Bexley mum moved into area that is regularly visited by abusive ex-partner by the council

By Kiro Evans, Local Democracy Reporter

An abused woman has told how a council moved her into a flat with “bullet holes in the door”.

The mum, cannot be named for legal reasons, had a catalogue of complaints on how she feels she has been treated by Bexley council.

She claims she moved to an area that was regularly visited by her abuser ex-partner.

And her new home has a toilet which “leaks faeces no matter how many time you clean it”.

The woman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the situation has left her “stressed and depressed”.

Her ordeal began when the council tried to move her and her daughter from their temporary accommodation in a nearby county back to London.

This was despite the mother pleading not to be moved to that area, as her ex-partner was regularly in the neighbourhood.

The situation escalated when she was showed the flat where she was set to move.

She claims the smell was so bad her and the estate agent were both left in fits of coughing.

She said: “The stench in the building – it smelled like a pub. It stank.

“The entry door had two bullet holes in it. I didn’t see them at the time, but my child did.

“I told the housing association ‘I’m not an ungrateful person but the area is just not safe’.

“[Later], my daughter said to me: ‘Mum, are you going to let these people move me into this place?’

“The whole place was a health hazard.”

She was later told that the bullets in the glass panel of the door were from a BB gun.

The woman remains furious at the situation she and her daughter had been placed in, and says the council are to blame.

She continued: “The area was not safe as I was a victim of domestic violence. And the perpetrator is known to these areas as he used to frequent these areas with friends.

“I said this to the housing officer at Hexagon [the housing association] and thought it must be a mistake. And she said ‘no, they nominated you and you need to take it’.”

She added: “It was appalling, the flat was not ready.

“The council does not care. They throw people anywhere. I feel let down by the council. It’s left me very distressed and stressed out.

“Me and my child should not have had to go through this stress if Bexley council did what they were supposed to do. I don’t think they understand domestic violence.”

Opposition councillor Nicola Taylor, who dealt with the woman’s case, said: “The continued housing crisis in Bexley is putting some of our most vulnerable residents in danger.

“This is yet another example of an ‘unsuitable’ placement by Bexley council – this needs to change to protect our residents”.

A Hexagon Housing spokesperson said of the bullet holes: “We can confirm that a glass panel adjacent to the main entrance door to Atrium Court was  damaged.

“We immediately reported this to the police and received feedback that they have since dealt with the young people responsible for this vandalism.

“As the glass panel is constructed of toughened glass, the glass resisted as intended and the glass panel was not penetrated.

“Although the damage has not compromised the integrity of the window, we have nevertheless raised a repair order to replace the panel and we expect this work to be carried out in the near future.”

A Bexley Council spokesperson said: “It is not our policy to disclose or discuss people’s personal circumstances in the media.

“We work hard to find suitable temporary accommodation for eligible homeless people and to maintain it to a reasonable standard.

“Because of very high demand for affordable accommodation, this may not always be in people’s preferred location.”

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