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