A flat owner who spoke out against her £101,000 cladding repair bill has been trolled online by someone working for a government housing agency.
In an exchange on Twitter, 26-year-old Emily Boswell was accused by the social media user of ‘playing victim’ and ‘blatant attention seeking’ after she publicly spoke about being caught up in the cladding scandal.
The social media user operated under the name ‘@urbancritic’, with an online search by Miss Boswell revealing that they worked for Homes England.
Emilie Boswell (pictured) bought her first home in 2018, and had a fire safety report commissioned that stated it did not have any obvious evidence of cladding – but she has now received a £101k repair bill
Miss Boswell was accused online of ‘blatant attention seeking’ after speaking publicly about being caught up in the cladding scandal
It follows Emily Boswell doing several media interviews earlier this month – including with MailOnline Property – about getting invoiced for the fire safety repair works to her two-bedroom flat in Leeds Dock.
The email included an earth-shattering amount of £101,267.63, said to be for ‘external wall remediation 2021-22’.
Speaking about the social media exchange Emily Boswell said that she felt she was ‘being silenced’.
She said: ‘I’m trying to be silenced for speaking out against the massive injustice facing me and other leaseholders in similar situations.’
The Twitter exchange continued with @urbancritic suggesting that Miss Boswell was ‘lucky’ to be getting financial support from the Government.
Emily went on to explain to MailOnline Property: ‘It is deeply concerning that this is the sentiment held by those working at Homes England itself – the department responsible for handling funding applications for remediation work.
‘It just goes to show that the Government’s understanding of this scandal is truly lacking.
‘I definitely do not feel “lucky” to have been mis-sold an unsafe flat, to have had to pay for interim safety measures for nearly two years, and to top it all off, to have been sent a bill of up to £101,000.
‘The Government and Homes England seem to have no sympathy for the innocent leaseholders like myself who are now trapped in flammable homes, unable to sell, unable to afford remediation works for problems they did not cause, unable to sleep at night, and facing bankruptcy as our only escape route.’
Emilie Boswell received an invoice for repairs for dangerous cladding and fire safety defects for a massive £101,267.63
The cladding issue became a national scandal following the fire at Grenfell four years ago.
It brought to light the problems with cladding on buildings and since then many homeowners have been left in unsafe homes that are almost impossible to sell as lenders refuse to provide funding to potential buyers.
A national multi-billion dollar Building Safety Fund was set up to help those affected, applying to those in buildings above 18 metres high.
Miss Boswell explained: ‘We’ve been told we don’t have to pay this money right this second – as if we’re in a position to pay it anyway – because our Building Safety Fund application is still underway.
‘But it had to be included in our service charge bill for the coming year in case we do not get any funding. We already know that two of the materials – brickwork and tiling with no fire breaks beneath – and our balconies are not eligible for funding.’
Homes England advertises itself online as the ‘government agency who’s changing how England’s housing market works. To do this we build better homes faster…’
A spokesperson for Homes England said: ‘We fully recognise the seriousness of this matter. Following an investigation we have ended the contract of an agency worker.’
Miss Boswell was also accused of ‘playing victim’ during the exchange on Twitter
How the trolling timeline unfolded
Emily Boswell was accused of being ‘lucky’ that the Government is helping to pay her cladding bill
Following the media attention about her £101,000 fire safety bill, Emily tweeted Baroness Katherine Pinnock to say thank you for mentioned her case in the House of Lords.
Emily soon began being trolled by the Twitter account @urbancritic, which branded her ‘attention seeking’.
Given the contents of the tweet, Emily suspected that the person had good knowledge of her building’s situation, and decided to engage with them. During the exchange on Twitter, the account accused Emily of ‘playing victim’.
The account carried on tweeting Emily, including one tweet that suggested they had something to do with her case as it showed a digital version of the print-out letter that was posted to leaseholders before their bill was emailed.
Emily said: ‘From all the leaseholders I’ve spoken with, there was no digital version of this letter sent to leaseholders – only print. The social media user had a digital version titled ‘Mackenzie House Budget_sld’, suggesting that they may be involved in the case.’
The social media user @urbancritic had a digital version of the letter sent to leaseholders, titled ‘Mackenzie House Budget_sld’