‘Slum’ estate CEO earns £343k-a-year while residents’ live with rats and mould

The CEO of a “slum” estate earns almost £400,000 per year while residents live in homes “not fit for animals”.

Clare Miller is in charge of Clarion Housing Group, an association which has recently come under fire after residents shared horror stories on the conditions they live in.

According to Inside Housing, Ms Miller earned £343,375 in the year 2019/20, which she received alongside a £10,000 car allowance and an annual £38,964 bonus.

Residents on the Eastfields Estate in Mitcham have criticised Clarion for the lack of care they received and have called for the CEO to resign, My London reports.

Some of the most common issues faced by residents include rats in their homes, mould which leads to mushrooms growing on the walls, dangerous leaks that run past electric fuse boxes, ceilings that could “fall through any minute”, and asbestos.

Resident Kwajo Tweneboa, 22, recently spoke about the appalling state he has been forced to live in and said that once workmen told him that “not even animals would live in these conditions”.

He said his dad died of cancer while living at the property and claims the poor conditions contributed to his death.

Kwajo has since become a spokesman for residents after listening to his neighbours’ issues, and he has even set up a resident’s meeting which was attended by MP for Mitcham and Morden Siobhain McDonagh and Merton councillors.

He is also leading a campaign calling for Ms Miller to resign from her role as CEO of Clarion.

The petition, which has been signed by almost 900 people, claims Clarion ignores residents and accuses it of breaching health and safety regulations for years.

It says Ms Miller should resign because of the company’s failings.

Clarion owns 125,000 homes across the UK and estimates that 350,000 people “call a Clarion home their home”.

The association owns and manages 10,000 properties in the London Borough of Merton, where Mr Kwajo lives with his sisters.

Merton Council transferred its housing stock to Clarion in 2010, and remains one of their preferred Registered Providers of affordable housing.

But Eastfields residents allege Clarion Housing has ignored their pleas for repair work for years.

Some people have been forced to take legal action to improve the conditions, and are part of an ongoing case over Environmental Protection Act breaches due to go to court at the end of the month.

The ongoing media coverage and investigations into Clarion has led the housing association to issue an apology to some 500 residents on the Eastfields Estate.

In their apology on Wednesday, Director of Housing Vicky Bonner said: “It’s clear to us that on this estate (Eastfields) we haven’t got the balance right – and what that means is that some residents have had to put up with some repairs taking longer to complete and sometimes we haven’t done as much as we probably should have done in their homes.

“I’d like to say on behalf of Clarion that I’m really, really sorry about that.”

The Director of Housing pledged that Clarion will hold in-person conversations with Eastfields residents, build a repairs office near to the estate, set up a direct email address so residents can contact for repairs, and hold an “estate day” to talk to residents and hear their issues.

David Avery, Chairman of Clarion Housing Group said: “Under Clare Miller’s leadership Clarion has delivered a record number of new homes and in the last year, 90 per cent of these were for affordable tenures.

“National customer satisfaction is above 80 per cent and we have the highest possible rating for governance and viability from the Regulator for Social Housing.

“Clare’s remuneration is independently verified by the group board and is at the median level for organisations of a similar size and complexity.

“Clarion owns 125,000 homes and on the metric of ‘pay per home managed’, Clare’s salary is £3.14 per property. This is one of the lowest in the sector.

“The pay ratio between our Chief Executive and median member of staff is 10.7 to 1, far lower than in many businesses.”