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Letters to the Papers: Proactive measures needed for Islington’s housing stock

It’s disappointing, to say the least, that Islington has had to be fined by the Housing Ombudsman for delayed repairs to its own housing stock (‘Council fined for housing complaints’, 27/10/23). Council budgets have of course been badly depleted by years of government austerity policies but every delayed repair is yet another household living in an unhealthy home that is not fit for purpose.

Worryingly, the Ombudsman’s report found administrative failings in every case it investigated and called for the council’s complaints handling process to be improved.

From my perspective, as a ward councillor, improvements to complaints handling would be welcome but we can avoid many complaints in the first place, if more attention is paid to routine maintenance like clearing gutters, to avoid creating leaks that need repairs, and by addressing the backlog of cyclical major works, which many estates are years overdue for.

Tenants and leaseholders living on Islington estates deserve better. Rather than just paying out more of its limited funds in compensation, Islington can and must get a grip on the condition of the borough’s housing.

From Cllr Ernestas Jegorovas-Armstrong, Green Party, Highbury ward