Mum-to-be 'at risk' from mouldy home

Louise Robertson in her garden, seen through the air vent hole in the wall from the living room

Louise Robertson in her garden, seen through the air vent hole in the wall from the living room

First published in News by

DOCTORS have blasted social housing landlord Bromford Group for making a pregnant woman endure a damp and mouldy home that they say is putting the life of her unborn baby at risk.

At nearly six months pregnant, mum-of-two Louise Robertson has been forced to sleep on a sofa at her Bromford property because the thick, black mould growing on her bedroom wall and ceiling aggravates her asthma.

Following complaints from the single mum, a doctor, health worker and environmental health officer, Bromford's solution has been to create a gaping hole in her front wall.

The 39-year-old said she has been left ill because of the stress of the situation and is worried about her two teenage children who both suffered chest problems because of the damp.

"My 18-year-old daughter won’t stay overnight anymore because the house makes her cough and my 13-year-old son is always complaining that he’s cold," she said. "It’s even colder now the vent has been pushed out."

To add to their problems they have limited hot water and heating because of a faulty boiler.

"We are very concerned about the state of her accommodation and the effect this is having on her current health and also the health of her family."

Dr Sarah Welch

She said housing officers had advised she move furniture away from walls and strip wallpaper to try and solve the problems.

"Last month I did some tidying up and I was rushed to hospital with bleeding," she said. "Now I’ve been told (by doctors) not to do anything, so I can’t do what they’ve asked."

After visiting the family home in February, an NHS consultant and midwife both wrote to the housing association, pleading for action on Louise's behalf.

In her letter NHS consultant Dr Sarah Welch wrote: "We are very concerned about the state of her accommodation and the effect this is having on her current health and also the health of her family. There is particular urgency because of her pregnancy."

Louise said she first complained about water leaking through a wall on one side of her house about three years ago and had received numerous visits from officers and surveyors since then.

But Bromford Group say they have no record of her complaints before January 2012.

And they said they could not take action as Louise was refusing to top up her gas key. Louise said she felt being asked to top up the key was no different than being told she had to pay for the gas test and that she could not afford to pay for a heating system that did not work.

A Bromford spokesman said: "Until this bill is paid, our engineer is unable to test any appliances and Ms Robertson remains without central heating. This in turn will make the damp and mould issues worse."

Comments (15)

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6:05pm Thu 12 Apr 12

David Broad says...

Last night I told some tales of Fosseway / Bromfords antics when we discussed how to get some affordable housing at Chedworth, this absolutely supports what I said, complete and utter contempt for their tenants and former tenants who bought under right to buy. A 100 mm hole in a living room wall in 2012, this isn't 1950 Soviet Russia, if a private Landlord did this they would be prosecuted, so why not Bromford? A few months community service for the chief exec might work wonders.
Last night I told some tales of Fosseway / Bromfords antics when we discussed how to get some affordable housing at Chedworth, this absolutely supports what I said, complete and utter contempt for their tenants and former tenants who bought under right to buy. A 100 mm hole in a living room wall in 2012, this isn't 1950 Soviet Russia, if a private Landlord did this they would be prosecuted, so why not Bromford? A few months community service for the chief exec might work wonders. David Broad
  • Score: 2

7:14pm Thu 12 Apr 12

CotswoldGal says...

People thought Fosseway was bad but nothing compares to Bromford. They don't care about there houses or customers (as they calls us) all they care about is Money. I bet you couldn't find one of their customers not to say a bad thing about them.
People thought Fosseway was bad but nothing compares to Bromford. They don't care about there houses or customers (as they calls us) all they care about is Money. I bet you couldn't find one of their customers not to say a bad thing about them. CotswoldGal
  • Score: 2

9:05pm Thu 12 Apr 12

maxiimoo says...

i had this problem i was pregnant and had a 2 yr old then had my baby and had to live 2 months in a damp mouldy flat, had housing officer out and all he said was it was 100 degrees in my flat dont know how it was when i had no heating and mould growing everywhere iv got pictures of my daughters window and walls but that didnt matter to him, i luckily moved out of my flat to another because i bid on the flat underneath me and got it if the guy didnt go into a home id still be living in that flat bromford dont care they dont like spending money on the care of people theyd rather ust keep building than solve the problems they have its a disgrace this woman has to live like that i know how she feels and its horrible bromford should be ashamed and so should her housing officer let her live like that
i had this problem i was pregnant and had a 2 yr old then had my baby and had to live 2 months in a damp mouldy flat, had housing officer out and all he said was it was 100 degrees in my flat dont know how it was when i had no heating and mould growing everywhere iv got pictures of my daughters window and walls but that didnt matter to him, i luckily moved out of my flat to another because i bid on the flat underneath me and got it if the guy didnt go into a home id still be living in that flat bromford dont care they dont like spending money on the care of people theyd rather ust keep building than solve the problems they have its a disgrace this woman has to live like that i know how she feels and its horrible bromford should be ashamed and so should her housing officer let her live like that maxiimoo
  • Score: 2

6:12pm Fri 13 Apr 12

BBW says...

