The housing firm evicting dozens of residents from the St Michael’s Gate estate has called on the Peterborough Telegraph to stop seeing it as an “evil organisation.”
Stef & Philips has hit back at what it sees as a wave of negative publicity for its part in the continuing saga which involves 72 people being evicted from their homes to make way for homeless people.
In a rare public statement, the firm’s business development director Shaz Wasim said: “At some stage the PT will have to stop seeing S&P as an evil organisation and see the positive difference we are already making to the lives of people and the Peterborough City Council purse.”
Mr Wasim was responding to last week’s story about the council taking enforcement action against the firm due to mould and damp at a St Michael’s Gate property.
Stef & Philips said it had “inherited numerous disrepair problems from the previous managing agent” and had begun making repairs before being instructed to do so by the council.
The PT has asked Stef & Philips repeatedly if it would like to be interviewed but has never received a response.
The company has agreed a three-year deal with the council worth nearly £1 million a year for the St Michael’s Gate homes in Parnwell to be used as temporary accommodation for the city’s homeless.
The council said it had to do the deal as Stef & Philips would evict the tenants in any case and homeless people could be brought in from other cities to replace them.
Stef & Philips has previously defended its actions, claiming: “The suggestion that ‘this is all about money’ could not be further from the truth.”
It added that it was providing the council “an excellent opportunity to reduce the use of unsuitable accommodation elsewhere.” Stef & Philips is the managing agents for the homes which are owned by Paul Simon Magic Homes.
Past criticism of housing firm
Stef & Philips has come in for criticism for its business model.
Council leader Cllr John Holdich said: “It certainly leaves a sour taste in your mouth ethically.”
Deputy leader Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald said: “The majority of councillors think it stinks.”
MP Stewart Jackson said: “The so-called Stef & Phillips ‘business model’ is morally repugnant and frankly stinks.”
Cllr Steve Allen said: “The business model of Stef and Philips stinks like last week’s fish.”