Islington residents have told how delays to repairs by housing association Family Mosaic and its contractors have left them feeling “like my mind is being played with”.
Family Mosaic manages 26,000 affordable rented homes and houses around 45,000 people across London and the South East of England.
Andrew Berry, 49, who lives with his family on the bottom two floors of a Victorian house near Newington Green, said he first reported a large hole in his bathroom window in October.
“It’s still there. And there’s two holes in my front window which they’ve known about since April. Men have come round four times to do the measurements and they always say they’ve lost the previous measurements. It’s like Groundhog day. I’ve had the same conversation over and over.
“I think the whole system is broken. I just think they have lost control of their contractors and their system is so bureaucratic that they can’t hold them to account. The communication just isn’t happening,” he said.
“The guy even had to take off a bit of the window to measure it and then when I complained they said they’d never been there! And a bit of the window had been taken off. I feel like my mind is being played with.
“It’s beginning to get to me and it’s getting really stressful. I dread to think what it’s like for other more vulnerable people.
Rosemary Mason, 39, who lives in a maisonette flat in Newington Green with her 67-year-old mother, said that her problems with Family Mosaic and its contractors had been particularly bad during the recent heavy snowfall.
“We had to endure nearly two weeks of no hot water and heating, false promises of an engineer attending, lack of communication between Family Mosaic and their contractor Mears group who carry out the repairs.”
“My mother and I were constantly on the phone, myself on social media, just to get someone’s attention as the emergency repairs line was always busy or a long wait. Some of the customer care staff were apologetic about the situation, but there was no acknowledgement from the contractor Mears or management from Family Mosaic apologising to their customers for this poor service.
“If my mother lived on her own, especially as she is elderly, I feel she would be forgotten about by Family Mosaic.”
In January, the Islington Tribune reported that Chantal Hac, a woman who suffers from cerebral palsy and lives in a Highbury Park flat managed by Family Mosaic, had seen her home blighted by rising damp, mould and a rodent infestation.
Finsbury Park Councillor Gary Heather said on Twitter, “Family Mosaic, you need to sort yourself out please – your tenants need you to do their home repairs properly and on time.”
— Gary Heather (@garyheatherFJ) March 16, 2018
A spokesman for Family Mosaic said, “We are sorry for the delays in completing these repairs. We are in contact with the residents affected, and are working on this as a priority. The complex nature of the works required has caused some delays and we apologise for this.
“We are working with our contractors to get the outstanding repairs completed as soon as we can.”
Family Mosaic merged with the larger Peabody group in a £6bn deal last July and a consultation is underway to amalgamate the two organisations.
Peabody Voice, a newly-formed tenants’ association representing Family Mosaic and Peabody residents, wrote a letter in January to Peabody Chief executive Brendan Sarsfield opposing the plans over fears that they will decrease accountability and worsen standards of service.
They said: “We have a number of objections to the proposed amalgamation, as our experience has been that, as Housing Associations have grown ever bigger, they have provided worsening services to their tenants and residents, while poor staff relations from senior management has led to rapid staff turnover, which in turn impacts on tenants and residents.”