Do damp and/or mould cause bad punctuation?
Do damp and/or mould cause bad punctuation? BBW
  • Score: 0

1:14am Sat 14 Apr 12

snowarden says...

I have to say i haven't got one good word to say about fosseway/bromford H.A. We were a family of 5 being forced to live in a 2 bed house, even though it had severe overcrowding hazard warning issues placed on it, bromford found our situation funny and told us that there was other people on the waiting list that would like to live there!! Thank god we got an exchange out of the area, I will never return to cirencester as long as this awful association are there plus the rents on thier properties are disgustingly high. The worst thing about cirencester in my view is the existance of bromford H.A. Has anyone else noticed thier slogan on the letters? passionate about people? Don't make me laugh, The only thing that they are passionate about is the rent!
I have to say i haven't got one good word to say about fosseway/bromford H.A. We were a family of 5 being forced to live in a 2 bed house, even though it had severe overcrowding hazard warning issues placed on it, bromford found our situation funny and told us that there was other people on the waiting list that would like to live there!! Thank god we got an exchange out of the area, I will never return to cirencester as long as this awful association are there plus the rents on thier properties are disgustingly high. The worst thing about cirencester in my view is the existance of bromford H.A. Has anyone else noticed thier slogan on the letters? passionate about people? Don't make me laugh, The only thing that they are passionate about is the rent! snowarden
  • Score: 2

1:25am Sat 14 Apr 12

snowarden says...

Something else i just thought of, B.H.A are also the only association that takes over 42 days just to make a decision on allowing a mutual exchange compared to two weeks anywhere else plus they do it on a monday not a friday like anyone else so you can have the weekend to move, Disgusting! Plus the housing officer for outline areas only works two days a week??
Something else i just thought of, B.H.A are also the only association that takes over 42 days just to make a decision on allowing a mutual exchange compared to two weeks anywhere else plus they do it on a monday not a friday like anyone else so you can have the weekend to move, Disgusting! Plus the housing officer for outline areas only works two days a week?? snowarden
  • Score: 1

4:17pm Sat 14 Apr 12

CotswoldGal says...

BBW wrote:
Do damp and/or mould cause bad punctuation?
shouldn't that be does?? pot calling kettle black comes to mind....
[quote][p][bold]BBW[/bold] wrote: Do damp and/or mould cause bad punctuation?[/p][/quote]shouldn't that be does?? pot calling kettle black comes to mind.... CotswoldGal
  • Score: 0

11:07am Tue 17 Apr 12

Roseli says...

I had to call this company when my elderly in-laws had heating problems. They ended up waiting for nearly a fortnight to finally get it fixed. They now have a crack running thotugh their batchroom window, when they phoned up to report it they were told that any repairs like this were not Bomfords responsibility and that they needed to get the window repaired themselves.

Whoever sold the housing to this company should hang their heads in shame
I had to call this company when my elderly in-laws had heating problems. They ended up waiting for nearly a fortnight to finally get it fixed. They now have a crack running thotugh their batchroom window, when they phoned up to report it they were told that any repairs like this were not Bomfords responsibility and that they needed to get the window repaired themselves. Whoever sold the housing to this company should hang their heads in shame Roseli
  • Score: 1

10:21am Wed 18 Apr 12

snowarden says...

I know of an elderly gent who lives in a bungalow that is falling down around him, (private) Struggling to fetch coal for the rayburn, He can hardly walk, He is not eligable for home help, He has been on the transfer list with Bromford for over five years to be re-housed in sheltered accomadation with a warden, He clearly can't manage yet Bromford find his situation acceptable? The areas he requested near to his doctors have come up several times on "homeseekers" Probably the biggest load of rubbish that was ever thought of, Yet he was beaten to it by someone that lived out of the area with NO connection to the cotswolds whatsoever!! When will someone realise that Bromford H/A are just there for the money and have no interest in anyones health or well being?? There should be a public vote where i think B/H/A will be thrown out!
I know of an elderly gent who lives in a bungalow that is falling down around him, (private) Struggling to fetch coal for the rayburn, He can hardly walk, He is not eligable for home help, He has been on the transfer list with Bromford for over five years to be re-housed in sheltered accomadation with a warden, He clearly can't manage yet Bromford find his situation acceptable? The areas he requested near to his doctors have come up several times on "homeseekers" Probably the biggest load of rubbish that was ever thought of, Yet he was beaten to it by someone that lived out of the area with NO connection to the cotswolds whatsoever!! When will someone realise that Bromford H/A are just there for the money and have no interest in anyones health or well being?? There should be a public vote where i think B/H/A will be thrown out! snowarden
  • Score: 2

