Update on New River Village repairs

Lynne Featherstone MP and a local resident make demands to the Circle 33 Managing Director outside the New River Village Colorado apartments. Lynne Featherstone MP has met with Circle 33’s Managing Director for an update on the ongoing problems with social housing at New River Village.

Residents at the Colorado apartments remain unhappy with living conditions, reporting ongoing damp and problems with the lift and roof.

The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green brought the issue to light last year, with a video showing the extent of the problem. Some repairs have been made and many residents have been relocated, but the situation remains unacceptable for the remaining residents.

Circle 33 have been involved in ongoing discussions with developers St James, as studies have now revealed problems with the way the apartments were built by the developers.

Circle 33 hope to reach an agreement with St James about how to make, and fund, the complete repairs as soon as possible and to minimise disruption to residents.

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“I have long raised concerns about the quality of development of the Colorado apartments. Residents have suffered for years with leaks, damp and broken lifts and doors.

“Circle have reacted to the problems and have relocated residents – but it seems that more substantial repairs are needed to the building itself.

“If the problems do lie in the way the building was built, St James must act without delay to rectify them – even if that does mean stripping everything back and rebuilding. I won’t let this issue drop – and will carry on pushing for better living standards for my constituents.”

Calls for quicker action on New River repairs

Lynne Featherstone MP and a local resident make demands to the Circle 33 Managing Director outside the New River Village Colorado apartments. Lynne Featherstone MP last week met with Circle 33 managing director to discuss the ongoing saga at Colorado apartments, part of the New River Village in Hornsey.

Together with local campaigner Dawn Barnes, the Liberal Democrat MP has long been campaigning for better conditions for these residents – last year publishing a video on Youtube to get Circle 33’s attention.

Since then, Circle 33 have committed to make numerous repairs and to re-house residents on the ground floor. The Managing Director said that work to the roof and pumping to remove water coming through the floor has started.

But, the residents who are still experiencing poor living conditions made their voices heard – they want faster repairs and better conditions now.

At a recent planning meeting at Haringey Council, a representative from New River Village developers St James admitted that there were “a number of design issues and operational problems” with the development.

Local Liberal Democrat campaigner and candidate for Hornsey, Dawn Barnes, said:

“Whilst it’s good news that work is in progress, these residents are still living in awful conditions on a day to day basis. We will continue to push Circle 33 to act as quickly as possible.

“The St James chairman has publicly admitted there were design issues. This is something that should have been picked up by Labour-run Haringey Council building control, when they were overseeing the development.

“There has been complete failure all around – and it’s the residents who are paying the price.”

Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Circle 33 know we are watching them and the New River Village closely.  We know how substantial the repair work is, but it must continue without any further delay. These residents have suffered enough.”

Lynne Featherstone MP welcomes emergency repairs at New River Village

Lynne Featherstone MP and a local resident make demands to the Circle 33 Managing Director outside the New River Village Colorado apartments. Lynne Featherstone MP has welcomed the emergency works undertaken and planned by Circle 33 at the Colorado Apartments at New River Village.

The Liberal Democrat MP called on Circle 33 to make the repairs, following a number of complaints from local residents about poor living conditions, acute damp, and the corridors being in a state of disrepair.

Along with Hornsey Liberal Democrat campaigner Dawn Barnes, the local MP started a petition, recorded a video and demanded a meeting with the Managing Director of the Housing Organisation.

After the meeting, Circle 33 agreed to run a specialist site investigation. On Friday, they informed the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green that:

  • emergency works have been completed to address specific risks around water ingress and damage;
  • the sealing of the building to prevent further water ingress will start in November 2013, along with work to dry out the building;
  • repair of properties damaged by water and damp will begin in early 2014.

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“It should never have taken this long, but I am glad that Circle 33 has finally started to undertake these vital repairs.

“Thank you to all the residents who signed the petition and helped us up the pressure on Circle 33 to make repairs. Together, we have pushed them into action.

“This is not over, though. We will continue to keep an eye on the situation, and we will not rest until residents in Colorado block are happy with their living conditions.”

