Star date: 12th April 2017 


"It's horrendous...you just want to give up sometimes it's that bad" Sharon

Sharon Hooley is a permanent wheelchair user, who also has sleep apnea, asthma and now, depression, as she's left living in a Salix Homes Canon Green Court flat covered in black mould and condensation.

Lots of flats in the block have the same problems but, despite Salix having £2.9million set aside for refurbishment, the company states it's not enough and is leaving residents stewing in atrocious conditions.

Full details here...

Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat
Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat
Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat Salford disabled person living hell in Salix Homes flat
click image to enlarge

"We literally have pools of water in the two bedrooms..."

Every night, permanent wheelchair user, Sharon Hooley, has to put a mask on before she goes to bed, as she suffers from sleep apnea, a condition where you stop breathing when you go into a deep sleep. The machine pushes air into her lungs but if she didn't clean it regularly it would be covered in mould.

Sharon also has asthma, which isn't helped by the shocking conditions of her bedroom. There's black mould growing in every corner, her clothes are turning green and there's damp in the air everywhere.

"It's horrendous because, as well having to deal with ability issues, there's this which obviously is going to cause mental health issues" Sharon explains "You just want to give up sometimes it's that bad..."

Sharon has lived in the Salix Homes ground floor flat in Canon Green Court, Broughton, for ten years... "It's always been like this" she says "They didn't mention anything about mould or damp when I moved in. Back in the day, before I had mobility issues, I used to be a carer and saw the terrible state that people were living in - but I never thought I would be living in such a state!"

Gary, Sharon's full time unpaid carer, gives a guided tour of the flat, beginning with the second bedroom, which has mould growing on the ceiling and walls and even inside a solid wood wardrobe. A water absorber he'd fixed on the curtains is almost full after just one week.

He shows an Envirovent machine put in by Salix, which is supposed to suck stale, moist air out of the flat... "I work in the food industry, we have one there and it is amazing" he explains "But this one doesn't work."

Indeed, the pipe from outside the flat leading to the machine is also covered in mould, as if to prove that it isn't working. Salix has done other work in the flat too, like plastered in very thick insulation boards. But even these haven't stopped the mould, which is seeping through on the ceilings and walls. Both Gary and Sharon attribute worsened health problems to the conditions. Indeed, the place is truly minging, through no fault of their own...

"Sharon can't do a lot so we do it between us but, because of her ill health, if we decide to clean and she's not well we just can't do it" says Gary, while Sharon, who now also suffers from falls and has paid carers coming in to help her, adds "My asthma is bad, I get colds, I get so lethargic it's unbelievable. I just don't want to get out of bed sometimes; it stops me from doing anything. But we literally have pools of water in the two bedrooms."

Salix Homes is well aware of the state of this flat, and others in the block. The company did offer Sharon a management move on health grounds but have so far only offered one property – a first floor flat with stairs and a stairlift which she couldn't physically get onto. That was around six months ago. And since then there's been nothing.

Meanwhile, Salix sent in a specialist company that deals with mould, which stated it could clean the walls and put on a coat of specialist paint, but because of Sharon's mobility problems she would either have to have her possessions put in storage or be moved out of the property. Having informed them of this, nothing has been heard for two months.

But the condition of the flats is not just consigned to Sharon's flat. Dozens of the properties in Canon Green Court have similar problems. As the Salford Star reported last week, Salix Homes promised 'significant investment' to the block as part of its promise, when it took over Salford City Council stock in 2015.

Recently, residents got a letter from Salix explaining that 'further investigatory work' of Canon Green Court had identified 'significant investment works' that weren't "identified at the point of transfer, but are essential if the block is to continue to offer a quality of comfort comparable to other modernised homes owned and managed by Salix".

The company is now saying that its original allocation of £2.9million for the work has jumped to £4.7million, leaving a shortfall of £1.8million – and the only way to raise the funds would be to build "lightweight modular/panellised units on top of Canon Green Court" or "extend the current footprint of the building", with a proportion of the new flats for private sale or rent (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

"Salix needs a kick up the backside and needs to start doing what's right for once" says Sharon "They should concentrate on getting get rid of the mould and damp first, and then start thinking about raising money for the actual interiors and kitchens.

"People are willing to wait for that, to get mould and damp done first" she adds "Why can't they do that, so we're actually living in healthier conditions? The money that's already there - £2.9million – will sort that out. But they want to do everything at once and that isn't going to happen."

Sharon is incredibly sceptical of the Salix Homes proposals, particularly the plan to build flats on top of the existing building...

"How the hell can they build on top of a building that needs doing up?" she asks "The building cannot take the weight, as the original chemical they used to quick dry the cement is eroding away. They would also have to extend the lift upwards, so it's going to cost far more...

"I think they want to knock this place down and, in my opinion, Salix is hiding its real intentions" she explains "The majority of residents are happy living here, they like the area and like the neighbours, and I can understand why they want to stay. But I think Salix want to get rid of these flats because it's a prime area. This land is set to double in value."

Meanwhile, as Salix surveys its prime real estate, counting the 'value for money' and profits from its blocks, residents are left stewing in atrocious conditions...

* Last week, the Salford Star sent Salix Homes a series of questions about the conditions in Canon Green Court and its intentions. Salix has still not responded...

Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 06:58:16 on 18 April 2017
@Bob Well said Bob!!!
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 18:22:41 on 17 April 2017
@wrote...please comment only on the subject involved...the article. This is not a place to rub people up the wrong way. You are obviously trying to get reactions from myself, Tahir and possibly anyone else you can pick on. Gaynor Heaton's comments are spot on. If in doubt please ask the Salford Star to pass on your email so myself or Tahir can send you the links AND be able to explain in a much 'simpler' intelligence for your convenience . // I suggest that the DDA Compliance/ Adaptions comments are now finished and that others are allowed to comment only on the Article. @Salford Star can this particular debate be ended and only allow comments on the article be publicised. Thank you guys. (Safeguarding procedure request)
at 16:56:44 on 17 April 2017
Tahir, you said "The first link to the Equality Act 2010.gov [https://goo.gl/RWfkRs] tells you in part 2 of the "Index" that DDA, Disability Discrimination Act, is now incorporated within the Equality Act 2010." and Sharon said "Try looking at page one then section 2". I'm asking what she considers page one to be? The link page you've provided or which of its top three links, 'Introductory Text', '1 Socio-economic inequalities' and '1.1 Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities.' I was posting their links for clarity but won't do so again if it confuses you. // The 'Part 1 Socio-economic inequalities' and '1.1 Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities', the 2nd and third link from the link page you provided, only pertain to Scotland? Really? Is that why they say (I quote) "(3)The authorities to which this section applies are— // (a)a Minister of the Crown; // (b)a government department other than the Security Service, the Secret Intelligence Service or the Government Communications Head-quarters; // (c)a county council or district council in England; // (d)the Greater London Authority; // (e)a London borough council; // (f)the Common Council of the City of London in its capacity as a local authority; // (g)the Council of the Isles of Scilly;"
bob wrote
at 16:16:23 on 17 April 2017
If I were to leave my flat, and put it up for rent, and suppose a disabled person asked to rent it from me. What would then follow if I said sorry ,I dont rent out to disabled people. The people in authority, I guess in this case the council would be on me like a ton of bricks. They would be right to do so. I bet it would be a £2grand fine and my name all over the papers. Yet the council, and Salix, from what has been said in this column, are doing it all the time and getting away with it. As per usual, it is one law for them, and one law for us. Two faced bunch of ..... the lot of them. Bob
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 16:16:20 on 17 April 2017
@Pete, I understand the frustrations of the residents, hence the reason I've given my story to The Salford Star. I hope a lot of good comes from this and positive actions are made. But what I can't do is name calling. My views unfortunately would be biased against Salix Homes due to my own personal experiences so it would not be viable to 'call' or 'out' any individual within the organisation. You only have to see what is happening here with comments attacking a very experienced Independent Housing Advocate...Tahir because he is, in my opinion, the best person to be on your side if you are in trouble or you are having trouble. An extremely knowledgeable guy who is used to people mis-understanding him because he is disabled. And because he has stud up for the vulnerable in our society he has also gained a lot of enemies too. The comments aimed at him prove this. If only people got together, without the fear of doing so, could get together and share their stories to make our city a better place to live in.
pete wrote
at 13:09:20 on 17 April 2017
Whats Jane got to say about all this? You know, Jane Hamilton, she is our local labour councillor, a big supporter of Jezza that guy who goes on about the rights of poor working class people. Jane sits on the board of directors at Salix homes. She'll know what's going on won't she. She'll be able to sort out this mess, that's what directors do don't they? These are the people in charge. What about the other one. You know, the one who came to a couple of meetings before he got fed up with all the bullshit talked by salix. After the residents meeting on the week of the Brexit vote .I had a good chat with him . Must of been half an hour. Sounded like a good lad to me. Since then I phoned him a few times. No answer. He blanked us.New name for him,"Fanny Blank Us Coen". Joking apart,I think, and strongly suspect, that Steve Coen is embarrassed by the crap coming out of Salix. In his profession as a health and safety officer he will have a very good knowledge of what goes on in construction. He will know what is good practice and what is bad. Let us forget about the safety side for a minute ,and just call him a health officer. What can he tell us about the health implications of that mold? Next ,what can he tell us about putting surface sockets in places like hallways. True,these sockets are not going to electrocute anyone, also they will not cause a fire as they stand, but are they not an accident waiting to happen? Lets have his veiws, and also these of Jane Hamilton. Pete
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 07:13:33 on 17 April 2017
@Visitor Just wanted to say thank you for posting your interesting and thought provoking views. I really enjoyed reading your comment, and you seem to have a great deal of insight into how social housing is managed. Keep up the good work and thank you for pointing the tenants at Canon Green in the right direction. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate)
Sharon Hooley (Independent Housing Advocate and Activist) wrote
at 07:13:28 on 17 April 2017
@wrote... To be honest with you I've been as plain as I can. If you can't find it then read Gaynor Heaton's comments as they are absolutely factually spot on. Nighty night xxx
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 07:13:13 on 17 April 2017
@Sharon Hooley / Hiya Sharon I have looked at the links @wrote has provided, the first two links lead me to the exact same site, where I previously provided you a link. Section 2 in the index once again has not changed since yesterday. Within the Equality Act 2010 .gov link, Section 2 of the first index page clearly states "Disability Discrimination", which, as Gaynor Heaton rightly said, has now been "Merged" within the Equality Act 2010. The two last links @wrote provided are somewhat humorous in content. He has provided a link to Section 2A which deals with Social Economic situations within Scotland. This is very humorous considering Scotland have different housing regulations and policies to England. To be perfectly honest I'm not sure what page @wrote or @J is on. Lol :) His links have absolutely nothing to do with this Salford Star Story. Mrs. Gaynor Heaton, who is an accomplished advocate in housing has already provided @wrote with the information he requested, which somewhat proves the validity of what I have said throughout all my comments, but has now ended his statement by putting a link up that is really only relevant if we are living in Scotland. I'm not sure what he is trying to prove, other than this gentleman is the same character that used to call himself "J" and attempted to contradict everything I said with random links. I think all of the Social Landlord Tenants within Salford need to stick together and not allow people like @wrote or should I say @J to distract us from our social housing goals. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate)