10:27am Wed 18 Apr 12

snowarden says...

How about being forced to live outside the cotswolds and away from friends and family because Fosseway/Bromford H/A made it almost impossible to live there!!
How about being forced to live outside the cotswolds and away from friends and family because Fosseway/Bromford H/A made it almost impossible to live there!! snowarden
  • Score: 0

10:32am Wed 18 Apr 12

Roseli says...

My in-laws live in a "family home" and have offered to move to allow a "family" to have the house (although it would have to be a very small family!!) but each time we talk to Bomford they are told that they should move into private rented accommodation to free the house rather than being offered a swap into a smaller house/flat.

I agree with snowarden a public vote will get them out but. in our democracy what chance do we have of thsi happening - NONE
My in-laws live in a "family home" and have offered to move to allow a "family" to have the house (although it would have to be a very small family!!) but each time we talk to Bomford they are told that they should move into private rented accommodation to free the house rather than being offered a swap into a smaller house/flat. I agree with snowarden a public vote will get them out but. in our democracy what chance do we have of thsi happening - NONE Roseli
  • Score: 1

4:38pm Thu 19 Apr 12

Bromford says...

Hi,

My name is Jarrod, a member of the team at Bromford.

It is unfortunate to read that a number of you have had a bad experience with us and this is definitely something we want the opportunity to respond to, and hopefully help you with.

We also understand some of you have questions about our operations and repairs service, which we are happy to answer.

You can contact us in a number of ways; either online or offline. If you want to chat directly with a colleague, please call us on 0330 1234 034 (or for mini com/ text phone users, 0330 1234 031).

You may prefer to contact us online, which we have a few ways of doing. First of all, you can drop an email to customerservices@bro
mford.co.uk.
If you’re into your social media, you can also contact us via Twitter at http://www.twitter.c
om/BromfordLiving or if you’re on Facebook, drop a message or comment on the Bromford Living Facebook page, http://www.facebook.
com/bromfordliving.

Thank you for your comments and hopefully moving forward we can provide some resolution to your issues.

Thanks,

Jarrod
Hi, My name is Jarrod, a member of the team at Bromford. It is unfortunate to read that a number of you have had a bad experience with us and this is definitely something we want the opportunity to respond to, and hopefully help you with. We also understand some of you have questions about our operations and repairs service, which we are happy to answer. You can contact us in a number of ways; either online or offline. If you want to chat directly with a colleague, please call us on 0330 1234 034 (or for mini com/ text phone users, 0330 1234 031). You may prefer to contact us online, which we have a few ways of doing. First of all, you can drop an email to customerservices@bro mford.co.uk. If you’re into your social media, you can also contact us via Twitter at http://www.twitter.c om/BromfordLiving or if you’re on Facebook, drop a message or comment on the Bromford Living Facebook page, http://www.facebook. com/bromfordliving. Thank you for your comments and hopefully moving forward we can provide some resolution to your issues. Thanks, Jarrod Bromford
  • Score: -1

11:21pm Thu 19 Apr 12

justmyPOV says...

If Bromfords took the time, which they won't, to speak to their tenants the would be in for a nasty shock.
Small children living in homes with electrical fittings and heaters hanging off the walls, plaster work crumbling everywhere, heating malfunctions.....the list goes on and on.
It has got to the point where, in the wake of fosseway's failings and now Bromfords total disregard for the people living in these "homes" ,people are reluctant to report any problems because lord only knows what hell they are going to be put through.

And yes the rent is ridiculous. I doubt there would be much complaint if Bromfords did their job and the houses weren't falling apart at the seams.
If either of the two offending H.A's (Fosseway and Bromfords) did things properly the first time they would not have this problem.

Oh and their procedures are a joke. They don't need to be explained!! They need to be scrapped!!! A broken toilet in a family home is not an emergency??!! A possible 2 days before it gets fixed??!!
But of course no record of that will be held!
But god help you if you owe them money! (which they didn't tell you about for months) then it's ooops you're being evicted!