Local MP increases pressure on Circle 33 over New River Village shame

Lynne Featherstone MP and a local resident make demands to the Circle 33 Managing Director outside the New River Village Colorado apartments. Lynne Featherstone MP today met with the Managing Director of Circle 33, to relay the concerns of residents living in the blocks managed by the organisation in New River Village.

The Liberal Democrat MP demanded the meeting following complaints from residents about poor living conditions. Residents in the block are suffering with extreme damp, while the communal areas such as the corridors are in a state of disrepair.

According to residents, sewage regularly floods the lift and the bin store is left in a state – attracting vermin.

After the meeting, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green accompanied the Managing Director on a site visit, so he could see the problems and discuss them with residents.

On behalf of Circle 33, he said that a specialist site investigation had begun, with a report expected within five weeks. He stated that Circle 33 would take the necessary action following this report.

Local campaigner Dawn Barnes said:

“I have been out collecting petition signatures from residents who are fed up with these poor living conditions.

“It’s great that Lynne Featherstone presented the petition to Circle 33 today, and that they made commitments to sorting out the problems. We’ll keep on pushing them until the situation improves, and will be keeping residents updated every step of the way.”

Lynne Featherstone commented:

“It is just shocking that the situation has gone on so long without Circle 33 taking action. Only after our letters, videos and petitioning have they started taking this seriously.

“We now await the results of the site investigation and will take it from there. We will not rest until these residents get decent living conditions – via improvements to the building, or permanent moves to other suitable properties.”

You can see the video here.

New River Village's shocking secret….

A few days ago I issued a press release exposing the awful living conditions of some residents in the Colorado Apartments at New River Village. In response, the local Lib Dems and I have started a petition, calling on Circle 33 (the company who manage the block) to step up and take action.

I have now also released this video, taken from my visit, so you can really see the problems for yourself.

As you can see, in contrast to the pristine private apartment blocks, these social housing blocks are in disrepair and suffering from damp walls.

Since we started this campaign, we have also received reports of graffiti, overflowing bins and general litter dumping. People have told us about mice and cockroaches – and even human excrement in the corridors. No-one should have to live like this.

I demanded a meeting with the Managing Director of Circle 33 – and he is coming to my constituency office next Friday. We will be presenting him with the petition and accompanying him on the site visit.

I won’t rest until these problems are sorted!

Lynne Featherstone MP exposes New River Village shame

Dawn Barnes, Lynne Featherstone MP and Local Resident Kristine Gravelsina in the New River Village Colorado apartmentLynne Featherstone MP and local Liberal Democrat campaigners have launched a petition demanding better living conditions for residents in the social housing apartments at New River Village.

In contrast to the pristine private apartment blocks, the social housing blocks –to the rear of the development – are suffering from damp walls, graffiti, overflowing bins and general litter and mess in the corridors.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP recently visited an apartment in the block. Resident Kristine Gravelsina showed the local MP the effect of the problems on her apartment – including severe damp in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms.

Following the visit, the Liberal Democrat MP wrote to the Housing Association Circle 33 (who are responsible for managing the social housing) and demanded a meeting.

At the meeting, a petition with residents’ signatures – calling on Circle 33 to sort out the problems – will be presented.

Local resident Kristine Gravelsina said:

“Residents in Colorado apartments have to put up with leaks, damp walls and sometimes floods. The shared areas like the corridors and bin stores are in a terrible state.

“We have been trying to get Circle 33 to help us, but they are slow and no proper repairs have been made. I am glad Lynne and the Lib Dems have stepped in and I hope that it finally makes Circle 33 take action.”

Dawn Barnes, Hornsey Liberal Democrat campaigner, said:

“I was shocked and upset when I visited the New River Village and saw how poorly maintained the communal areas were.

“I spoke to residents on the ground floor and they showed me that their homes were badly affected with damp and mould. These homes aren’t good enough for families to live in and, with winter approaching, the problems need to be fixed quickly.”

Lynne Featherstone MP commented:

“As Kristine’s MP, I will fight hard on her behalf for better living conditions. What I saw on my visit to her apartment block was simply unacceptable.

“I have demanded a meeting with Circle 33. With the backing of residents, I will be asking that they make the necessary repairs as soon as possible, and for a commitment to provide a better service in the future.”