at 21:59:51 on 16 April 2017
@Salford Star OK, I've shortened them. I was just asking Sharon what she considered page one to be, the link page (https://goo.gl/RWfkRs), the Introductory Text (https://goo.gl/Rf3p0l), Part 1 Socio-economic inequalities (https://goo.gl/4DWmHZ) or Part 1.1 Public sector duty regarding socio-economic inequalities (https://goo.gl/bBTB0z), and if it's in part two of the link page, which of part two's 30 sublinks it's under.
visitor wrote
at 21:20:28 on 16 April 2017
I am sorry I can't give my real name, but I work in the property field, and my boss would not like me to be seen rocking the boat for such a large organisation like Salix.I visit a friend who rents off one of the private landlords on that block.They have solved the mold problems there with an air management system and internal insulation. This however was expensive almost £3000, but it works well. My friend is happy living where he does, and when his current flat mate moves out , I will most probably move in with him. It seems to me, that Salix are playing the long game. they are planning to tart these flats up as cheaply as they can, in order to boost their asset value ,so they can borrow against them for other projects elsewhere. then in about 20 years time when the time is right, and values are even higher, they will knock them down, and perhaps do some deal with a developer. Most of the social housing tenants will be moved out. All these so called charitable housing groups do the same. Salix are not alone. True, they don't have shareholders to take the profits, it's a good job, there are no profits. These people take all the money out in inflated salaries and pensions, that is the money that they don't waste by overspending. Most ,but not all, companies that work in the housing sector, have one set of prices for the private sector, people like Barrets and Wimpey, and another for the housing associations. I work in the private sector. we do not get the job security and conditions these people get. They do not live in the real world. What people need to do, is to form what is called a tenants management organisation. That way you the tenants and leaseholders can have a proper say in things.This is not as hard as first sounds. Look into it, it sounds from the web page that you have plenty of passionate people about. There are organisations that can help you do this. Once you get the ball rolling, I will help you when I move on the block, but I cannot be seen to rock the boat for Salix. They are people who are pretty powerful. If you do a TMO, Salix will be furious, it will snooker a lot of their plans. Good luck to you all,if it all works out well, I look forward to meeting you all. I trust you can all appreciate my position. Visitor
Salford Star wrote
at 21:20:26 on 16 April 2017
Please note that this website cannot cope with large links - if any posts have them in they will not be posted. Please use Tiny URL or something like that to shorten size. Thanks
pete wrote
at 21:16:36 on 16 April 2017
With regards to Sharon's last comment about Salix putting non disabled people in ground floor flats, I must agree that this is what Salix do. Salix are in such a hurry to get flats let, that they move who they can in straight away. The more able bodied they are, the more desperate they are for housing, the quicker they move in. Disabled people may well need modifications etc, and this costs time as well as money. By the time they have spent arguing about who will pay for these modifications, with those at the clown hall, a lot of rent revenue is lost and Salix cannot afford this. Hence they take the easy option. As I write this, there is at the moment one of our friends and fellow residents who is in hospital. He has been waiting for years for Salix to put a small ramp up for his mobilaty scooter. They still have not done it. I seem to recall, some e=weeks ago that our government was going to give extra funding for people to be looked at in their own homes rather than hospital. This is not being done out of the kindness of the governments heart,as the government are almost as stingey as Salix, but simply that it costs ten times as much money to keep these people in hospital as it does to keep them at home. If we succeed in getting our passed its sell by date block knocked down and redeveloped, would it not a good idea to use some joined up thinking and enlist some battle axe type matron from the nhs district nurses service to bash a few brains together at Salix and the social services? I can think of a few likely candidates already.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 21:16:16 on 16 April 2017
@ Wrote / J / "Whatever"!!!!!
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 15:10:27 on 16 April 2017
@pete.... Love the idea of Carers living near their clients but the reality is it just would not work. Salix have moved able bodied people into ground floor flats. Not only that but there is the unfortunate lack of communication between different authorities. With all other properties that are suitable for disabled people being over 55 only means that social services are over worked because support is needed more for those in Non DDA Compliant / Adapted homes. It costs far more to have to use social services than it would to provide DDA Compliant / Adapted Homes in the long term. This would relieve the pressure on social services and then maybe your idea could be put in place. But yeah, no common sense when it comes to our council and landlords.
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 15:10:23 on 16 April 2017
@Gaynor Heaton. Superb comments. Absolutely spot on. Thank you xxxx
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 15:10:19 on 16 April 2017
@Wrote....,or should I say Jay, OMG!! Try looking at page one then section 2. It's all there. I'm Dyslexic and even I can read and understand it. But again you try and turn his words into something completely different. Please stick to the story and FACTS rather than trying to rub up Tahir's back. I'm LOLing at the fact you associate Tahir's links to the Bible. But then maybe the Burning Bush and the Government could make something that little be less 'complicated' just for you. From a bewildered and mind boggled Sharon Hooley xxxx :)
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 15:10:08 on 16 April 2017
