Chesterfield mum speaks of frustration as battle to escape cramped and mouldy council flat continues
A Chesterfield mum has spoken of her frustration as she continues her battle to be rehoused from her cramped council flat which has been devastated by mould for over a year.
Hollie-Mai Squires recently told of the ‘disgusting’ and cramped conditions in her one-bedroom flat in Kirkstone Road, Dunston, which have left her feeling stressed and worried for her children, one-year-old Elsie-Mai and Oscar, aged four-months.
The 23-year-old has been bidding for other Chesterfield Borough Council properties for over a year but has been unsuccessful in each attempt – despite the authority stating that they are “are working with Miss Squires to try and resolve this situation, as we would for any other council tenant.”
Since speaking to the Derbyshire Times, the young mum says she has gotten no further in her efforts to be rehomed and has again reached out to Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and Staveley, for help to find a resolution.
Hollie-Mai said: “I’ve had someone come out and look at the damp and they said they’ll get somebody to rectify it, but because it’s that thick it will come back.
"I’ve also now got to sleep in bed with my son because he needs a cot and I cannot physically fit another in the room. He’s now in bed with me and my other half which is causing me not to sleep because I’m scared of us rolling onto him.
"Just to add my daughter also now knows how to unlock doors and get out on the front. Surely you can imagine it's hard to grab another child and run down stairs after her before something serious happens. I truly believe I am being penalised and something needs to be done about this now.”
Mr Perkins said that Hollie-Mai first got in touch with his office last year regarding the damp and mould in her home, and that the issue was then escalated to the council’s repairs team.
He added: “The family is clearly experiencing significant mould issues but are also keen to move due to the arrival of another baby.
“I have written to the council regarding the band that she is in, and Hollie-Mai is a priority for moving, but there is a considerable shortage of family houses in Chesterfield.
"Over many years government policy which has seen family houses lost to the authority due to right to buy not being replaced due to restrictions on Council’s borrowing money and there are no steps that government have taken which will address this shortage.
“The council has in recent years ‘bought the government out’ of Chesterfield’s council housing and for the first time for many years the council is now starting to increase the amount of council housing available but it will take a long time to address the current shortfall.
“During COVID, ‘non-essential repairs’ have been on hold. Most mould problems can be solved with better ventilation measures, but sometimes those don’t work, and I am writing to the council again to enquire how quickly they can take steps to address this specific case.
“I am meeting with Hollie- May today to discuss her specific case.”