A pregnant mum of two has been sleeping on her sofa for years because the mould problem in her council home is so bad.
Abbie Cook Dukes said she had repeatedly complained to the housing provide – Walsall Housing Group – but they had not properly fixed the problem.
The 23-year-old has had to throw out a wardrobe, chest of drawers, two prams, two cots, carpets and bed because they have become infested with the damp.
But she was most worried about the impact on her two sons’ health.
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“I’m trying to bring two kids up, and have another on the way, and I worry about their health,” Abbie, whose children are two and three, told Birmingham Live.
“I worry about them breathing in the mould. We clean it up but it just comes back."
“It’s so depressing," adds the full-time mum.
“The three of us have been sleeping on the sofa in the lounge because the bedrooms are so bad.
“The mould and damp is wrecking our items constantly. These items aren’t cheap.”
Since moving into the flat in August 2015, Abbie and her mother Joanna have asked Walsall Housing Group for help but claims she’s been told it is just condensation.
They got a solicitor involved in September 2016 after Abbie’s second son was born.
She claimed compensation but says the problem was still not resolved.
Joanna Dukes said: “Walsall Housing Group were supposed to fix the problem. They were supposed to put up scaffolding on the outside and sort the walls out. This was never done.
"They’ve been and painted over it but it doesn’t solve the problem. You can smell and taste it as soon as you walk it.
"It’s making the children ill. “She and the boys are sleeping in the lounge on the sofa as the two bedrooms smell awful.
"Has my daughter got to bring up another baby in those conditions?
“The damp is coming up through the floor to cause damage to attack furniture and carpets. It’s unhealthy, smells and they should be moved.”
But Walsall Housing Group’s director of home maintenance Nigel Harris said Abbie had caused the problem herself by using a tumble drier in an unventilated room.
"We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously and in 2016, when we were made aware of these issues, carried out extensive renovations to the property to address the damp as well as agreeing financial compensation with Ms Cook-Dukes.
“Following a visit to the property before Christmas, surveyors discovered that recent mould was found to be the result of condensation due to a tumble drier being used in an unventilated room.
“We have advised the customer on how to prevent the build up of condensation in the future, and now that the rooms have been properly ventilated will be treating and repainting the walls as a matter of urgency.”
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