Enforcement officers to inspect St Michael's Gate homes after Peterborough MP speaks out

Enforcement officers will inspect properties at a Peterborough estate used for the homeless after complaints from an MP and councillors.

Saturday, 27th January 2018, 12:00 pm
Cllr Matthew Mahabadi, Samantha Hemraj, Cllr Richard Ferris and MP Fiona Onasanya at St Michaels Gate

The Peterborough Telegraph reported last week that MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya was “distressed” by houses she visited at St Michael’s Gate in Parnwell. Ms Onasanya criticised the heating, cost of rent and the short period of time given by Peterborough City Council for homeless residents to move onto the estate.

She has now written to the housing secretary Sajid Javid, saying that homeless families “deserve so much better.”

The PT revealed in 2016 that 72 tenants were being evicted from the estate and replaced by homeless families. The homes are managed by the firm Stef & Philips and used by the council as temporary accommodation.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Yesterday, council cabinet member Cllr Peter Hiller said housing enforcement officers will carry out full inspections of each property at St Michael’s Gate from next week onwards. He added: “As part of this assessment they will look for evidence of 29 hazards, including damp and mould, excessive cold, security issues and the correct working order of electrical appliances, including storage heaters and structural issues.

“If any issues are found we will work with Stef & Philips to get these issues resolved.”

Responding to allegations raised by a family on the estate last week, the council said the family’s rent of £245 a week would be paid by the authority, with the tenants then charged £132.32.

The family also claimed it was given 24 hours to move into their house or would lose it. The council said the family had 24 hours to pick up the keys, but could delay moving in if they paid an extra fee. The council also disputed claims that residents could not have Wi-Fi or receive visitors.