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Landlord sets up housing surgeries to tackle damp

regular housing surgeries could become a lifeline for residents at Townstal, Dartmouth, who have been in despair over damp problems.
Tenants in rented flats met with landlords Devon and Cornwall Housing on Friday after raising health worries about mould and condensation.
Now the Townstal Comm-unity Partnership wants to bring back routine get-togethers with landlords and other agencies to resolve areas of concern.
DCH has promised better community links and major investment across the region over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Dartmouth MP Dr Sarah Wollaston is due to meet with residents today between 1pm and 2pm at the Townstal Community Hall.
Susanne Hughes of social enterprise group C2 Connect-ing Communities, who coordinated last week’s meeting with DCH, said: ‘The meeting was very informal and nothing to do directly with the issues raised around mould.
‘Charlotte Grosvenor is the new community development worker for DCH and will cover Townstal. She met residents and services, such as the food bank and children’s centre, which are points of contact for a lot of residents’ housing issues.
‘She will be coming to both TCP meetings and be the face for DCH we hope. She will also be attending other groups informally and getting to know people. It is exactly what Townstal needs and, although she will not be solving issues, she will be able to signpost people to the right ears.
‘TCP had talked about the need to bring back regular housing surgeries with both the DCH and Guinness Hermitage housing providers, and the ­article in the Chronicle and finally having a DCH person back in post could be the spark to make this happen.’
One of those present at Friday’s meeting was Wendy Price, whose family has suffered with mould while living in ­various rented properties in Mayflower Close and Rock Park.
She said: ‘The meeting with DCH went well, although it was informal rather than official. I met the new community development worker Charlotte Grosvenor, who was on day 12 of being in this new post and so still finding her feet.
‘From my email conversations with Dale Harrison, the head of repairs at DCH, I’m confident he’ll respond to any issues residents inform him of.
‘I’m hoping that any residents who do contact him will let me know of the outcome.’
TCP chairman, Cllr Steve Smith, said regular housing ­surgeries are definitely planned, adding: ‘TCP is now working with DCH for the best interests of all involved.’
County and district councillor Jonathan Hawkins, who had written to DCH chairman Mike Saltern asking for a meeting with residents, said he was ‘disappointed’ he had not been invited to Friday’s meeting.

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