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Vulnerable man who fell through floor of his ‘hell hole’ Hackney council flat would ‘rather sleep on a park bench’

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A man from East London fell through the floor of his Hackney Council flat after dealing with disrepair and squalid conditions for a number of months.

Simon Lebeau, 35, has lived in a council flat he describes as a “hell hole” in the Stamford Hill area of Hackney since August 2017.

He is a vulnerable tenant living with a number of mental and neurological health conditions which he says have been made significantly worse by his current living conditions.

READ MORE: Woman, 87, forced to wash with bucket in mould-ridden Islington council flat with no fridge or cooker

Simon has been raising concerns about outstanding repairs in his flat for over 18 months, and at present his flat has over 12 separate outstanding repairs which need attention in his home.

“I fell through a floorboard three weeks ago in my front room,” Simon told MyLondon. “I had to go and have a tetanus jab at the hospital.

“I was walking across the front room floor and one leg just fell straight through the floor. It went up to my pelvis.”

Simon fell through the floor in his front room up to his pelvis

Although the hole in Simon’s floor was temporarily repaired by Hackney Council, they have yet to attend to provide a permanent solution.

The other issues Simon is facing include a broken front and back door, missing kitchen cabinet doors, broken switches and mould throughout the property.

Not only this, but Simon describes his kitchen sink as “moments from caving in” and he is concerned for his safety.

Simon said: “Every single time I report a repair, it’s not an emergency, it’s not health and safety.

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Simon and his partner do not feel safe in their own home due to alleged homophobic abuse from other council housing tenants

“If you live in a high crime area, if someone could gain access to my property, I would say that is health and safety because anything can happen.”

Simon has also raised concerns about alleged homophobic discrimination and abuse he has received from other Hackney Council tenants living close by.

He said these incidents have left him with a “sense of dread” and that he “doesn’t feel safe” living in his own home.

Before Simon was granted his current property, he was homeless for two years and currently lives with a number of health conditions including bipolar disorder and epilepsy.

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The Hackney council flat Simon lives in has a number of outstanding repairs including a broken toilet cistern

“I’m a vulnerable person, but there are people who are way more vulnerable than I am. Anyone living in a council house has a level of vulnerability,” he said.

“I thought coming out of homelessness would be a new start for me […] I’ve suffered more here than I have in any of those situations and I would rather be on a park bench than be here.

“I feel like a prisoner within my own home […] There needs to be more empathy and more thought put into what’s done. The council need to support their tenants, not just provide them with housing but provide them with support.”

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Hackney Council has since responded to these incidents and scheduled a surveyor to attend Simon’s property on Monday, October 25.

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “We’re sorry that Mr Lebeau is experiencing repair issues in this property. A senior manager has made contact with Mr Lebeau to offer an inspection of the property to help resolve some of the outstanding issues. This inspection has been confirmed for next week.

“We and the police take any allegations of hate crime extremely seriously and would urge anyone who experiences hate crime to report it to the police.

The spokesperson added that an “administrative error” had meant that some allegations made by Simon regarding homophobic remarks from neighbours had not yet been followed up on.

“We will call Mr Lebeau to apologise and explain our next steps,” they said.

Have you been impacted by similar issues? Get in touch to tell us your story at [email protected] or comment below.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/east-london-news/vulnerable-man-who-fell-through-21907991