‘They need to do their job’: Anger after leak on Shoreditch estate goes unfixed for weeks

A neighbour has been helping the vulnerable man who was forced to flee the sodden flat. Photograph: Noora Mykkanen

Residents in a Shoreditch estate have been left feeling “hopeless” after a vulnerable man’s apartment was left soaking wet for weeks following a leak.

The elderly man was forced to seek refuge with family after his flat in Cropley Court on Wenlock Barn Estate suffered a leak on 12 December.

Another resident, who asked not to be named for fear of a response from the council, jumped into action to help the man, who was left with a soaking wet hallway carpet and damp-riddled walls.

The leak also affected another apartment one floor down, leading to paint peeling off and wet walls.

After the man reported the leak as an emergency on behalf of the vulnerable man, no action was taken for weeks.

He contacted the council again in early January, just to be told the issue had not been escalated for a repair.

“It leaves you feeling hopeless,” he told the Citizen.

A carpet inside the flat is soaked through. Photograph: Noora Mykkanen

Almost two months after the leak, the apartment was “still flooded”, he said.

“It’s damaged all the properties underneath.”

He said the smell in the flooded apartment was so bad “you could cut through it”, and the damp was attracting swarms of flies.

The man said he felt residents were being “misled” as information wasn’t being passed on within the housing service and to councillors.

“They [housing service] need gripping up and told to do their job and be held accountable”, he said.

He said the leak came from the stack pipes, which are the responsibility of Hackney Council.

A video taken by the man shows the state of the carpet inside the flat a month after the leak was first reported.

Apparently another of the four Cropley Court blocks had its stack pipes cleaned, but this wasn’t done in theirs, he claimed.

To make matters worse, electricity was not switched off in the vulnerable man’s apartment despite the leak, he added.

The communal areas have also suffered disrepair in the Cropley Court block, including a boiler which has been leaking since early January, although “they have had three goes fixing it”, he said.

The lift in his block has been broken “multiple times” and many residents avoid using it for fear of becoming stuck.

When disrepair issues crop up, many residents can’t be bothered to even report issues because “nothing will be done”, he said.

Two days after the Citizen contacted Hackney Council to raise the issues, someone came to take a look at the leak, the man said.

The council did not respond to a request for a comment.