Just wanted to say a massive thank you to Gaynor Heaton for elaborating on what I have stated within previous comments. Whether we use the word "incorporated" or "merged" the DDA Compliance Building Regulations are still very much in practice today. Therefore I was completely correct when I said that the Disabled & Vulnerable, who live in Salford and are under 55 years of age, are being stopped by the social landlords, from bidding on a DDA Compliant / Adapted Properties, thus leaving the most vulnerable in unsuitable and inappropriate housing. The Salford Councils Allocation Housing Policy, in my opinion, is discriminating, by allowing the social landlords within Salford to age discriminate against those who are under 55 years of age, who desperately need a DDA Compliant / Adapted Property. In Sharon's case, a permanent wheelchair user has not only been forced to reside in a property that, in my opinion, does not meet the current DDA Building Compliance Regulations, but has also been left in a property, which again is in my opinion, is unfit for human habitation. It is completely irrelevant who her landlord is, as all of the Salford Council Built Tower Blocks, are now owned by many different Social Housing Landlords, and in some instances, are in the same state of disrepair, due to the add mixture that was added to the concrete when the tower blocks were constructed. However, I have noticed that only the negative comments have been aimed at me, and have had nothing to do with this Salford Star Story. In my opinion, this is the problem with Salford. In my opinion, people listen too much to gossip concerning an individual person, instead of looking at what a person can do for them, and the support they can provide to their communities. It is of my opinion, that if Salfordians continue to stand divided, then the housing problem within Salford will worsen. If an organisation attached to your housing, is relaying to you something negative about a person that can help and support your housing needs, the question you need to ask is "what are they achieving or getting out of this"? The answer is "if they socially isolate, through malicious gossip to tenants, concerning neighbours, then you will never be able to act as a group against them. A group of people has a far greater voice than one individual. So my advise to all tenants, regardless of who is your landlord "Don't listen to gossip and if someone wants to help or support you, take the help, and forget your need for pride" If all the social landlord tenants pull together, the Salford Council and the Social Landlords will have no choice but to change their ways. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
at 15:10:05 on 16 April 2017
I guess it would have been more effective for him to link to that one in the first place Gaynor because I still don't see where (I quote) "The first link to the Equality Act 2010.gov [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents] tells you in part 2 of the "Index" that DDA, Disability Discrimination Act, is now incorporated within the Equality Act 2010." // A more specific sublink or text string to search for would probably be helpful.
Gaynor Heaton wrote
at 13:39:18 on 16 April 2017
Dear Inside Out and Wrote, it is quite simple to check the validity of Tahira’s statements regarding the Disability Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010. All that is needed is to go to The Equality Commission’s Web Site. The following is copied from there, and please notice the word “MERGED” // // A new Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. The Equality Act brings together over 116 separate pieces of legislation into one single Act. Combined, they make up a new Act that provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. The Act simplifies, strengthens and harmonises the current legislation to provide Britain with a new discrimination law which protects individuals from unfair treatment and promotes a fair and more equal society. The nine main pieces of legislation that have merged are: • the Equal Pay Act 1970 • the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 • the Race Relations Act 1976 • the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 • the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 • the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 • the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 • the Equality Act 2006, Part 2 • the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
Gaynor Heaton wrote
at 13:39:09 on 16 April 2017
POOR ME; in Salford very few people get any Help or Care provided by Salford Council (or anyone else) unless legal action is taken against the Council. (I have had to do this many times.) Not only is it unreasonable to state that she should move to another Housing Association, but in Salford that is impossible, as the allocation policy and Home-Search is administered by Salix Homes, and does not adhere to legislation. No intelligent person would think that a tenant exposing a Landlords failings and bad practice warrants the absurdity of “you just want the world to revolve round you”. In my opinion that is idiotic. Salix Homes have a Duty to their tenants, and Sharon revealing the extent of the problems, is her aiming at empowering herself, NOT the opposite. In my opinion Salix Homes and Salford City Council are in Breach of many Laws including the Housing Act, the Localism Act, Equality Act and the Public Sector Equality Duty, and so I believe Salix Homes needs to either start acting responsibly, appropriately and lawfully or they NEED to be brought down.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 13:39:02 on 16 April 2017
@Pete May I start by saying what a lovely bloke you are. Your comments are very factual and contain a great deal of common sense. I would say the electrical company that hires you is very lucky to have a person who actually cares about the quality of his workmanship. I will have to be very careful when answering your questions due to a legal technicality. I can say that when I was head of our Tenants Association, there were a great deal of tenants who were dissatisfied with the refurbishment works. I had previously payed AB Electrics to rewire my Social Landlord Property, which is way past the standards set by the 17th Edition of the IEE Electrical Regulations. Now the rest you may or may not already know. As you are probably aware, most refurbishments done by social landlords insist on an Eco-Pod system being fitted to your property. However if you have an existing electrical heating system (Economy 7 or 10) then you can refuse legally to have this fitted. The fitting of an Eco-Pod system is only Manditory if you live within a Tower Block and your property is heated by a gas Combi-Boiler. This is because of the new "Fire Safety Regulations, that have deemed it to be unsafe for a tower block to have a combustible fuel source fitted within it's properties. Therefore if you have an existing electrical heating system, you can refuse the offer of their Eco-Pod System. However if you have a gas fed heating system, it is compulsory that you