As the Paragon estate building complex, which contains 1059 homes, were asked to evacuate last week with immediate effect. The spotlight has been turned on the owner, Notting Hill Genesis. As it has been announced they have known about the fire-safety issues since at least December 2017.
Students were currently occupying most of the dwellings. The majority of which has only moved in at the start of the academic year. Notting Hill genesis announced that following recent findings, the risk is so significant that the housing association could no longer guarantee the safety of the 858 residents living there.
The worry arises to those looking in upon realising that four out the six blocks of accommodation are cladded with non-combustible terracotta panelling. So what are the deeper issues?
The debates have begun between the housing association and tenants as to whether adequate fire safety instruction has been given. However, considering the Grenfell disaster, the housing association have a lot of questions to answer as they keep their cards close to their chest.
The more significant issue is the current situation of things given the global pandemic. Some of the students who have been rehoused were currently self-isolating due to positive Coronavirus tests. For those who are attending university, the move still sits uncomfortably, with the new accommodation provided being situated much further away from the university itself. Students have stated that the new housing will indeed harm their education and ability to travel to and from the university.
The time is now for housing associations to open up their files and embrace the opportunity for transparency. For far too long, secrets have been swept under the rug, and lives have been lost. Notting Hill Genesis has the chance to do something for the greater good. We, for one, would endorse that move.
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