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Hospital worker and family moved to rat-infested flat for six months are still there – six years later

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A hospital worker living in a rat-infested temporary flat on a deserted housing estate claims his family were told they would be moved six years ago.

Jordan Greenwood, his partner, two kids, nephew and partner’s mum have been living in the cramped two-floor flat on the Aylesbury Estate in Walworth since he claims Southwark council told them to leave temporary accommodation in Lewisham.

Since moving in, Mr Greenwood, 28, and his relatives have been plagued by mice and rats that thrive on the empty estate and jump out of their kitchen cupboards.

They have no control over the flat’s heating, which is sometimes on full blast in summer but turned off over the winter, forcing the family to rely on plug-in heaters to keep warm.

Meanwhile the family regularly have to take cold showers because of the hot water breaking down.

Mr Greenwood and his relatives are some of the few people left on the estate once home to 10,000.

Southwark council is bulldozing it as part of a 20-year multi-stage redevelopment of the vast social housing complex – once thought to be one of Europe’s largest.

Mr Greenwood said: “When they moved us in they said six to nine months and here we are six years later.

“The annoying thing is we don’t know when we will get moved so we can’t settle in so to speak. We don’t know what’s going on.

“We’ve got mice. The hot water goes off regularly and you have no control over the heating.

“It has been summer and it’s still on and in winter we’ve got to have the little plug-in heaters.

“We’ve had rats inside in the cupboards and outside and the rubbish chute gets blocked up. There’s always police. I saw the police earlier.”

As council tenants and home owners have emptied flats on the estate as its demolition nears, others have tried to break their way in.

Corridors upon corridors of the vast housing complex are now lined with doors covered in bolted-on metal sheets to stop people getting in.

Mr Greenwood said: “There are a lot less people than there were and people take advantage of that.”

Southwark council said it couldn’t comment on the case.

Pictured top: Jordan Greenwood (Picture: Robert Firth)

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