On the evening of 18th September 2017 FORA (Forest Residents Association) members met with London Borough of Waltham Forest Housing Officers to discuss future use of Wardley Lodge 63 Preston Road, Leytonstone, E11 1RB.
In the past Wardley Lodge was run by East Thames Housing Association who provided accommodation for people with alcohol dependency issues. While local residents sympathise with people suffering from alcohol and related issues a number of concerns were expressed over the management of some of the tenants. Local residents observed drug dealing, anti-social behaviour, threatening behaviour, begging, and jaywalking. The police were often called and there were times when the management of the tenants appeared to be lacking.
FORA met with Christine Ogbonda (Head of Temporary Accommodation) and her staff at Wardley Lodge to find out future plans for the facility. Christine shared the following information:
• The facility has been leased to LBWF for 15 years from East Thames Housing Association
• It will be managed directly by LBWF
• Wardley Lodge has been refurbished to provide 23 single room units with communal areas such as kitchens and playrooms for children
• The aim is to provide medium to long term accommodation for homeless people
• Likely residents will be single parent families, older people or people escaping domestic violence
• The Council is only able to house those with the very highest need from the waiting list
• Residents have contractual obligations to abide by the law and housing rules
• Those who do not comply will be given three warnings and then their tenancy will be terminated
Christine is available to discuss any issues local residents experience and has passed her contact details on to FORA. She is committed to ensuring Wardley Lodge is well managed and does not adversely impact upon the lives of people living in the area.
To help the new tenants of Wardley Lodge become integrated into the local community it was suggested to Christine that a list be compiled of local groups such as Doctors, Churches, Nurseries etc. A good place to start might be the FORA website where there is a page listing local groups and services https://forestresidents.org/useful-links/local-services-and-groups