Archive - Wednesday, 4 July 2012
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Stabbing forces neighbours to act
A man has been stabbed in a temporary housing block exposed as squalid in an undercover television report.
Emergency services arrive following the stabbing
Apollo Guest House, in Beulah Road, Thornton Heath, has created havoc for fellow residents, claim couple Madeline and Peter Lindsay, who moved next door three years ago.
In December last year, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme singled the property out in its Landlords from Hell show, with an undercover reporter discovering fungus on the carpet stains in the bed and bed bugs during a stay.
A man was found dead at Apollo in March, and on June 28 police were called to the scene after a man in his 30s was repeatedly stabbed in the early hours of the morning. He is still in hospital.
Mrs Lindsay said: “This could all be prevented if they were forced to have a 24-hour site manager. Residents have become immune to the sight of police cars, ambulances and fire engines outside the property at all times of day and night. “Pleas and petitions by residents for permanent, 24/7 on site management are ignored or deflected. Everyone expects “something bad” to happen soon.”
She blamed loose rules on converting homes into multiple occupancy properties, and said the problem was growing due to changes in housing benefit.
She said: “The number of houses in multiple occupancy in Thornton Heath are mushrooming to sweep up all the people displaced by the housing benefit cap.”
The couple have written to the council, their MP Malcolm Wicks, as well as Grant Shapps, Housing Minister and Jack Dromey, shadow Housing Minister, following the incident on Thursday.
Croydon Council has previously denied placing people in need of temporary accommodation at Apollo Guest House, which is owned by Yinka Adedeji, of Afay Limited.
Mr Adedeji was unavailable for comment.