Hackney mother seeks compensation after living with mice infestation

Rows of houses in the UK.

Rows of houses. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Hackney mother feels little has been done to fix ongoing housing issues which have seen her, and her young son, living with a mice infestation, mould and damp. 

The resident and child, who preferred not to be named, live on Woodberry Down estate and are one of more than 3,000 families living in temporary accommodation in the borough. 

The woman's social worker has requested that the family be rehoused urgently, particularly as her young child suffers from a condition called cold urticaria which results in itchy welts or hives on skin exposed to the cold.

Symptoms can be made worse by damp conditions.

The resident told the Gazette: "We can't even go outside because of the cold. [My son's] skin starts to itch a lot. In the house his skin is itching him as well and he has ended up in A&E.

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"We basically just have to stay indoors, in the house, even though we have the mould and damp."

She says the stress of the family's living situation has been aggravated by coronavirus lockdowns.

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She wishes to be compensated after a recent mice infestation, which lasted several months, left her with a bill for private pest control and a "house full of droppings and dead mice".


Dead mice on tiles.

The resident complained to the council about a mouse infestation in her property which resulted in dead mice and droppings in her home. - Credit: Photographer prefers not to be credited.

But Hackney Council says it is continuing to address any outstanding repairs and has now resolved the problem with mice in the property. 

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, cabinet member for housing services, said: “We endeavour to give all our residents a good, safe and secure home, and satisfaction with our repairs and maintenance service has increased significantly in recent years – with eight out of ten residents satisfied with the repairs we undertake."

The councillor added that the authority is sorry about the issues the resident has faced and is "working hard" to fix them. 

The resident currently lives in a home which is due to be demolished as part of regeneration plans. The council says it uses otherwise empty homes so families can remain in the borough, without living in hostels, while it finds them suitable permanent accommodation.

Hackney's housing shortage means thousands of families are living in temporary accommodation and 13,000 are on the borough's housing waiting list. 

To help solve this crisis, it has set up a not-for-profit- house building programme.

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