have the Eco-Pod fitted. When I had my Social Housing Property Privately Rewired, the company buried the cables, and used stainless steel trunking within the walls, to stop accidental nail penetration, leading to cable damage and / or electric shocks. In my opinion, I think it is completely inappropriate, in this day and age, to fit electrical cables, on the outside of your wall, in cheap plastic trunking, however, I do understand that when you have two days to rewire a property such steps are necessary. I also agree Pete, that your front door should be the last thing to be fitted, as it will get scratched by the workmen going in and out your property. However, I kept my original front door / 1hr Fire Door, because I requested a report years before from not one, but two Fire Commanders who stated that the door I had was a one hour fire door, and is better than their new replacements, which I have been lead to believe are 30 Minute Fire Doors. My debate with the landlord was "do you always repair something that is not in disrepair". Once again, I won this debate using a solicitor, and kept my original front door. The only compulsory works that you do have to let your landlord undertake is the wiring, if it's over 10 years old, and the UPVC Double Glazed Panels that Click Clack into the new Cladding Systems. I hope this has answered some of your questions Pete. I did offer the Canon Green Residents my help, but was told to "clear off" the minute I showed up in my Wheelchair. I have trained Sharon in the basics of Housing Advocacy so she should be able to cope with most of the problems concerning the refurbishment of Canon Green Court. As always, Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate)
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 13:38:53 on 16 April 2017
@wrote or should I call you "J". The first link to the Equality Act 2010.gov tells you in part 2 of the "Index" that DDA, Disability Discrimination Act, is now incorporated within the Equality Act 2010. So I have absolutely no idea what you are getting at "Wrote / J". Secondly I believe you are comparing the DDA Building / Housing Compliance Regulations to a religious text. Very inappropriate if I may say so. What I will say is that you have to read everything before insinuating that a person is wrong, which is exactly what you are doing. Once again I am seeing a trend where instead of focusing on the Salford Story, you are once again trying to discredit the information I have supplied, which would imply, in my opinion, that you are either a Salford Council Employee, or work for Sharon's Landlord. No tenant in their right mind would attack the integrity of a person that may have to help them within the near future. So if you do want to tell me who you are, and pass your details privately to the Salford Star, I will contact you, and send you an invite to a housing case next week, where you can tell a "Judge" that his terminology is completely wrong. I will not be answering any further questions, that do not have relevancy to this Salford Star Story. I am here to help tenants, regardless of who they are, and who their tenancy is with. I am not here to defend myself against those who's only desire is to insinuate incorrectly that I know nothing about housing. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
pete wrote
at 06:23:31 on 16 April 2017
me again. just thinking, on canon green we have quite a few people with disabilities. i don't kmow who they are ,apart from sharon, i presume that perhaps these are old people who are housebound, but you know they are there because you can see different care people coming and going all day. before she died, my mum had a care lady who used to come and help her, and she told me that she spent most of her time traveling between patients, and that if the traffic was bad, it really set her day off badly. would it not make sense, during any redevelopment works, to try and organise it so that all the people with disabilities were all on the ground floor, and were all served by the same care team. you could even make provision for such care workers to live in a flat on site. care workers have to live somewhere. that way traveling time would be minimised fuel costs got rid of , and most of all, more time could be spent on these who need the care. is this something that our experts at our wonderful overpaid housing deliverers (delivering, a favorite of the bulshit class) could consider, or am i just wasting my time thinking about it and talking through my backside as i normally do? back later, pete
pete wrote
at 06:20:46 on 16 April 2017
hi everyone.me again.this series of replies is the first i have ever done in response to an article, i think i am getting used to it now. it amazes me this over 55 policy. what is their thinking behind it? do disabled people under 55 have wild parties? do they play music too loud? what exactly is it that is behind their reasoning? the thing is, they simply are not allowed to do it in law. i remember the old arguement about car insurance being cheaper for girls than lads. that had an element of logic about it as it was provan that girls had less claims than boys. the logic was sound but the discrimination was held by the courts to be wrong.in this case, there is illegal discrimination without any reasoning , even bad reasoning , at all. the bottom line is this, you cannot discriminate against disabled people, the thing is though, people like salford council and their mates in the housing associations think they can to save a few bob. as i said before , if you do it right, it doesn't cost much to do things right way round. talk about doing things right way round, who was the bright expert who salix consulted with who came up with the new front door idea. a good percentage of these doors actualy fit ok .about 75%. the other 25% are crap but the point is this,salix say bathroom suites are going in and out rewiring, radiators in and out kitchen units in and out. these doors are going to get battered. when i was on refurbishments, the last job was always the new polished front door, not a row of scratched and battered ones. on the subject of rewiring, salix tell us that the main incomer point will be from the landings and near the front door. the consumer unit has to be as near as possible to this. why are salix now wiring the empty flats to the existing incomer which is in the centre of the building in the hallways. i notice tahir, that you are an electrical engineer (officer class of the electrical industry) i am just a lowly spark with a P cert. what is your opinion of the crap rewiring work they are doing with trunking and conduit all over the place and all the surface sockets and switches they use instead of flush fittings. why do they pay well over £3500 per flat for this crap work, getting lots done at time, when the other day, i was shown a flat on canon green by an ordinary guy, not in the electrical or building game, who had got some small firm to do a nice clean neat job with lots of led fittings in the lounge for £2000 (a fair retail price) why do salix waste so much money no wonder there is not enough in the budget. look at the figures. they are there in the annual report of salix. the 3 fat arsed cats,(directors sugden morris and sutton) and they all have fat arses, between them take home in pay a sum equal to the total amount of rent paid by all the residents of canon green, over£400000 per year. think about it. as the salford star points out sugden alone got over £700 a week rise. what has he done to justify this rise. i bet he hasn't got mould on his walls. when will people learn, we have got to have changes, kind regards pete
