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Normally you hear Soho Housing Association tenants views through "independent" assessors, who then go on to join the board of Soho Housing Association. Get the truth, direct from a tenant, here.

Archive for the tag “contractors”

A reference for Steven Baker of Soho Housing Association

shark

Soon after I posted it last week, this blog was hacked and the first paragraph of this post deleted. Here is what the hackers did not want you to see:

There is very little for housing officers to do at Soho Housing.

Maintenance and repairs are farmed out to an unreliable contractor, because that is the cheapest option. Other matters are farmed out to a new, commercial arm of Soho Housing Association,  Soho Ltd.

It may be that Soho Housing Association was always intended to morph one day into Soho Ltd. For the time being however, it appears desirable that Soho Housing  retain the appearance of being a charitable housing association and, to this end, a skeleton staff of housing officers is maintained. Steven Baker is one of these few.

It is not clear what Steven Baker has to do all day. Apart from forcing me to entertain him in my flat, his only service to me as a tenant has been to send me around a dozen letters, threatening me with ASBO proceedings and to spread nefarious rumours about me to Westminster Council and anybody else, who will listen.

As housing officers do not usually wish to remain long in the employ of Soho Housing Association, I expect that Steven Baker will soon be looking for another job. As he has shown such interest in my welfare, I would like to repay the favour by giving him a job reference. Here it is:

A reference for Steven Baker of Soho Housing Association

This person shows a good deal of favouritism when he is dealing with tenants. The slightest grumble about me from my upstairs neighbour is treated by him as a reason to begin ASBO proceedings, however, when the situation is reversed and I have occasion to complain about my neighbours, Steven Baker takes no action to redress the problem.

On the plus side, he has shown a lively, if lurid imagination, when writing and speaking to all and sundry about me, and I would recommend him for work as a writer of fiction. Good luck.

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Soho Housing Association: breaking into your flat

breakAlthough Soho Housing Association is always inviting itself to visit you in your flat, it does not like to be seen as breaking into its tenants’ flats. However, break-ins do occur and as the flats cannot be accessed without the co-operation of Soho Housing Association, it is safe to say that they aid and abet these break-ins.

My life as a tenant of Soho Housing Association has been marked by a continuous threat that my home will be broken into by contractors or other associates of Soho Housing Association and on three occasions this has actually happened. The most recent occasion was the time when Soho Housing Association applied to have me imprisoned indefinitely in a mental  hospital. The time before that, my flat was broken into by Westminster Council, again with the connivance of Soho Housing Association.  Before that, Soho Housing Association allowed Westminster City Police to break into my flat on an obviously fake warrant.

Apart from the actual break-ins listed above,    I have suffered numerous events of people purporting to be contractors for Soho Housing Association, banging on my door or ringing my doorbell in an intimidating fashion. I was terrorised by one particular contractor, who bore a strong resemblance to a police officer who had been involved in a previous break-in. This person would turn on his electric drill and stand outside my front door with it. The sound was reminiscent of the sound made by the locksmith when he breaks into my flat on their behalf. They always employ the same locksmith. He seems very enthusiastic about his work and it must earn him a good living.

Soho Housing Association financial irregularities

Ian BrittonSoon after my tenancy was acquired by property developer, Soho Housing Association, I and other tenants began to notice huge arrears recorded on our rent accounts. It proved impossible to get these errors corrected, although we petitioned Soho Housing Association for  months and months. Eventually our rent accounts went back to recording accurate sums of money, but we never got an explanation for what had happened and the large arrears remained on Soho Housing Association main account, only now they were recorded as bad debts. As a shareholder in Soho Housing Association, I attended the Soho Housing Association annual general meeting to point out that it was unfair to record the missing money as bad debt, as this made it look as if the tenants had owed it in the first place, which we had not, and as if we had not repaid it, which was untrue, and as if Soho Housing Association were the sort of organisation that forgives financial debt owed by its tenants, which is most emphatically, not the case!

In those days, I was unaware of two things about Soho Housing Association.

  1. It is normally a total waste of time to try to bring up any issue at any meeting of Soho Housing Association and expect to see it resolved in the tenants favour. This only happens in the case of a few, privileged tenants.
  2. It is normal Soho Housing Association practice to blame the tenant when things go wrong. The reason for this practice appears to be financial. The cheapest option when it comes to insurance claims, lawsuits and so on, is to blame the tenant. If the mental health of the tenant can be impugned, then there is no liability and nothing to pay.

Contractors hired by Soho Housing Association soon become aware of the two points above and naturally they exploit them to the maximum, knowing they will never be blamed for any shoddy work or poor practice as long as they are careful to heap opprobium on the victim, ie., whichever unfortunate tenant of Soho Housing Association they are working for, at the moment.

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