Redbridge Council takes ‘swift and decisive action’ over temporary accommodation house in Ilford

A house in Ilford will never be used as temporary accommodation again after residents complained of drug use and anti-social behaviour.

The house in Warwick Gardens was contracted to Redbridge Council’s housing service last year but neighbours say they saw an “overnight” increase in problems during lockdown.

A neighbour, who only asked for his name not to be used after this story had already been published, said he refused to let his children go in his garden due to drug paraphernalia thrown over his fence and eventually had them stay with their grandparents.

Redbridge Council, which was first contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service on June 30 and responded today, said it had taken “swift and decisive action”.

However, the neighbour said residents had complained for weeks before any action was taken regarding the property.

Cllr Farah Hussain, who is responsible for housing and homelessness, said: “The property in question is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), contracted to the council’s housing service last year as temporary accommodation to meet the rising demand for housing in the borough.

“At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a small number of units were used to place homeless individuals as part of the Government’s instruction to provide anyone sleeping rough with a safe place to live.

“Following a number of concerns raised by neighbouring residents about anti-social behaviour, we took swift and decisive action to resolve the situation.

“As a result, this property is no longer being used by the council for temporary accommodation and is now empty and secure. We’re pleased to report that no further issues have been reported concerning this property.

“The owner will be required to apply for appropriate planning consent if they intend to rent the property as a private-sector HMO.

“In any case, we will not use it as temporary accommodation in the future. The owners will also need to apply for an HMO property licence and meet the high standards required.”

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter