Storm Babet: East London residents in block ravaged by flooding told leaks have been fixed ahead of rainfall

Ahead of Storm Babet, THCH said it has carried out the necessary repairs, and is speaking directly with affected residents.
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An east London housing association said it has fixed a block of flats ravaged by years of repeated flooding, though some residents remain concerned the issue has yet to be resolved just as Storm Babet is set to hit the capital.

Tower Hamlets Community Housing (THCH), which owns Connett House near Bethnal Green, said following recent rainfall it had received "positive feedback" that its recent repairs have been a success.

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The flooding resulted in issues ranging from stained ceilings to damaged fire alarms and black mould.

One resident, Chris Udunna, who lives with his wife and four children, claimed a damaged fire alarm had not been replaced for more than a year, and that his family were suffering due to the condition of their home.

“My kids are crying. They think this house is going to collapse on them. The whole family is devastated,” he said.

Chris Udunna said he had put tape on his ceiling after rain, and then mice, came through a gap. Credit: Ben Lynch.Chris Udunna said he had put tape on his ceiling after rain, and then mice, came through a gap. Credit: Ben Lynch.
Chris Udunna said he had put tape on his ceiling after rain, and then mice, came through a gap. Credit: Ben Lynch.
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Following a bout of heavy rainfall, and subsequent flooding, on September 21, THCH said it had identified the cause of the water ingress as a blocked rainwater pipe, and was initiating an investigation into the problem.

Rainfall is expected from Wednesday to Friday in London, with Storm Babet hitting the UK.

The housing association has said it has carried out the necessary repairs, and is speaking directly with affected residents.

One resident LondonWorld spoke to confirmed there was no additional leakage during rainfall earlier this week. However, in separate messages seen by this publication, several said they were not aware of any additional works taking place.

Connett House, not far from Bethnal Green, is owned by Tower Hamlets Community Housing. Credit: Ben Lynch.Connett House, not far from Bethnal Green, is owned by Tower Hamlets Community Housing. Credit: Ben Lynch.
Connett House, not far from Bethnal Green, is owned by Tower Hamlets Community Housing. Credit: Ben Lynch.
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Simon Hall, head of reactive repairs at THCH, said: “The recurring leaks were caused by a blocked rainwater pipe. We conducted a thorough examination of the pipe and completed necessary repairs on October 4. Our contractors provided us with a detailed report, and we have implemented further preventative measures. We have also scheduled the necessary internal repairs and redecoration of the communal areas in the building.

“Since most of the work was external, not all residents may have been aware or impacted by the repairs. Following the recent heavy rainfall, residents who were previously affected by the floods have provided positive feedback, confirming that the situation has been resolved.”

THCH is currently in the midst of negotiations as part of a potential merger with another major east London housing association, Poplar HARCA.

Current tenants and leaseholders have however raised concerns about the deal, partly due to claims of poor maintenance and rising service charges at THCH, and are calling for a voice in proceedings.

Both THCH and Poplar HARCA have said a decision is due in the autumn.

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