Lack of larger homes leaves people 'living like pigs'
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
A chronic shortage of larger properties is leaving people “living like pigs” in poor and cramped private accommodation, according to community leaders.
The problems have been highlighted in the Tendring district, where council chiefs say they have been surprised at the low quality of some housing.
The Essex council also heard how “rogue landlords” are adding to the district’s problem of chronic overcrowding with as many as seven people squeezed into a two bedroom property.
The council owns just 12 four bed properties spread across the entire district which it says is hampering its ability to respond to the needs of larger families.
Councillor Bill Davidson told the community leadership overview and scrutiny committee: “Every day I get people phoning me up and asking me to come and have a look at what they living in.
“Quite frankly, I wouldn’t live in these places.
“I have asked on many occasions do we do an inspection for example of that property, because rogue landlords are rife.
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“I went to one property where the ceiling in the kitchen was on the floor.
“I asked for a meeting with the landlord or the agent and they wouldn’t give me one.
“There is nowhere we can go as councillors to try and get help for private tenants that the council are paying the rent for.
“It should be that we can phone a number to say look at this property. These people are living like pigs.
“They are living in damp, horrible conditions.
“These people don’t deserve this."
Peter Russell, executive projects manager Tendring District Council, said: “The department has a private sector housing team whose job it is to enforce standards in the private sector. I don’t know if the people you have referred to living in the poor conditions have made a complaint to the council.
“They should well do.
“But what we have is a chronic shortage of larger properties. Therefore the wait for larger properties is not months, it’s years."
Tim Clarke, assistant director of housing and environment, said: “It is surprising how many very poor quality properties we are discovering across Tendring.
“We are quite surprised with some of the conditions people are living in. So it’s surprising and worrying at the same time.”