Yesterday (Monday 18 June), Homes for Haringey started visiting residents at Broadwater Farm to update them on structural issues affecting their estate. Letters have been delivered to residents explaining recommended measures for specific blocks, including a consultation with Northolt and Tangmere residents on the future of their blocks following structural reports.
It is also recommended that Tangmere residents will need to be found new homes while the future of their block is decided. Cabinet will make a decision on these recommendations next week (Tuesday 26 June). Home visits, 1-1 meetings, tailored advice and drop-in sessions will also be held for residents in the coming weeks.
Cllr Emina Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Renewal, said:
“We understand that residents on Broadwater Farm – particularly those in Tangmere and Northolt blocks – will have questions and concerns. We are committed to providing a safe, decent and affordable home for everyone and I want to assure all affected residents that we will carefully consider all of the issues, and that any decision we take will be with primary consideration for the safety, aspirations and rights of our tenants.
“Throughout all the work that has been done on the estate in recent months, Homes for Haringey and the council have engaged with residents and the Residents’ Association to ensure that everybody understands the steps that have been taken, and we will ensure that those conversations continue. A decision on the long-term future of these blocks will only be taken following proper consultation with residents.
“Our residents are our absolute priority and I would encourage anyone with questions to contact the dedicated Homes for Haringey team that has been set up on the estate.
“Whatever decision Cabinet makes next week, we will ensure that every resident is given the help and support they need.”
Since February, Homes for Haringey have been undertaking further checks and these have identified that Tangmere and Northolt blocks also require significant works to prevent potential structural problems in the event of a vehicle driving into the block, or from an explosion from bottled gas or a faulty oxygen cylinder.
Although Kenley and Northolt are both high rises and look very similar, they are of a different construction. Kenley has passed the required tests.
Following these new findings, Homes for Haringey will be introducing a temporary 24-hour concierge service to ensure that no bottled gas or oxygen cylinders are brought into the blocks. The tenancy management team will also be visiting all residents to explain what Homes for Haringey are doing and answer any questions.
Given the very low risk and the latest safety precautions being introduced at Tangmere and Northolt, it is not necessary for residents to leave their homes.
As Kenley has passed the required tests, we do not need to take any further immediate action at this block. Some structural work has been identified which Homes for Haringey will undertake in a future capital programme.
Residents can continue to use heating, cooking and hot water facilities, and the work to install a district heating system on the Broadwater Farm estate will continue. At this time, residents in other blocks need take no further action.
Homes for Haringey will be carrying out a further options appraisal to look at strengthening works for Northolt and Tangmere. A preliminary report is due back from the structural engineers in May and, by July, Homes for Haringey expect to present residents with the preferred options.
We will continue to proactively communicate with residents and stakeholder groups and update them at each stage of the project.
Homes for Haringey have completed their option appraisal for heating on the estate and have found that installing a modern district heating system is the most effective and efficient option. This will upgrade the existing plant and services, which already serve the two tower blocks on the estate. Homes for Haringey have confirmed this option with the Residents’ Association.
On 12 February 2018, Homes for Haringey started visiting residents in Tangmere block to explain safety measures being taken in the building. It follows findings from structural engineers that Tangmere does not meet the current required standards to use gas.
Following national advice given by the Department for Communities and Local Government earlier this summer, we began investigations into the construction of the estate, which was built in the 1960s and early 1970s. Reviews from structural engineers now suggest that Tangmere does not meet the required standards to use gas, and although the risk is very low, we are taking a number of precautionary steps to enable residents to stay in their homes.
In Tangmere, there are 91 council properties with gas cookers and 25 leaseholder flats that may use them too. From Monday 12 February 2018 Homes for Haringey will be replacing all gas cookers in council properties with electric cookers. The same support will be offered to Leaseholders. The team will be working as quickly as possible, depending on staff gaining access to properties. As a precaution, they will also be fitting disrupter valves to switch off the gas if a leak is detected and increasing the frequency of gas safety visits. A gas safety check will be carried out for free in each leased home. There are also plans to replace the gas system temporarily until permanent measures can be put in place.
Homes for Haringey staff have been on the Broadwater Farm estate visiting all potentially affected properties to speak to residents. There is also a dedicated phone-line for residents 0800 953 0221 and residents can visit the Neighbourhood Office between 9am and 5pm. The on-site concierge is open between 10am and 10pm.
In December Homes for Haringey took the same measures in other low-rise blocks on Broadwater Farm, based on structural engineers’ reports. The blocks were Croydon, Hawkinge, Hornchurch, Lympne, Manston, Martlesham, Rochford, Debden and Stapleford.
The two tower blocks on the estate, Northolt and Kenley, do not have gas supplies. As a precaution, structural surveyors are also reviewing these blocks and we will have the results soon.
Affected residents can visit the Broadwater Farm Neighbourhood Office or call the dedicated Homes for Haringey line: 0800 953 0221.
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