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Tenant with asthma stuck in damp, crumbling flat

PUBLISHED: 13:59 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:11 30 April 2020

Picture: Tracy Shaw

Picture: Tracy Shaw

Tracy Shaw

A woman with chronic asthma has been living in a damp flat for weeks with crumbling walls after a council missed its deadline to repair it.

The council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy ShawThe council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy Shaw

Tracy Shaw, 50, viewed the council flat on North Park Avenue near Eaton Park in January.

It was in a state of disrepair, but she was told by Norwich City Council that it would be fixed for when she moved in on February 4.

Some work was started, but not finished and coronavirus has added to the delays.

The council apologised to Ms Shaw and admitted the flat “clearly does not meet the standards we would expect any of our residents to live in”.

Tracy Shaw moved into the council flat in February and is still waiting for work to be done. Photo: Tracy ShawTracy Shaw moved into the council flat in February and is still waiting for work to be done. Photo: Tracy Shaw

“It is so annoying because they knew the work should have been before I moved in on February 4th,” Ms Shaw said. “Yes, they have put in new flooring and done some work but when I moved in, the ceiling was falling down.

“I just want the ceilings done as they are crumbling and the damp has not been sorted so I cannot decorate anything.”

She added: “When I viewed the property I thought “oh my god” but I felt I had no choice.

“It is in such a poor state. I wish I hadn’t moved in.”

The council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy ShawThe council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy Shaw

Ms Shaw said she had to downsize from her last council flat in Lakenham as it had two bedrooms and she lives alone, meaning she could not afford the rent from her benefits.

Ms Shaw, who has various health conditions including chronic asthma and lives off Employment Support Allowance (ESA), took a video of the inside of the property showing bare walls with holes in them and damp.

She said that she understood coronavirus and social distancing guidelines was now delaying work, but had been told in February, several weeks before the lockdown, that repairs would be done.

“The kitchen is a mess and there is nowhere to put a washing machine because of damp on the walls,” she said.

The council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy ShawThe council flat Tracy Shaw moved in to by Eaton Park is in a state of disrepair. Photo: Tracy Shaw

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “We’re really sorry that Ms Shaw has moved into a property that clearly does not meet the standards we would expect any of our residents to live in.

“We will move as quickly as we can to sort this out by working with our contractors to make sure the work that needs to be done is prioritised.”

The council said it would keep Ms Shaw updated on when work can start again.


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