turning black with the mould, it’s all over the place.
“I’ve lived in my flat for 20 years and it’s supposed to be my home – I was told a year ago I would be moved out but that idea went down the drain.”
She added that tens of engineers sent to the flat to investigate the problem had blamed it on a variety of problems, such as a leaking pipe or flooding, but no repair work had taken place, and doctors had warned her of the health risks of continuing to live there.
It is the latest in a barrage of complaints against the council’s ‘arms length management organisation’, set up in April 2008 to manage 16,600 properties and improve them.
Tenants of the Ladderswood Estate in New Southgate and the Alma Estate in Ponders End have complained repeatedly of being left with no heating or hot water for weeks on end, lifts being out of order and water leaks damaging property and causing mould.
Enfield Council is currently running a consultation on whether to abolish the body and bring homes back under council control, with a decision to be taken next month.
Miss Ahmadi said she did not care about the management of her home, she just wanted a decision on whether repair work would go ahead or she would be moved to another home.
She said: “I have been going through hell living like this, it’s a nightmare. It drives you round the bend having to have all your stuff piled up away from the wall.”
Enfield has the second-highest proportion of homes that do not meet the Government’s Decent Homes criteria in the UK, having entered the programme later than most other local authorities.
Completed questionnaires about whether to abolish Enfield Homes, which have been sent out by post to all tenants, must be returned by Wednesday, with market research firm Kwest to analyse the results and give feedback to the council.
Enfield Homes said it carried out numerous tests and dug bore holes in the property to try and identify the source of the water, but that had been unable to find it so far.
It said: “Possibilities being investigate include ground water levels but the water penetration is intermittent and this is making it much harder to identify where the water is actually coming from.”
It added that it was currently finding a suitable property for Miss Ahmadi to move into temporarily so that extensive work to try and fix the problem, which is also affecting a neighbour, can be carried out.