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A joint investigation between BBC London and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has revealed that a London-based service provider has been failing to provide essential support at supported housing complexes.
An anonymous support worker at the London Housing Trust (LHT) revealed a series of issues with the company, which operates 40 hostels across south London.
One resident of a LHT domestic violence shelter claimed that she was never visited by support staff despite staying there for a month, which was having a negative affect on her recovery.
A different LHT supported housing scheme, this one for homeless people, was found to have dampness and mildew problems, whilst its staff were taking weeks to report missing people.
It has been claimed that a young resident of this scheme, who suffered from cerebral palsy and alcoholism, walked out of the property without anyone raising an alarm. The London Housing Trust has denied most of the accusations against it, despite Stephen Dellar, the director of the LHT, resigning in June over the claims.
Many housing and service providers have been negatively affected by budget cuts and the forced sale of council homes in England. With rent prices and homelessness rates rising, there is now more and more demand for their services. All of these effects are creating an environment where saving money is more important than providing a good quality of service.
It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in Britain are living in unsuitable accommodation provided by private landlords, but are too scared to complain about it in case they get evicted.
However, you have the power to raise the alarm if you, a friend or a family member is being affected by sub-standard supported housing – speak out.
You can call Shelter’s helpline free of charge for advice on reporting problems: 0808 800 4444