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Woodford Green residents say they’ve ‘lost faith’ in landlords after alleged racist tirade by problem tenant

PUBLISHED: 09:30 13 June 2013

MP Iain Duncan Smith (front row, left) with residents including Sue Jackson (front row, second from left) and Natasha Lewis (front row, right)

MP Iain Duncan Smith (front row, left) with residents including Sue Jackson (front row, second from left) and Natasha Lewis (front row, right)

Archant

Residents in a Woodford Green block of flats say they have lost faith in their housing association after one neighbour said she was subjected to racist abuse from a problem tenant.

The Chartwell Court block in Broomhill Walk is regularly subjected to late night parties, abusive language and even blood and faeces smeared on a door because of the tenant, according to residents.

MP Iain Duncan Smith joined them in March in calling for authorities to deal with the tenant, a woman who the Recorder has been told has alcohol and drug problems and who we are not naming.

Resident Sue Jackson, 54, said the problem tenant subjected her to racist taunts on May 10 and 17.

She said: “She was calling me all sorts of racist names.

“I didn’t respond to her.

“If it wasn’t for the safer neighbourhood police team making me feel secure, life would be unbearable.”

Mrs Jackson reported the second incident to Redbridge Police, who have not responded to inquiries from the Recorder.

Steps to deal with the grievances of one resident, Natasha Lewis, 37, against the woman through a Redbridge Victims’ Panel were set in motion in March.

But Ms Lewis, who has a six-year-old son, said: “I think it’s easier to get me out [now] which I’m heartbroken about. I love that flat and I have spent lots of money on it.”

Both women said they have “lost faith” in housing association Home Group to deal with the problems.

Yesterday, Mr Duncan Smith said he was appalled no action had been taken to evict the tenant.

Anti-social behaviour isn’t tolerated, according to Nicki Burton, Home Group’s customer service manager, but she said a judge refused the association’s request for a possession order last month.

She added: “We are currently in the process of gathering more evidence to go back to court.”

The Victims’ Panel draws together Redbridge Council, the police and other agencies. A council spokesman said individual cases could not be discussed.

She added: “These cases take time and we take into consideration the impact on victims and perpetrators.”

Home Group is also yet to fix the block’s broken communal front door.

Drug use in communal stairwells is continuing in the housing block where the front door has not worked for more than a year.

Complaints by residents and Mr Duncan Smith about the door were raised by the Recorder in March.

Mrs Jackson said the door had only worked briefly since January 2012. She said people come in to smoke cannabis in the stairwells.

Mr Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, said: “I am outraged that the front door has still not been fixed.”

Home Group says all four communal doors at the block will have to be fixed because of how the entry system works, and they will be fitted from Wednesday.


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