We return this morning to Marlin Apartments, the Newham temporary housing hellhole where homeless families with very young children are “placed” (deposited?) for years at a time.
As I wrote last week, the building is overrun with bedbugs, cockroaches, mice and rats and their many offspring, and other crawlers, biters and slimers that absolutely nobody I know would want chewing through the family’s food and feet.
I gave the bedbugs a writeup last week, and posted pictures of some of the injuries that the bedbugs and other vermin are inflicting on very young children – children who have, in some cases, lived in these terrible flats for several years. If you think that those kids are going to grow up in good shape, or grow up at all, it might be time to think again.
This morning, I’m posting pictures of some of the many cockroaches and maggots that roam and writhe through and around Marlin Apartments. It goes without saying that something major needs to be done about all of this.
One idea would be to fill a skip with several Marlin Apartments cockroach swarms, road trip them up to North Yorkshire, and dump the lot into Rishi Sunak’s lunch and bed.
The cockroaches in the pictures won’t be going, but there are plenty more where they came from (the pics are from the flat of a family who have a toddler and 4-month old baby):
Here are bugs crawling round the baby’s crib. Mum threw the crib out, because the baby was being bitten. The family can’t afford a new crib, so now, the family sleeps on the floor.
And video of maggots out the front of the building – the residents say that the communal bins overflow. There are too many people living in too small a space, with too few services.
And I haven’t even got to the serious overcrowding problems in Marlin yet, or the new problems with energy bills that residents face. They used to pay their bills as part of their rent, but now must set up individual accounts. A number of people showed me letters which demanded several hundred pounds for outstanding bills which absolutely nobody can understand.
I’m getting to that.
To finish – this picture is of one of the single rooms that families live in. I have a vague memory of someone on twitter saying that these ex-serviced apartments couldn’t be single rooms, but at least 3 of the ones I saw were, so there you go. In these single rooms, there was a bug-infested double bed (or 2 single beds pushed together), a bug-infested couch and a cot all in one space with a small kitchen at the top end.
No doubt these apartments were all very nice when they were properly serviced and rented to single businesspeople who were enjoying week-long London jollies, but things have taken something of a slide since the council arranged to rent them from Marlin for homeless families. The “serviced” bit sort of disappeared from the “serviced apartments” idea.
I’ve asked Newham council for comment on this, but they’ve stopped answering. Probably nothing to say that’ll make any of this all right. Would like to see every member of Sunak’s cabinet living and working in this building, though. Lock them in the place for a year, then torch it.