at 06:20:31 on 16 April 2017
Your links are a little broad Tahir. Claiming it says 'the DDA / Disability Discrimination Act has not been phased out but is now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010' somewhere in either the 82 page PDF you linked or your other linked page with dozens of dozens of links seems equivalent to someone saying the bible disapproves of something, and upon being asked for proof, linking someone to a PDF of the whole bible and saying 'it's in there somewhere'.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 17:48:51 on 15 April 2017
@Inside Out. I have managed to locate quite quickly, the link to the Equality Act 2010.gov, where it most certainly states that the "DDA / Disability Discrimination Act has not been phased out", "but is now incorporated into the Equality Act 2010". Therefore it would be an act of Discrimination against a Disabled Adult, for a Social Landlord to offer them a property that does not suit their disabled needs, thus the property is therefore not deemed (DDA Compliant // Suitably Adapted, thus breaching the "Disabled Persons" right to Equality. Here is the link / http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents. // I have also included a link to the new DDA Compliance Building Regulations concerning Tower Blocks, written by our current Government. https://tinyurl.com/o6tzav6 How can this be "Inside Out"? According to your statement DDA no longer exists, but here is a new government link to the DDA Building Compliance Regulations. I'm surprised again that you did not know this "Inside Out"!!! As always, Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
Sharon Hooley (Housing Advocate And Activist) wrote
at 17:46:08 on 15 April 2017
Dear @Inside Out, I'm surprised that you didn't look up the correct information before commenting. And it's funny how you have directly tried to put down Tahir about the DDA Compliance /adapted homes when I also mentioned this. My gut feeling is that 'Poor me' and ' Inside Out' are council or landlord based. It would be very interesting to know why they are trying to make myself and Tahir out as trouble makers. And as a couple lolololol. BUT as you know...WE will not stop helping others fight against discrimination, ignorance and abuse.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 17:45:45 on 15 April 2017
P.s. @Inside Out. Could I please request that in future, you focus on the Salford Star story, and the over 55 Housing Allocation Policy instead of targeting me, and in my opinion, making attempts to discredit my information and abilities as a (Independent Housing Advocate). I have, and will continue to win court cases concerning housing, which makes me more than an amateur in such matters. However, if you still disagree with what I have stated concerning DDA Compliance, and the fact it is incorporated into the Equality Act 2010, and not replaced by it, as you stated, then do comment further, so I can invite you to a case next week, where you can tell a "Judge" that his terminology is incorrect. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 11:10:18 on 15 April 2017
@Inside Out Dear "Inside Out". I am even more worried that you did not know that DDA (Discrimination) was not phased out by the (Equality Act 2010) but was (Incorporated Into It) I have been to court recently, and the words (DDA Compliant / Adapted Property) was used within a document written by a (Judge). The term (DDA Compliance) now means that if you are disabled and your (Right of Equality) has not been maintained or suitably enforced, in this case a (DDA Compliant / Adapted Property) being refused to a( Severely Disabled Adult), then any (Judge) in the land will say there was a lack of "DDA Compliance" thus a "Breach of Equality. I am surprised "Inside Out" that you did not know this!!! Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai, (Independent Housing Advocate).
Inside Out wrote
at 06:04:30 on 15 April 2017
Bit worrying when an advocate doesn't know the DDA was replaced with the Equaity Act 2010. Nor that there is no such thing as an Equality Act compliant property. There is a right to reasonable adjustments but that's not quite the same thing.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 06:04:12 on 15 April 2017
@Pete Hiya Pete, unfortunately I am not mistaken. The Salford Star in October 2014 printed an article about me and the over 55 policy for DDA Compliant / Adapted Properties. I have now been refused four DDA Compliant / Adapted Properties even though I had a management move, which is a discretionary act by a landlord, therefore outside of the bidding process. I have been deemed by the OT Team as being a Permanent Wheelchair User, but I currently live one the top floor of a 14 Storey Tower Block with a less than helpful lift service. So if someone is moving in or out, or the lifts brake down, I am trapped in my flat. And still, I have been stopped from moving to a DDA Compliant / Adapted Property because of a Discretionary not Manditory over 55 Salford Housing Allocation Policy. Therefore in Salford, you cannot bid on any DDA Compliant Property on Salford Homeseach, regardless of landlord, if your not over 55. I have been trying to tackle this problem for years and keep hitting a brick wall. I approached one of the landlords who uses Salford Home Search to advertise their properties and they refused to make allowances for those who were deemed Vulnerable and / or Physically Disabled who were under 55 years of age. Therefore the Salford Council and the CCG / NHS have to pay more money to support under 55 year old disabled people, in unsuitable accommodation, because of the Salford Councils Discretionary, but obviously being used as a Manditory, over 55 Housing Allocation rule, concerning the bidding for a DDA Compliant / Adapted Property. This is why I was so perplexed @Poor Me. If your disabled in Salford and need a DDA Compliant / Adapted Property and your under 55, you have, in my opinion, absolutely no chance of getting a property to suit your disabled needs. Sharon mentioned within this story is a permanent Wheelchair User and was offered a first floor property with stairs. This is just not appropriate. This over 55 ruled has to be changed at some point, as it is going to lead, in my opinion, to a disabled persons death. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
pete wrote
at 16:12:53 on 14 April 2017