And what infuriates me even more is looking out of my friends window at 9:30 am and seeing FOUR of Bromford vans parked up outside with their workers sat in them doing SOD ALL!!!
I texted another friend of mine who had been waiting weeks for some work to be completed and she hit the roof. She had been told that they were very busy and were not available to go round that day! Busy doing the only thing they are good at....NOTHING.

There is no point discussing this any more. Their poor management and lack of interest is putting people at risk. No more being fobbed off.

BROMFORDS HAVE TO SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!!
If Bromfords took the time, which they won't, to speak to their tenants the would be in for a nasty shock. Small children living in homes with electrical fittings and heaters hanging off the walls, plaster work crumbling everywhere, heating malfunctions.....the list goes on and on. It has got to the point where, in the wake of fosseway's failings and now Bromfords total disregard for the people living in these "homes" ,people are reluctant to report any problems because lord only knows what hell they are going to be put through. And yes the rent is ridiculous. I doubt there would be much complaint if Bromfords did their job and the houses weren't falling apart at the seams. If either of the two offending H.A's (Fosseway and Bromfords) did things properly the first time they would not have this problem. Oh and their procedures are a joke. They don't need to be explained!! They need to be scrapped!!! A broken toilet in a family home is not an emergency??!! A possible 2 days before it gets fixed??!! But of course no record of that will be held! But god help you if you owe them money! (which they didn't tell you about for months) then it's ooops you're being evicted! And what infuriates me even more is looking out of my friends window at 9:30 am and seeing FOUR of Bromford vans parked up outside with their workers sat in them doing SOD ALL!!! I texted another friend of mine who had been waiting weeks for some work to be completed and she hit the roof. She had been told that they were very busy and were not available to go round that day! Busy doing the only thing they are good at....NOTHING. There is no point discussing this any more. Their poor management and lack of interest is putting people at risk. No more being fobbed off. BROMFORDS HAVE TO SHAPE UP OR SHIP OUT!! justmyPOV
  • Score: 2

10:19am Fri 20 Apr 12

snowarden says...

In response to Jarrod from B/H/A, Where was you and your complaints dept when i complained to you about the fact that we was living in one of your lovely but half derelict homes with no heating (faulty electric storage heaters) My wife slipped on the stairs when she was 7 months pregnant because she was wrapped in a blanket, resulting in her spending (four warm nights in hospital) what was your response to my phone calls....."You took the house as a mutual exchange so therefore you accepted it as it was we are to do nothing", followed by if your not happy, exchange it again or shut up as there are plenty of people on the housing waiting list that would want it - absolutley pathetic, disgusting and an awful way to treat your tennants as if it wasn't for us "the tennant" you wouldn't have an association!!!!
In response to Jarrod from B/H/A, Where was you and your complaints dept when i complained to you about the fact that we was living in one of your lovely but half derelict homes with no heating (faulty electric storage heaters) My wife slipped on the stairs when she was 7 months pregnant because she was wrapped in a blanket, resulting in her spending (four warm nights in hospital) what was your response to my phone calls....."You took the house as a mutual exchange so therefore you accepted it as it was we are to do nothing", followed by if your not happy, exchange it again or shut up as there are plenty of people on the housing waiting list that would want it - absolutley pathetic, disgusting and an awful way to treat your tennants as if it wasn't for us "the tennant" you wouldn't have an association!!!! snowarden
  • Score: 1

10:34am Fri 20 Apr 12

snowarden says...

This will make you laugh!, The B/H/A repair vans that you see on a regular basis hanging around in layby's or down lanes or indeed outside your houses are "wasting time " as they are allocated a certain amount of time for a repair........ so the repair man will complete the job as quickly as possible then just sit there reading the sun or whatever he thinks is a good passtime as the van is on a tracker so he has to sit there to make it look like he's spending the full allocated time attending to the repair. It's a rushed job or a bodge, The level of quality on these repairs is in my opinion is "poor" Do they really think that we are stupid???
This will make you laugh!, The B/H/A repair vans that you see on a regular basis hanging around in layby's or down lanes or indeed outside your houses are "wasting time " as they are allocated a certain amount of time for a repair........ so the repair man will complete the job as quickly as possible then just sit there reading the sun or whatever he thinks is a good passtime as the van is on a tracker so he has to sit there to make it look like he's spending the full allocated time attending to the repair. It's a rushed job or a bodge, The level of quality on these repairs is in my opinion is "poor" Do they really think that we are stupid??? snowarden
  • Score: 2

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