Carlene Thomas — Housing – Improving lives, Housing, London Borough of Hammersmith
Carlene Thomas has been an Environmental Health Practitioner for 14 years in inner city areas. She’s seen a lot and helped a lot of people along the way. For example:
“In our area the housing association leased 11 mansion blocks and agreed to provide accommodation for homeless people in the borough. It seemed like a good solution to a big problem, but alarm bells started ringing when we received complaints from residents.
“I visited the estate and found a host of problems from broken stairways to pigeon infestation and general evidence of disrepair. The estate office was miles away, security was non-existent, and anti-social behaviour from non-residents was rife. Mail deliveries had stopped after a postal worker suffered a knife attack.
“The situation called for swift and decisive action. We served notices that the problems be immediately addressed. We made weekly visits with the housing association’s surveyor and I’m happy to report extremely positive outcomes. A flat at the entrance to the estate is now an office for the newly appointed Housing Officer. Works have been completed. Complaints from residents have dramatically reduced and the post office has resumed deliveries. This isn’t just about improving properties. It’s about raising people’s self esteem and empowering them to get on with their lives. Tell me what could be more rewarding than that.”