i take it that a DDA compliant property is one that is special property that is made suitable for disabled people, or built that way. on reading tahirs comments, its seems that under the rules in salford only a person over 55 can have a disabled persons accomodation. surely tahir must be mistaken in this, diabled people come in all age groups from the very young to the very old. they all have special needs and the authorities should give them priority. if the block gets knocked down, and extra flats are built, there should be ample provision made that these should be for people with medical need not rich yuppies. when new flats and bungaloes are built specialy for disabled people, it only costs slightly more to build. the sockets and light switches are at more accessable hights, worktops easier to get at,special bathroom equipment, doorways much wider, easier circulation ect. it is much easier to build these type of properties from scratch, than to convert them.believe me , i know. i am a sparky, and moving sockets and switches is a pain in the arse . also, when such dwellings are built there used to be government funds to cover the extra cost. i don't know if this is still the case, it is worth looking into. with regards to bobs comment about compensation payments, i already heard about disturbance payments, (the £1200 ) but i thought the loss of housing payment (£5800) was only if you had a cpo. i was wrong. i have since looked into it and everyone is entitled to this money if they have to move you out. i can't see anyone objecting to that, new flat and £7000. sign me up today. but like he says ,take legal advice first. perhaps this is why salix do not want to rebuild. a million pounds is a lot of money. best wishes ,pete
Sharon Hooley (Housing Advocate And Activist) wrote
at 13:07:12 on 14 April 2017
Thank you @Bob and @Pete. I've seen the effects it has on people when they are unable to stand up and share their experiences through fear. So it's up to people like me who are not afraid to fight ignorance and discrimination and use my voice for those who can not. But sometimes, for me, it does feel like a lonely world so it's so heartening and uplifting when I see your comments. I don't feel alone anymore and makes me stronger than ever. Thank you guys. Let's keep up the fight for decent homes for all.
pete wrote
at 06:39:05 on 14 April 2017
thanks sharon for speaking out about the problems on the block.thanks also to the people in the other article and also to steve kingston and the salford star . there are far to many housing problems in our city. something must be done. nobody seems to care anymore.lets hope someone takes notice. best of luck,pete
bob wrote
at 06:38:46 on 14 April 2017
when i first looked at the star article this morning there was only 2 comments sharons and tahirs. i got a bite to eat and deceided i had write in with my comments. i quickly scrolled down to the bit where comments are made, and made my point. i missed the third comment from "poor me". in reference to that comment, i can only say this.i have only spoken to sharon a couple of times but i can tell she is not the type of girl to seek any form of self pity, indeed she is a genuine sort who thinks about the welfare of others and has had the guts to stand up for her rights. well done sharon,i respect you. with regard to the person who wrote that comment , if you look at it, it seems that this is a person who has some sort of grudge against her and wishes to see her move away. you won't find anyone else who holds similar veiws on that block best of luck sharon.best wishes bob
Sharon Hooley (Independent Housing Advocate and Activist) wrote
at 06:37:40 on 14 April 2017
@Andrew, @Tahir and @Bob.... Thank you. I hope that others with similar and worse are encouraged to speak out and not be afraid of their Landlords etc. It's not causing trouble to tell your FACTUAL story so that others know they are not alone in what they are experiencing.// @POOR ME....so sad to say that I have only had ONE offer and nothing else since. As you know Salix has NO DDA Compliant housing available so a Management Move within Salix properties only is basically a huge fail. I can't bid on any other properties as the system won't let me bid on NILL PUA!! So I'd like to see how you can do better. Also, I now see I'm a miracle worker. Who knew I can turn gay men to become heterosexuals by turning my own sexual orientation too. Quick, ring the Pope and tell him of my CURE!!! My relationships are my business so keep your nose out.
Andrew wrote
at 18:32:30 on 13 April 2017
This is an abhorrent way for a housing association to behave. A housing association's remit is to ensure the quality of the accommodation for its tenants. I feel that the only way that the residents of Canon Green Court will be able to fight this is if they begin an organised campaign amongst themselves to unite against Salix. The desire to build "lightweight modular/panellised units on top" of the building very strongly suggests they are temporary lodgings to demonstrate the profitability of a newer construction. Holding off on tackling the damp and fungus problems while they find the funds for "modernisation" also seems to heavily indicate that the association are looking to argue that the building is 'beyond saving' and 'in great need of a complete overhaul'. Residents would be moved out while the building is torn down and rebuilt. The residents would then be offered a new housing agreements, certainly for more rent, and almost definitely for a smaller tenancy length. The residents will be offered this increased cost or face being deemed "intentionally homeless" by refusing it (even if they cannot afford it!) Canon Green Court need to unite to fight for their homes. Salix must timetable their plans to make the homes fit for human habitation as a priority, with the modernisation planned for after this time. I also applaud Sharon for speaking out - I know many residents in LHAs fear that being critical of it may result in them being evicted or vitimised. Do not suffer in silence! Speak up! Speak out! Fight back!
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 18:32:20 on 13 April 2017
@Poor Me In my opinion, your obviously an employee of Sharon's landlord. The information concerning both me and Sharon is certainly not public knowledge. Your comment certainly does not address the Salford Star story, but is, in my opinion, a pointless and unprovoked attack on my character and Sharon's. Sharon has helped the Greengage Community for many years, and regardless of my relationship with her, my information supplied within my comment remains accurate and factual. In my opinion you should take a leaf out of "@Bob Wrote" and comment with relevant and helpful information and stop the inappropriate character assassinations online. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate).
bob wrote
at 14:56:58 on 13 April 2017
