Times’ reader’s comment: Decent homes standard

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 March 2019

Tony Blair introduced the 'decent homes standard' in 1997. Photo: PA

Tony Blair introduced the 'decent homes standard' in 1997. Photo: PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Times’ readers this week.

Decent home not in sight

Trevor Ellis, Chalk Hill estate, Wembley, writes:

I believe the decent homes standard introduced in 1997 by the Blair government was a commendable initiative but I believe the standard wasn’t set high enough.

I’ll never forget the impression that was left on my mind when I was invited to view a flat on the now demolished Chalkhill estate in 1989.

One of the things that I noticed was the wallpaper throughout the flat had started to turn yellow with age. I also noticed that there was no gas central heating except air vents through which warm air blew.

The walkway walls were covered with graffiti, entry doors were broken and the lift was out of order.

I later found that the walkway which was built above my flat was often used as a makeshift football pitch by my neighbour’s children.

Under such poor conditions the decent homes standard was much needed. However, I can say with all honesty that the flat I have been living in since October 2001, though new in design, nevertheless failed to meet my expectations in a number of ways.

I now have gas central heating in my flat, the entryway door is in good working order and the communal area is regularly cleaned but I don’t have peace in my home.

Whether it be the sound of my neighbour below dragging a chair across the kitchen floor or the sound of her grandchildren running back and forth for hours on end or the loud sound of my neighbors front door being slammed, which can be heard throughout my flat, all of it leaves me feeling frustrated and increasingly depressed.

I believe that I am but one of many housing association tenants who is living in a flat which reflect the low standards for social housing prior to those which were introduced by the Blair government.

I feel let down by that government and I see nothing to give me hope of one day living in a flat in which I can feel reasonably content under a Corbyn government.

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