Bexley resident moved into a home with no ‘bed, curtains, electricity or gas’

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A resident was moved into a home with no “bed, curtains, electricity or gas”, with councillors saying some of the accommodation in the borough is “barely habitable”.

Residents in Bexley have been placed in homes with problems including “bed bugs and rodent droppings”, according to local councillors.

Labour councillor Anna Day said at a Bexley council meeting on July 19: “We had one person that was moved into Slade Green. They had no bed, they had no curtains, they had no electricity, they had no gas.

“They had nothing, they had bare concrete floors and it was only because somebody visited a local faith group that we found out about this. This is what we are doing to some of our people in the borough.”

The topic was in relation to a motion put forward by the Labour Group, which asked the council to work alongside housing providers to raise the standards of temporary accommodation in the borough.

Labour councillor Zainab Asunramu said at the meeting that the council was not treating vulnerable residents with the dignity and respect they deserved, and that housing providers were placing people in homes that were “barely habitable”.

Labour councillor Mabel Ogundayo, who proposed the motion, said at the meeting: “I know first hand because of the casework that comes my way.

“I’ll have emails and visits from desperate residents who have poor ventilation, extreme mould, bed bugs, rodent droppings, broken furniture, electrical problems and accessibility issues to name some of the problems.”

Conservative Councillor John Davey put forward an amendment at the meeting to praise the work done by council officers to provide housing for residents in Bexley.

He also highlighted the council’s local plan, which prioritises buildings of a “modest” height instead of a “concrete forest” of high rise tower blocks.

Responding to the amendment, Cllr Ogundayo said that while council staff do a fantastic job, there is still room for improvement. At the meeting, Bexley Council voted to pass the Conservative Group amendment.

Pictured top: Bexley Civic Offices, where Bexley council is based (Picture: Google Earth)

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