Desperate Chesterfield mum worried for young children’s health as mould takes over cramped council flat
A Chesterfield mum has slammed the council’s lack of action to repair her mould-ridden flat as fears for the health of her two young children grow.
Hollie-Mai Squires said the issues at her one-bedroom flat in Kirkstone Road, Dunston, have been making her feel stressed and worried for her children, one-year-old Elsie-Mai and Oscar, aged four-months.
The 23-year-old moved into the property in February 2019, but shortly afterwards began the process of bidding for other Chesterfield Borough Council properties as the damp was becoming an issue.
Hollie-Mai, who also shares the flat with her partner Joshua Walker, claims that the council have promised to rectify the issues but, over a year later, she is still living in ‘disgusting’ and cramped conditions.
She said: “There’s damp and mould all over the ceiling and it’s getting worse. I’ve now got a large crack that runs along my ceiling and have even got damp now coming in my hallway and in the bathroom as I’ve no extractor fans.
"I can appreciate due to the pandemic things haven’t been able to be completed within the normal time ratio, however this has been ongoing for well over a year now.
“Elsie is having to sleep right under the mould and damp because there’s no room. The doctors have now said she’s got to be on an inhaler as the damp has caused numerous chest infections.
"Oscar has underlying health conditions too, he suffers with breathing and reoccurring chest problems. He wasn’t breathing when he was born and I even told the hospital I didn’t want to bring him back to a property like this. It’s disgusting.”
The young mum said she last heard from Chesterfield Borough Council over a week ago, but all calls and emails have since been left unanswered.
"I applied to the council thinking that I’d get some help; I’ve sent photos, the health visitors and doctors have written letters, I have gotten nowhere,” Hollie-Mai added.
"They’ve just said this flat is big enough to fit two babies in it.
"We are a young working family and feel that we are being slightly penalised, a few weeks ago we was in first place on a property to then be told unfortunately it has gone to someone else.
"I don’t want anything to happen to my children. I feel very helpless.”
Liz Cook, Chesterfield Borough Council’s service director for housing, said all complaints from tenants are taken seriously.
She added: “All concerns relating to tenants and their properties are investigated by our dedicated team and we will try to resolve complaints as quickly as possible.
"In this instance we are working with Miss Squires to try and resolve this situation, as we would for any other council tenant.
“After inspecting the property last year, we carried out a fungicidal wash to treat the mould and an electrician attended the property to clean and service the fans located in the kitchen and bathroom. We will be attending the property again to carry out a further inspection in to the report.
“We have reviewed Miss Squires’ position in line with our home options allocation policy and can confirm that she is eligible for a two bedroom house under our policy. We have advised Miss Squires to bid for properties of this size.”