Newly built homes in south London have been rendered uninhabitable by flooding and are said to be infested with black mould, forcing families to move out and stay in hotels.
Shocking video shows water pouring down a staircase in Mitcham’s block, flooding hallways and homes.
Desperate residents took pictures of themselves trying to sweep up liters of water, to no avail.
Flooding made one block temporarily uninhabitable, meaning 20 affected families had to leave and relocate or live with friends.
The agency that runs the social housing blamed the flooding on a faulty mains water pump, which caused the pressure to rise and communal pipes to burst.
Shocking video shows water seeping into a staircase in Mitcham’s block, flooding hallways and homes
Desperate residents tried to sweep the water to take pictures of themselves, to no avail
Photos from the site show that parts of the building’s wooden structure have rotted away, with birds nesting inside them
Housing campaigner Kwazo Twenebwa, who lives just around the corner from the block, slammed the developer and the housing association, claiming they were cutting corners.
He told Sky News that building materials are ‘generally not good enough’ and this ‘shouldn’t happen’.
The three-storey block, managed by Southern Housing, was completed in 2017.
Residents say the block has been troubled since it was first built.
When campaigner Mr Tuenboa visited the block earlier this month, he first drew attention to the dire conditions when he shared videos of what he found on social media.
He said: ‘They are renting and want to maximize their income but this is at the expense of the health and safety of the tenants.
‘That’s what I’m looking at – it’s the health and safety of tenants. Six years on from Grenfell, it’s not good enough.’
Pictures from the site show that parts of the building’s wooden structure have rotted away, with birds nesting inside them.
Natalie, a resident of the block, said mold and black fungus were taking over the walls in some parts of the building.
Elvis Mensah-Akorah says he and his family of five are struggling and the hotel they are temporarily resettled in does not meet their needs.
Pictures show flooded hallways in a new build block of flats in Mitcham, south London
After complaining about mold and mushroom growth on the walls, the housing manager had someone strip them and paint them, she said.
‘They took it literally [the mushrooms] Off the wall they didn’t actually find the problem. They took them off the wall and painted them,’ she said.
‘They obviously don’t care.’
One of the families who fled their homes due to the floods is now staying in a hotel.
Elvis Mensah-Akorah said he and his family of five are struggling and the hotel does not meet their needs.
She has a 20-year-old son who is severely disabled and needs to be fed through a tube.
‘[Southern Housing] I suspect it is purely punitive and discriminatory,’ he told Sky.
Southern Housing, also known as Optivo, said it was in regular contact with Mr Mensah-Akorah and would ‘work closely with him to understand his concerns’.
The social housing provider says it is a not-for-profit and is the contractor working on the block.
Southern Housing said in a statement: ‘We have been in daily contact with Mr Mensah-Akorah to offer him and his family any support during this difficult time.
‘Mr Mensah-Akorah has not raised any issue with us or the local authority about his son’s appointment.
‘However, we will work closely with him to understand his concerns.
‘We are also prioritizing his homework so that he and his family can return as soon as possible.
‘We encourage residents to keep updated and contact us through our dedicated channels if they need to contact us.
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