Sunday, 13 January 2013
LETTER: Hyndburns housing crises - the shocking reality for many families
I currently live in a terraced house in Accrington and it came to winter last year and I started to notice the windows leaked in, quite a large amount even after having the windows open for most of the day, for the past year I have repeatedly asked my landlord to repair without success and have also tried to seal them myself but hasn’t made any difference, the reason this has become a big problem for me is that I have 4 young children of which 1 of them my daughter child who is 7 suffers from severe asthma and has a very high allergy to house dust mites, over the past 6 months child has got dramatically worse constant wheezing, sore throats, chest infections, tonsillitis and doesn’t have a very good immune system.
Over the past few months when coming into winter again when the weather started to change I noticed the windows get really bad and in child's bedroom found what I thought was mould or fungi. I had advised my landlord on numerous occasions that they needed replacing so told him that I would be withholding one month’s rent until he carried out the work and his response 4 days later was to issue me with a possession order.
On receiving this I contacted the council who advised me that the possession order was wrong ,which happened another 5 times and I ended up with getting different stories from as many people, I am now threatened with being homeless. The council then sent environmental health round to make a report and I was told from them that my landlord is very well known to them.
They found there to be rising damp in the 3 rooms downstairs, damp in the bathroom, bad drafts from both front and back doors but said that the windows didn’t need replacing but sealed again and that what I thought was mould was the varnish from the wood. I have also provided them with 3 medical letters regarding child which states the environment she is in is making her symptoms worse. I have since done my own investigations with people who know about fungi etc. and have all said it's definitely that and needs addressing.
I really don’t know who to turn to next I have taken the correct roads to try and sort things out but found that no one has listened to my concerns ,my children’s health is my priority and after showing them letters from medical professionals found that no one was interested, I have also asked my landlord on plenty of occasions to sort things out ,I now have to keep my children (especially) a child in house that is freezing and could be making her chest symptoms significantly worse and probably end up on more medication. If I had the money to move I would but being a single parent and working to provide for them leaves me with no money and the council haven’t given me any hope at all .
This is the reason why I would be grateful if you could look at the pictures I attach and any information you could give me would be very much appreciated.