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My housing association home is so mouldy the floorboards are rotten – I almost fell through

FRUSTRATED residents have been complaining about their housing with one claiming he almost fell through rotten floorboards.

Families in Rochdale, Greater Manchester are increasingly worried about the damp and mould in their flats which comes up through the floorboards and into the walls.

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Families in Cedar Avenue have been complaining about mould and damp[/caption]
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Anthony Bleakley has dangerous rotten floorboards in his home[/caption]

Anthony Bleakley lives with his family-of-six in a housing association home on Cedar Avenue in Heywood.

He has lived in the house for three years while his partner has been there for six.

Gesturing towards a living room wall, he said: “We only put this wallpaper up six months ago, it just falls off,” reports Manchester Evening News.

Anthony then points out a far more serious problem which is the hole in the floor.

“We took up the laminate to show more evidence [of the damp].

“I was standing on it and it just fell through,” he said.

Underneath the floorboard, Anthony said that he could see a ‘pool of water’.

“A lot of the water has gone now but there still is some. When it rains it fills up a lot,” he said.

Anthony has resorted to DIY and covered up the gaping hole with a playhouse.

“I’m a groundworker by trade so I know what’s gone on,” Anthony said.

The rising damp in the houses on Cedar Avenue is down to a failure with the damp proof courses, according to Matthew Condrad, the director of Tenant Claim, who represents Anthony’s family.

He says the type of damp proofing the housing association used only has a lifespan of around 25 years – and now it has expired.

Two of the four children living in the house have asthma – and Anthony fears for them whenever “it rains and it gets damp”.

However, Anthony isn’t the only resident on Cedar Avenue to be affected with Natalie Lake another who fears for her children’s health.

Her daughter, Jorja-Maria Lake, has recently been diagnosed with asthma.

She said: “She’s only three. Her asthma gets so bad she ends up in hospital. She’s very young.”

Although Jorja-Maria is young she is still aware of the horrible smell of damp.

In a video Natalie recorded, the child can be heard saying: “Mummy I don’t like the smell”.

Her home has rotten floorboards and other similar damp problems as Anthony’s.

“When I walk around the house at night I can feel the floor breaking. I’m sure there’s water underneath. It’s just everywhere,” she said.

Natalie and Anthony have said that they’ve both been going to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing for help.

But so far, they say that the housing association have done nothing to properly combat the damp.

Anthony said: “We keep reporting things but nothing is happening. They keep fobbing us off. They think they can get away with it because we live here and they’ve got us trapped.”

He and his partner had plans to buy their Cedar Avenue home through Right to Buy in what would be a “big saving”.

But Anthony has said that the “disrepair” to the properly has put them off.

“We keep wanting to get the house done up but there’s no point,” he added.

Natalie recalls a stressful time where her house was infested with rats and it took around three years to sort.

“My mental health went through the roof with the rats,” she said.

“I just feel really upset and angry and frustrated.”

Lawyer Matthew Condrad explained the issues at Natalie and Anthony’s homes.

He said: “The properties are affected by rising damp, which is rotting the floorboards, ruining furnishings, and threatening the health of residents.

“Floorboards are collapsing, and pools of water are visible underneath, from which water is rising into the floorboards, skirting boards and lower walls.

“This rising damp is due to failure of the damp proof courses. A chemical injection damp proof course has been inserted to alleviate damp, but it’s approximate 25 year lifespan has expired, meaning that urgent repairs are required in the area.

“Rat infestations are also a reoccurring problem, causing an additional health risk to residents.”

A spokesperson from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing said: “We received a report of a rat infestation behind one set of homes on Cedar Avenue, Heywood in late 2021. Following a detailed survey, we commissioned extensive drainage work to rectify the problem.

“This was completed in late January 2022. We have not received any further reports of rats in this area.

“We recently received a report of damp in a home on Cedar Avenue. Our joiner attended on Friday, February 25, and confirmed that further work is required. We will undertake this work as quickly as possible.

“RBH tenants who need to report an issue can do so quickly and easily by phone, by e-mail to customerexperience@rbh.org.uk or via the MyRBH online portal.”

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Natalie is concerned about Jorja-Maria’s health[/caption]
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Damp and mould can cause respiratory problems[/caption]
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Damage caused by damp and rot at Cedar Avenue[/caption]
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The walls are also affected by the mouldy conditions[/caption]

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