Public Health Scandal At Notorious Emergency Housing Premises – Part One

Another Day Brings Another Scandal

For months now I have been campaigning locally in Brighton and Hove to push for standards in our cities Emergency and Temporary Housing to be improved and just last week I was given another anonymous tip off.

Contaminated Water Supply in Emergency Housing Premises

The images you are seeing below are proof that the water supply at Percival Terrace could be contaminated, I first moved in in January 2016 and after just a few days I had Diarrhoea I was drinking the water supplied from the tanks in the roof.

As previously reported there have been issues with getting hot water here at Percival Terrace, which has been a little better recently, now I use the water feed to brush my teeth and not long after I moved here, I started getting pains in my teeth.

I went to the dentist who informed me I had a bacterial infection, they gave me a strong course of antibiotics to try and stop the infection spreading, unfortunately the damage had been done, which resulted in me losing a front tooth on the 28th April 2016.

What Do I know?

I know that in 2013 Percival Terrace was refurbished, because they effectively made each room self contained this meant that the building no longer needed a HMO (Homes Of Multiple Occupancy)  Licence, so this was the last time they were checked for one.

I have been informed that the water tank images above had been like this since 2013, so basically these fuckers have been messing with our health by cutting corners, I was also informed that the owners three weeks ago ordered staff to get this quickly cleaned and covered up.

What Have I done about this?

On the 27th May at 12:50pm I phoned Brighton and Hove City Councils HMO Department and asked some questions:

DH. What do the council do with regard to safety checks, what are your minimum standards?

Council. What do you mean about safety checks?

DH. Part of the HMO Licence process, you have a legal duty to conduct safety checks, for things like Electrics, water supply…

Council. We expect to see certifications to know that these have been done, we need to see a five years electrics certificate, yearly gas certificate, EPC, Fire Precaution Certificates,

DH. What about for water?

Council. Errrm I don’t think there is anything for water in it. There is a standards document you can have a look at (click here to read).

The Council Employee was quite helpful when I was asking general questions until I tried to report an actual concern, I have put this recording on this website so you know what it is that I am up against at the council.

The staff are often rude and really don’t seem bothered with peoples health and wellbeing.

Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group.

We need to hold the council and landlords to account which is why I have set up a residents action group, our first meeting will take place on the 8th June at 7pm, The meeting is for residents in Emergency and Temporary Housing Only and will take place at the Friends Meeting House.

Image of a poster promoting the event
Residents Meeting 8th June at 7pm

If you are a resident and want to have your voice heard, please RSVP on the Facebook group and event so I know who will be coming on the night.

A New Creative Project To Raise Awareness Locally and Nationally.

I am looking for a talented Camera operator who can spare a day in the next few weeks to do some filming with me, I want to interview high profile people and residents in these unsuitable accommodations to help promote the human story and expose the wrongdoings happening today in Accommodation which has been taken out of local authority hands and given to profit making landlords and limited companies.

If you or anyone you know wants to be involved please email daniel@survivorblog.co.uk with your details. I need someone who is able to also do video editing.

Are you a resident in Brighton and Hove who is fed up?

I am looking for people to be brave and come forward, I need picture evidence, stories, maybe you have worked in one of these places before? Be brave and speak out so that others can move forward with their lives.

I recently met Yannis Varoufakis here is what he had to say:

Come back soon for more on this in my two part special story.

 

 

 

 

The Day I Presented My Homeless Hotels From Hell Petition At Full Council

Homeless Hotels From Hell Full Council Brighton and Hove Petition Speech

Today I finally handed in my petition to the Brighton and Hove Mayor, over the last five months I have been campaigning to improve the standards of Emergency accommodation in the city.

Ten Point Plan To Improve Emergency Housing and Allocations

  1. Homemove Allocations for vulnerable persons in priority need with a duty of care should be awarded a higher banding than band C (the general band) when placed in emergency housing. I am looking for a band A Priority.
  2. More inspections of Emergency accommodation to ensure the living standards meets the needs of the people occupying them.
  3. Brighton and Hove City Council to adopt a plan to bring emergency housing into public ownership by 2020. The Council MUST pledge to stop funding private landlords who only have an interest in profit.
  4. I want the council to ask all applicants to complete surveys with all emergency housed people to ensure they have a voice.
  5. The right to food, is a human right protecting the right for people to feed themselves in dignity, The council must ensure that emergency housing adequately meets the individual’s dietary needs. The current conditions do not allow for a healthy diet which can be a huge issue for vulnerable people
  6. I want the Brighton and Hove City Council to be radical, rather than spend millions of tax payers money in private sector emergency and temporary housing, they should build more storage container homes after the success of the BHT scheme in Brighton.
  7. I want the council to ensure that all persons in emergency accommodation have access to the internet for free.
  8. To revoke the rules on no visitors. Vulnerable people are isolated enough and this in my opinion is discrimination. Even prisoners are allowed visitors.
  9. For persons who are vulnerable the council MUST provide them with secure social hosing to ensure they are able to live life free from FEAR and outside the Private Sector Property Scam.
  10. Ensure hot water is available in emergency housing for persons to wash in comfort.

How does the petition process work?

Once you have decided on a petition topic and found out who the decision makers are (which in my case were Tracey John and Sylvia Peckham) you then need to think about the specific area you want to improve with a detailed explanation on how you would improve this.

You need to get as many people as possible to sigh your petition, in Brighton and Hove you need to get 1250 signatures before you can have this debated. I used www.change.org.

What happened following my presentation?

Councillor Anne Meadows responded to my speech for two minutes, Anne thanked me for coming along and clarified the councils response to my plan for free internet access. She gave a solid commitment to come along and visit the emergency housing herself and maintained that regular inspections were in fact carried out on a regular basis.

Councillor Gibson from the Green Party Group asked to add an additional recommendation, which were as follows:

That the petition is noted and referred to the Housing & New Homes Committee for consideration at its meeting on the 15th June 2016; That Brighton & Hove City Council recommends that Housing & New Homes committee give due consideration to the following:-

  1. An increase in the frequency of inspections of emergency accommodation and report on the outcome of these inspections at regular intervals to Housing & New Homes Committee.
  2. That satisfaction surveys are undertaken with residents moving into emergency accommodation and the results reported back.
  3. Exploring along with other relevant committees as a matter of priority the identification of sites and explore the development of council owned low-cost emergency accommodation, either through a council owned company or directly owned by the council. That this exploration focuses on nontraditional, quick to build, construction such as the Y cube and containers be considered for these sites.
  4. Undertaking a review of the no visitor rules and consider the outcome at a future meeting.
  5. Adopting a policy of only using emergency accommodation in which hot water supply is guaranteed.

How can you make a difference

The motivation to evoke change whether it’s around fostering and adoption, housing, parking or even library closures can be something that not only gives you a sense of personal achievement but can also change people’s lives for the better.

A great way to start getting active in local politics is to maybe submit some written questions at full council to elected your councillors.

Stay in touch

I welcome comments and contributions below, alternatively you can follow my blog for further updates on this topic.

Blessings,

Daniel x