Tenant with chronic asthma still living in flat covered in mould
PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 09 July 2020
A severe asthmatic is still living in a flat covered in mould after a council failed to repair it.
The damp has got so bad in Tracy Shaw’s flat, on North Park Avenue, near Eaton Park, that her nebuliser machine for her asthma is mouldy, her dogs have become ill and she is having to take extra asthma medication.
The 50-year old’s possessions, including clothes and precious photos of her grandma, have also been ruined by the damp.
She saw the flat was in a state of disrepair when she visited it in January, but she was told by Norwich City Council that it would be fixed by the time she moved, in February.
It was not and when this newspaper first reported on Ms Shaw’s plight in April, the council apologised and said it would move “as quickly as we can to sort this out by working with our contractors”.
More than two months later the work has not been done.
The council blamed the delay on coronavirus and said because Ms Shaw had been shielding it had not been able to visit.
But Mrs Shaw said she wanted the work to be done as soon as possible.
The council said it had now booked a date to carry out repairs.
Ms Shaw said the council contractor, Norse, had visited once to fix a handle on a window, but not the damp.
“All my belongings are ruined, photos of my nanny that can’t be replaced are ruined, my clothes are full of mould,” she said.
Ms Shaw, who has various health conditions including chronic asthma and lives off Employment Support Allowance (ESA), has been given a compensation form by the council to claim for her damaged possessions.
She said that she understood coronavirus was delaying work, but had been told in February, several weeks before the lockdown, that repairs would be done.
Norwich’s 15,000 council homes are maintained by a company, joint owned by the city council and Norse, called Norwich Norse Building Ltd.
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “Work on Mrs Shaw’s flat was prioritised as it clearly didn’t meet the standards we expect any of our tenants to live in when she moved into the property.
“The work didn’t start as quickly as we wanted at the outset and was further complicated by the fact that Mrs Shaw was shielding during the pandemic.”
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