Cllr Liam Robinson Kensington Liverpool

Poor social housing hits vulnerable people in Kensington

By Faye Wasilowski
Some of Liverpool’s most vulnerable people are living in shocking conditions across Merseyside, including the Kensington area.

Many homes affected are those owned by non-for-profit housing association organisations.

Housing associations aim to provide affordable homes for those with low income backgrounds, those who use social benefits, or those who need additional support.

One of the areas which are affected by the inadequate social housing are in Kensington.

Riverside Housing Association was criticised after reports alleged a woman had to live with a leak in the roof, which eventually caused the collapse of the ceiling.

Mersey Mash contacted Riverside Housing Association for comment but have so far been unavailable.

Labour Councillor for Kensington Liam Robinson (pictured) spoke to Mersey Mash about the housing crisis in his constituency.

He said: “We have worked with those housing associations to build a brand new affordable properties for local people to rent.”

But he admitted there is a need for more social housing.

“There needs to be a lot more rebuilt, particularly here in Liverpool,” he added.

“We would like to have the power to build it as a council, and run it as council houses.”

He continued: “We take action against them (housing associations) we sit down with them regularly to point out where they need to be improving and try to work with them to make sure they do improve.”

Julie Brady, 47, suffers from lung disease and bi-polar depression.

She said that her circumstances had worsened with the help of the appalling conditions she lived in.

Riverside Housing Association’s website states it will be “improving some of our most challenging communities, narrowing the gap between our best and worst performing places, and adding value to our homes”.

Liverpool City Council has set up a housing company called Foundations.

Its aim is to provide affordable, high quality, sustainable housing for thousands of the people in the city over the next ten years.

The council hopes to revolutionise the rent to buy sector, and plan to reinvest money from the sale of the proportion of these new homes directly in the programme.

Foundations hopes to build 10,000 properties by 2028.

Paul Johnston, from Foundations, said: “In terms of private sector landlords and the quality of the houses being rented out, this is a big issue and we are doing more than any other city on this.”

“We have a city-wide landlord scheme which has 48,000 properties registered that we inspect.

“We take action against landlords who fail to address issues we identify.

“We would like to see more powers for councils to take action against rogue landlords and a strengthening of the law, such as a mandatory national registration scheme for landlords so they are easily identifiable.”

In previous years, the council has fined landlords for mistreatment of tenants.

In November 2018, a Liverpool landlord was given a fine of over £4,000 after pleading guilty to managing a rented property without a licence and failing to install smoke alarms.

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