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Victoria Park resident left to live with “appalling damp” in council house for over a year

PUBLISHED: 09:15 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:15 11 August 2020

The resident dealt with the damp for over a year but the council says it fixed the leak in March and could not carry on with the job, until now, due to the pandemic.

The resident dealt with the damp for over a year but the council says it fixed the leak in March and could not carry on with the job, until now, due to the pandemic.

Sophia Dowd

A 60-year-old Victoria Park resident has had to live with “appalling damp “in her council house for over a year.

Shortly after contacing the Gazette, the daughter of the 60-year-old said someone from council came to the house to disconnect exposed live wire as the damp caused plug sockets to stop working.Shortly after contacing the Gazette, the daughter of the 60-year-old said someone from council came to the house to disconnect exposed live wire as the damp caused plug sockets to stop working.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, was left to deal with damp walls, mice and flies after a leak occurred in her home following the fitting of a new kitchen.

Pictures of the flat show discoloured wallpaper, fly traps coated with the insects and exposed brickwork on the walls.

Her daughter told the Gazette: “My mum is not a very assertive person and I felt [the council] took advantage of her.”

Hackney council said they fixed the “major” leak in March but restrictions on home-working during the Covid-19 lockdown period meant they were not able to complete the job.

Damp which can cause serious respiratory problems and other illnesses can be seen on the walls of the resident's home. Pictured is a commercial dehumidifier the council has provided to dry the walls before the house is refurbushed.Damp which can cause serious respiratory problems and other illnesses can be seen on the walls of the resident's home. Pictured is a commercial dehumidifier the council has provided to dry the walls before the house is refurbushed.

They are now working to fully dry out the property before completing the refurbishment.

READ MORE: Toxic mould in Stamford Hill home not removed for a year due to Hackney Council ‘error

A Council spokesperson said: “We always strive to ensure all our tenants have a good, safe and comfortable home, and are sorry for the issues this resident has experienced and the length of time taken to resolve.”

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“[The] leak has now been fixed, and – having been delayed due to restrictions on working in homes during the lockdown – we are now actively drying out the property ready for full refurbishment to take place. This will include complete replastering and redecoration to bring the home back to the condition we expect and the resident deserves.”

But the 60-year-old’s daughter said the council are only sorting the issues out now after the family contacted the Gazette.

“We had to threaten them before they did anything,” she stated.

READ MORE: Judge overturns eviction of Hackney mum and daughter during lockdown

The bath panel was removed by the Victoria Park residents daughter after it began leaking despite the water being turned off.The bath panel was removed by the Victoria Park residents daughter after it began leaking despite the water being turned off.

She wants the council to do “better next time” and is not sure how her self-employed mum, who lost income while dealing with the leak and during the pandemic, would have coped if she didn’t have family to help her.

Though, she’s thankful her mum’s health has not suffered despite damp being known to cause respiratory problems and other illnesses.

“There’s going to be other people who are going through this and they don’t have the resources or family.”

“If [my mum] had no family she would have been left with no work in a damp house.”

As many possessions were damaged by the damp the woman is now saving up to buy new furnishings for her home.

“[The council] said they’re sorting it out but we’ll have to see for now because they haven’t been reliable,” said her daughter who feels they have used the pandemic as “an excuse” despite the problems with damp arising much earlier.


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