Sunday, August 31, 2014
ANDIUM HOMES - rents still going up even when the lifts do not...aspects of Jersey "social housing" ....
This is a picture of the Lifts at Ground Floor level in a Le Marais High Rise block now administered by ANDIUM HOMES with a UK based Chairman who takes £40,000 for just 30 hours work per annum.
There are others on the board who takes similarly inflated payments for very few hours too...
Only one of the two lifts here is currently working.
As we all know, ANDIUM have taken over the so called "social housing" portfolio from the States Housing Department and plan to turn this into a money generating asset as part of the Ozouf Master Plan with the one dominant objective of USER PAYS....all rents are being increased across the board to achieve 90% parity with "Private sector" rents although we all know that there can be no such parity...
These lifts are essential in a high-rise building of 14 floors and it is inevitable that they will be out of action briefly on occasions for repair etc.
However, due to long term lack of maintenance under the late Housing Department, the lifts are now undergoing major rebuilds over several months.
Here the "odd floors" lift has been sealed off for about two months and is not now expected to be back in service until 8 September.
The "even floors" lift is therefore having to carry all passenger and goods traffic until it too is taken out of service for repairs which will probably take several months too.
Obviously this activity causes inconvenience to residents - especially those with disabilities or their disabled visitors who are currently forced to use the stairs if their floor is an "odd " one.
Deliveries and removals of large items of furniture have also been disrupted... YET... ANDIUM have just announced a 2.35% increase in rents for the flats at Le Marais (and presumably other properties in its care) from 6 October.
Service charges are also being increased (heating, hot water and water) in line with utility company rises.
It seems that the interruption of lifts provision is not considered a SERVICE by ANDIUM .
Would a private landlord be able to increase rents in such circumstances? Does inconvenience to tenants have no price?
In theory, Jersey still has a Housing Minister in Deputy Green - but he has already declared his plan to become a Senator and seeks the Health Department Ministry after the election.
It is very likely that the Housing Ministry will be scrapped in the near future too (and absorbed into the Population office under the CM) with ANDIUM being given almost total control over the 3,500 "publicly owned" social housing units of accommodation entrusted to it...