As a person born and bred and lived in salford all my life, and being a lifelong labour voter, i am ashamed at the way both salix and salford council are treating salford people in general and disabled people in particular. was the cornerstone of the old labour thinking, that we should collectivly look after these that are less fortunate than ourselves, the old the poor, and these with disabilities? where has this thinking gone . we cannot blame the tories for this in our city. they have never had any say in our city council and never will. as a retired bricky, having ventured all over the world, i have heard much bullshit about construction projects, salix however are the best.it amazes me the crap they come out with. these flats are knackered, and if they are to be saved, it will be a false ecconomy as it may only put 20 to 25 years on the life. a perfect example of this waste is what they did years ago to the houses down langworthy road where the only person who got a good deal was the iron chipmunk. what the problem is is that salix have overspent already but their remaining 70 million has to stretch to many places, hence the stupid idea of the flats on top(see 10th april daily telegraph buissness section page 8 about legal and general and prefabs. it mentions salford) the amount and type of work required can only be done when these flats are empty. it cannot be done to the right standard when people are living in them. this presents another problem. if people have to be moved out and into other flats, as i understand it, they will have to be given a housing loss payment. this is currently £5800 minimum per dwelling. on top of this is a disturbance allowance of about £1200. this is £7000 per flat X 113 flats on canon green plus 33 flats on westminster. total £1022000 . over a million quid. that would make a dent in next years salix directors wage increase. they could build new flats on the front and gradually move people around the site. salix say there is nowhere to move people to whilst the old flats are demolished and new ones built. i have seen things like this done in both london and germany,and i will quote sites where this has been done.the thing is, if they did this they would still have to pay this £7000, unless they could trick the residents into saying they wanted to move into a new flat. the tennants have to make out they are being forced to take the new flats. if salix come up with this rebuilding idea , then its a good idea to not say a word until legal advice has been taken, and in my opinion, all the residents should be represented by the same firm , whoever that may be. they will then get a new flat and £7000. if they are stupid, then salix will win , and they won't get the £7000 . if people stick together and stand up for their rights they will win. they do in liverpool , they do in london, and they did in manchester.united we stand, divided we fall. best wishes ,bob
POOR ME wrote
at 12:02:32 on 13 April 2017
Whilst I feel very sorry for Sharon and I dont believe for one minute you have been left with no help to move or offers of more suitable accomodation. Have you tried other housing organisations or do you just want the world to revolve round you. Lose the POOR ME atitude and make the move to help yourself. Also the comment sread as if you and Mr TJ are strangers. You are very good friends with him and thick as thieves. Hellbent on moaning and trying to bring yor lanlord down rather than empower yourselves. Stop acting as if the world owes you a living and make the change and you find you will be very happy elsewhere andthis is turn will be far better for you and your boyfriends health.
Sharon Hooley (Independant Housing Advocate & Activist) wrote
at 18:01:44 on 12 April 2017
Firstly, Thank you so much Salford Star for writing my story. I'm tired of living in a flat that I can't have decent carpets and curtains because they will get ruined. My windows have cheap bedding as curtains because of the mould and the whole flat stinks of it. I spend money each month on candles, air fresheners and dehumidifiers (collects water from the area)and I shouldn't have to do that. No one should have to live like that. Thank you also to Tahir Chakotai for your comments and being able to explain in more detail of the building's structural problems. I hope this helps to give people who live in landlord properties the encouragement to stand up and get their stories heard. Don't be afraid to use your voice. Things need to change for the better of all regardless of disability.
Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 14:00:34 on 12 April 2017
I am disgusted that a Severely Physically Disabled Adult has been left to rot in such dire conditions. In my opinion, Sharon is absolutely correct when she says that you cannot add further floors to Canon Green Court. I live in Canon Hussey Court. There was a BRE Survey undertaken in 2000 - 2001 which clearly states that "most of the Salford Council Tower Blocks were constructed using an add mixture that made the concrete set quicker". "However using such an add mixture also added damaging chlorides to the concrete which has caused the Tower Blocks to erode at rapid rate". In my opinion, as a son of a "Major Developer", it would be highly unlikely that the foundations and the Support Columns could hold any further weight. In my opinion, as a retired Project Manager / Electrical Design Engineer of a Major Developer, the cost of reinforcing the structure, and foundations of Canon Green Court, would exceed the cost of knocking it down, and rebuilding it. Therefore, it is of my professional opinion that such claims by Sharon's landlord are somewhat unrealistic. On top of the structural alterations there are several chimney stacks within Canon Green Court. The cost to undertake rebuilding / chimney stack refurbishment works on a standard two storey house would be in excess of £9000. I believe there are numerous chimney stacks within Canon Green Court, which are a great deal higher, and would also need extending to cater for the new extension Sharon's landlord intends to build on top of Canon Green Court. Then we come to the Lifts. I believe there are two lifts within Canon Green Court. If Sharon's landlord intends to extend the building upwards, brand new lift gear would need to be installed. In my opinion, this would cause a great inconvenience to any person with physical disabilities, who resides within Canon Green Court, above the ground floor. In conclusion and in my opinion, I believe that Sharon's logic in this case is sound. It is obvious to me that Canon Green Court has certainly past its sell by date, and needs to be demolished. However until such time, Sharon's landlord has a duty of repair. This can be found within all Assured Tenancies. That obligation has not been fulfilled, in my opinion, therefore the current "Housing Legislation" could state that Sharon's Landlord has breached the terms of her tenancy. Also, if the disrepair has had a detrimental effect on her health, she could gain the services of a solicitor, and obtain legal aid, to peruse her landlord for "Disrepair". I wish Sharon the best of luck, and I hope her current landlord will relocate her to a suitably adapted property, despite the current over 55 age banding to obtain a DDA Compliant property with Salford. Kindest Regards, Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate)
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