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Housing association accused of running block down

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 October 2010

HOUSING bosses have been accused of running down an East End block of flats before handing it back to the Town Hall as a derelict drug den. A deputation of tenants turned up at last we

By Else Kvist

HOUSING bosses have been accused of 'running down' an East End block of flats before handing it back to the Town Hall as "a derelict drug den."

A deputation of tenants turned up at last week's Tower Hamlets council meeting seeking answers about the future of Bethnal Green's Latham House.

Kyle Wallace told councillors: "We have seen the building deteriorate into a filthy, unsanitary, unsafe place to live.

"The council abandoned us to the blatant mismanagement of Family Mosaic housing association whose idea of 'accountability' is to run the place down and give it back when it's an 'all but a derelict' drug den.

"The lifts are regularly vandalised due to the building being open at night. The stairwells are a 'no go' area for all but those with needles and full bladders."

The families are calling for pledges that Latham House "will not be allowed to deteriorate further."

No decision had yet been taken on its future. But the council's lead member for housing, Mark Francis, told them: "It is certainly our desire that it should come back to the council and be managed by Tower Hamlets Homes. "

Cllr Francis said he was hopeful an agreement could be reached over the coming months.

A Family Mosaic spokeswoman said Latham House has a concierge service and claimed staff make sure communal areas are "clean and well maintained."

She said the housing association's 15 years fixed term lease required it to hand the block back to the council in 2011.

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