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I’m pregnant and forced to sleep on sofa with son, 1, as hellish council flat is plagued by mould

A PREGNANT mum says she's forced to sleep on a sofa with her partner and their one-year-old because "rampant" mould is making the family ill.

Abigail Davies, 22, says she's contacted her housing association every day for three months – but contractors just paint over the damp.

And she said she "wouldn't even allow a dog" to sleep in either of the two bedrooms of the flat in Stoke-on-Trent.

Abigail told the Stoke Sentinel: "The living room and kitchen are the only places where we can live because the bedrooms are not safe.

"I was also told that there could be asbestos in the hallway.

"My son can't get to sleep until 11pm and is waking up at 3am.

"I'm trying to get him into a routine, but it just seems impossible.

"My back is killing me from sleeping on the sofa. It's horrendous."

The family, who pay £305.68 a month in rent, first moved into the Epic Housing home two years ago.

They've asked to be housed somewhere else – but Epic insists the house is "fit for habitation".

Abigail, who is 22 weeks pregnant, said: "My partner has just been diagnosed with asthma, I'm also asthmatic and I have been struggling with asthma attacks.


"I'm in and out of hospital with my son as he has got chest infections constantly.

"I've also had complications with my pregnancy and I'm scared I'm going to have an asthma attack every day."

She said housing bosses "just brush off" her complaints – adding: "It's ok for them, they get to go home to their cushy houses."

Abigail says she has spent at least £200 on mould remover and has been forced to throw away £4,000 worth of new baby clothes, a pushchair and furniture destroyed by the damp.

"My wardrobe also collapsed on me. It was covered in mould because of the damp," she said.

"The only thing I've been able to save from the bedrooms are the bed frames. I've had to get new mattresses.

"It's putting our lives at risk, not just physically, but mentally too.

"I don't want to be here in this place. I have been staying with family members and friends to get away from it.

"But when I come back the problems have just gotten worse.

It's putting our lives at risk, not just physically, but mentally too

"I'm constantly thinking what is going to go wrong next. I just think the whole place is going to crumble down.

"I want Epic to fix the problems and move me. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy."

Epic Housing says it has doused the affected areas with an anti-fungal and mould treatment and Abigail is on a waiting list to be moved.

A spokeswoman said: "The Property Services Manager noticed during the visit on November 11 that there was an area of cracked plaster in the hallway above the door which was identified to potentially be artex which could contain asbestos.

"Ms Davies was advised not to disturb the area and an appointment was arranged for our contractor to attend on November 18 to investigate and remove or treat as necessary."

She said during a recent inspection, mould growth was seen, which has been attributed to condensation that needs to be cleared away.

"The property is fit for habitation and there is no evidence of damp in the property," she said.

"I can assure you that Epic has been proactive in dealing with the issues of damp reported by Ms Davies and will continue to monitor the situation.

"I can confirm that Ms Davies is on the waiting list for a two bedroom house.

"However, at this time there are a number of applicants above her.

"Houses are in high demand and Epic has fairly low turnover.

"I would, therefore, advise Ms Davies to contact other housing providers in the area, details of which will be available from Stoke-on-Trent City Council."

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