Poor social housing security causes concern at Brentwood block

A resident of one of the newest housing developments in Brentwood has accused its social landlord of failing to provide adequate security.

Paul Downie – a resident of Damon House in Rollason Way – claims that he found someone asleep on his doorstep at 4am on September 29, 2020 after, he says, being able to release the latch.

Clarion – the landlord of the building – arranged to have a bar put over the latch but Mr Downie says people can still get in using everyday items like a wallpaper scraper. Neighbours who have lost or need extra keys are said to have been getting in using a credit card.

Clarion has promised residents replacement keys, which they should soon receive, and have ordered extra copies too.

But Mr Downie said: “We have half the job done. People have started to get their front door keys.

“We now need to do the rest of the job and stop people being able to jimmy the door.”

The housing association said it has not received any reports of being able to open the door without keys.

A spokesperson for Clarion said: “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is our priority and we are sorry it has taken longer than it should have to organise replacement keys.

“We can confirm residents will have their new keys next week. We have to order these from a specialist supplier so to avoid a delay happening again we have ordered extra copies as spares.

“We have not had any reports of people being able to open the door without keys and the system was upgraded in September to a system that should have prevented this.

“We are arranging for an urgent inspection of the lock to check it is secure.”

Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter