Birmingham family’s fears of damp and moldy council house

image caption, Part of the downstairs bathroom ceiling collapsed, the second time it’s happened, the family said.

  • Author, Amy Cole
  • Role, BBC Midlands Today

A family living in a damp and moldy council house in Birmingham fear it is seriously compromising their health.

The property in Northfield is home to 19-year-old Nia, her three siblings and their parents, who said they had complained to the council several times and wanted to move.

“There are many mornings where I feel really sick,” said Nia, whose bedroom is the worst affected by the mold, while part of the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom collapsed twice.

Birmingham City Council said it was sorry for the inconvenience and stress and was exploring options for emergency accommodation depending on the timescale of the repairs.

image caption, Nia’s bedroom has the worst mold in the house

“There are many nights when I cough and feel very sick and in the winter it’s very difficult because with the mold you have to open the windows, but it’s cold,” said the 19-year-old.

Her father, who is very ill, sleeps in a hospital bed in the front room of the house, and as he cannot walk, it is vital that he has a bathroom downstairs.

But part of the bathroom ceiling fell twice, Nia said, and the second time, the water leaked for two days.

“Honestly, it makes you feel hopeless,” she said.

image caption, The council said it was sorry for the inconvenience and stress to the family

Birmingham City Council said an ongoing national housing crisis meant demand for accommodation in the city had never been higher.

It said there were 24,000 households on its housing register.

Of that number, nearly 7,000 families are looking for a two-bedroom home, 6,500 want a three-bedroom home, and there are more than 3,000 families, like Nia, who need a four-bedroom home but are short of it.

A date has been set for the ceiling of the family bathroom to be repaired, with further remedial work planned, the council added.

More about the wet case

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