Oliur chases the Swan

Even though Parkview estate is administered by Tower Hamlets Homes the controversy that currently rages about the services of Swan Housing in our borough must concern us too.

From his latest letter in the East London Advertiser I can detect great controversy and a loss of communication between the parties, e.g., councillor Oliur Rahman, the residents, the housing association.

This letter from Oliur Rahman, (lead member for employment and skills) has taken up this issue of alleged mismanagement by Swan Housing. I say alleged because previously I had not looked into the issue but cannot see from Mr Rahman’s letter what the actual problem is apart from that residents wanted some answers, which Swan housing refused to give during a meeting the Swan residents had planned, organised by Cllr. Oliur Rahman.

A lead councillor for employment and skills would not be the first obvious choice to resolve a housing problem.  The Exmouth estate is in Stepney and  Cllr Rahman is elected Councillor for St. Dunstan’s and Stepney Green, so geographically at least Councillor Rahman seems suited for the job.

Whipping up a frenzie though against Swan Housing is only going to increase the defensiveness of Swan Housing and/or their willingness to hold an open meeting, that by the sounds of Mr Rahman’s letter would be very unfriendly.

Mr Rahman writes in his letter and I quote from the East London Advertiser “I must warn all landlords who fail to listen or deal with the problems residents face that I, for one, will not welcome them in Tower Hamlets. “

This already sounds quite aggressive and puts the mood as alienating before the meeting even started.  I can well understand that Swan Housing does not volunteer to offer a venue for a meeting with such a pretext and tactically it is not a good approach to give the context as alienating.

I should say Mr Rahman’s letter is of a context that I would expect from the loony left and not from a lead councillor of a local council.

Without even knowing what they are, yes I think Swan Housing should hold a public meeting to address concerns, but it should be led and held by the more somber members of the community with some proper legal foundation to try and find a way to address the obligations a social housing landlord has and seek to remedy the failings if they do exist. I would appreciate some verified statistical data to be able to appreciate what the actual problem is. As it stands now all I know is that a domineering group of dissatisfied residents want to hold a meeting that is predetermined to cause uproar in the hall, not going to be very constructive and therefore no point in holding on Mr Rahman’s terms, who points a finger at Swan Housing to make them look negative throughout and that is not useful at all.

It would also be useful to hear a statement of Swan Housing.


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