People living in a derelict settlement say their misery has been made worse by squatters and vandals.
Only 30 residents remain in the nearly derelict Aylesbury Estate, which once comprised 2,700 houses but now awaits demolition.
The few front doors that remain are a stark reminder of the once thriving estate in Walworth, south London, where the council welded almost every flat with large metal plates.
Aysen Dennis, 64, whose block of flats is next to close, accused Southwark City Council of neglecting flat repairs as part of the property’s “controlled decline” in preparation for its redevelopment.
Mrs. Dennis spent three years without heating in both of her bedrooms and in the living room.
She was flooded when a pipe burst in the empty apartment above her.
“It’s normal, this silence, this sadness.” None of my neighbors are willing to move out because nobody here can afford to buy anything.
“This has particularly affected older people and their mental health,” she said.
Activist Ms. Dennis has turned her apartment into an exhibition showcasing community resistance and documenting the lives of those who lived here. “It’s such a special place,” she said.
Brunla Isaku, 29, is terrified after police patrols increased following reports of high crime rates.
Ms. Isaku, who has a six-year-old daughter, said, “To be honest, life here is not great.” I think it’s not very safe, people are screaming and screaming. But I have no idea where I’m being transferred.’
Another tenant said police had to board up the window of his apartment, where he lives with his elderly parents, after vandals smashed it in.
“My parents are afraid,” said the 25-year-old, who did not want to be named.
“People smashed the window and tried to unlock the door from the inside.” “We were inside so they ran away.”
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