Header Ads

84 families living on 'death trap' industrial estate with HGVs roaring past baby’s prams (5 Pics)

Donna Falloon, 33 with daughter Maiya, 8 months

A converted office block on an industrial estate, where 84 homeless families live, is a stark illustration of the housing crisis.
Hemmed in by noisy factories, Connect House is far from the nearest bus stop and shops and has no street lighting.
Yet 200 vulnerable children are hidden away in a building branded a “death trap” by the local MP in Mitcham, Surrey.
Young mothers pushing tiny babies in buggies run the gauntlet of HGVs unloading at industrial units opposite.
When the Mirror visited recently, long-term resident Victoria Fielding, 43, explained she has to stay awake at nights so her daughter Daisy, 10, can sleep, as they both cannot fit in the bed.
Victoria and Daisy live in a room less than six metres square into which are crammed the bed, a sink, a table, a two-ring hob to cook on and a pathetically small bathroom.
Victoria Fielding who lives in a one bed flat with her 10-year-old daughter

Their life’s possessions are piled on the floor. They tiptoe through a 10cm-wide space to cross the room.
“This will never be somewhere we can call home,” said Victoria, a former store detective.
“People were not meant to live on industrial estates. This is a purpose-built office with thin walls and a tiny window.
“I can never clean or tidy because there’s nowhere to move things. If Daisy goes outside it’s just as bad because the only place where she can play is in the car park next to the bins.
“Meanwhile the owners of this building are being allowed to make so much money from the council.”
Kimberley Barber, 22 with son Leondardo, three months. 

Kimberley Barber, 22, said recently: “I wanted to turn around and leave when I first arrived here.
"I went to the council because it was an emergency, but I never thought I would live somewhere like this.
“For people like me who don’t drive it’s far from ideal. My little baby, Leonardo, who is only a few months old, has been quite ill. You really do not feel very secure living in an industrial estate.”
Donna Falloon, 33, shares another single-bed unit with her eight-month-old daughter Maiya.
“I know there are people who haven’t got a roof over their heads so I’m lucky in that sense,” she said.
“But it is still really tough being here. It was my only option. I cried my eyes out when I first came here; I couldn’t believe how tiny it was.”
Donna Falloon, 33 with daughter Maiya, 8 months. 
Our investigation revealed the letting agency appointed by the owner of Connect House gets at least £900,000 a year from the South London councils that have been placing people in the property.
FOI requests showed the local authorities are charged £30 to £40 per night for each unit depending on its size.

The freehold and the leaseholds for the building are registered in different company names, but the sole director of both companies is a man named Joel Wieder.
We spoke to Mr Weider at his office in North London, but he refused to answer questions personally.
Victoria Fielding who lives in a one bed flat with her 10-year-old daughter

However his spokesman said: “Connect House was converted from commercial to residential in line with Government policy and at the request of the local authority.

“Connect House complies with all the regulations required of it and is licensed by the local authority as suitable for temporary housing.”
Local Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh said: “Connect House is a multi-million pound death trap.
"Lorries, vans and machinery are dangerous neighbours.”

No comments