Stoke Newington mum claims her flat is killing her

Stoke Newington woman’s asthma aggravated by dampness in her home

Leonie Clarke’s asthma worsened when she moved into the damp mouldy apartment in Carlyle House on the Hawkesley Court Estate in Albion Road two years ago.

The 48-year old asked Hackney Homes, the council’s arms length management organisation, to be re-housed on medical grounds in April.

But the organisation snubbed her, saying she was ‘adequately housed’ and that they did not consider her ill enough to warrant a move.

Five months on Ms Clarke found herself in hospital with severe breathing problems which she says have affected her daily life.

Ms Clarke says her health has deteriorated to such an extent she has become housebound, because she cannot manage the stairs from her third floor flat when the lift is not working.

Homerton Hospital consultant Dr Rajakulasingam sent a letter to Hackney Homes last month pointing out that Ms Clarke’s living conditions could be detrimental to her health, and last week she was hospitalised with uncontrolled asthma.

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Ms Clarke, who has a 14-year-old daughter who has also developed asthma since moving into the property, said: “My flat is slowly killing me off, I’m in so much pain my chest hurts.

“I have lost friends to asthma and that makes me scared.

“Winter’s coming and my daughter will come home from school and find me dead.”

Ms Clarke described the dampness in the flat where her clothes are rotting because of the mould spores: “Imagine a rain forest without the heat and that is the toilet – there are black spores, it’s dripping water and clammy,” she said.

“It’s so bad the contractors had the humidifier in place for a week in February, but told Hackney Homes they couldn’t complete any works because the walls hadn’t dried out,” added Ms Clarke, who was forced her to quit her consultancy job training NHS staff last December.

A spokeswoman for Hackney Homes said they were extremely concerned about the issues raised by Ms Clarke: “We have carried out a number of works to address the condensation in her home and will continue to address these as a high priority,” she said.

“A medical assessment will also be carried out to assess her request to move.”