Published: 15 June, 2012
• ISLINGTON Council leader Councillor Catherine West’s statement on teenagers living in overcrowded homes might be seen as hypocrisy due to the fact that many absent landlords of council-owned properties are stacking students into homes like sardines and charging extortionate rents while the council is reluctant to issue these landlords with houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licences, which would require them to adhere to a strict code of conduct (Overcrowding means teenagers have to sleep in bunk beds, June 8).
Instead, the council runs a letting agency for absent landlords and works on the basis that the higher the rent, the more commission it receives.
It has a very slow procedure on health and safety issues that often occur in these overcrowded homes.
This often leads to anti-social behaviour by transient tenants, who simply move on after a year of a short-term contract.
I would ask Cllr West to get her highly-paid executive council officers (£100,000-plus a year) to inspect these properties unannounced and see the real overcrowding issues that prevail on our estates.
If not, her credibility will disappear, as did that of Homes for Islington (HfI), with its complacency towards local people.
These HfI officers now work for the council and have the same attitude as before.
They don’t listen to concerns of residents on housing issues.
Cowdenbeath Path, N1
• I READ that there are 13,000 people on the housing waiting list in Islington. The problem is not going to go away, it is going to get worse, according to the leader of the council.
Many folk are living in conditions that are straight out of a Dickens novel.
Councillor James Murray said at a Fairness Commission meeting at the Andover estate that if people living in under-occupied homes moved to the correct-sized accommodation then the list would disappear.
It can take the council up to 12 months to help these people move. It should take 12 weeks maximum.
The council should focus on this solution as finding space to build seems to be getting more difficult.
I don’t think it matters which party is in power in Islington.
The list was just as long under the Liberal Democrats.
Amwell Street, EC1