Family’s plight living in home with mould

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A Scarborough family said they felt forced to move after a housing association failed to complete repairs despite having to pay £5,000 in damages.

Owen Reece says the flat he lives in with his partner, Kirstie Booth, and eight-month-old son, Louis, is riddled with mould.

He claims the problem is so bad that it has turned furniture, such as their son’s cot, green and conditions have caused health problems.

But now the council has stepped in and after months of complaints they are due to move to a new home on Saturday in Kirkbymoorside.

Mr Reece said: “I suffer from bipolar disorder and any added stress can trigger me to be severely depressed, so the thought of my family having to live in damp, cold and mouldy conditions for so long has been so bad.”

Mr Reeces acquired legal help when the housing association continued to ignore his complaints.

He was awarded damages of £5,000 in July following an independent survey found damp in every room and said repairs should be carried out by the end of the month. But they have still not been completed.

Sana Patel, from Turner and White solicitors, who dealt with Mr Reece’s claim, says the housing association were difficult to contact. Adding: “We’ve never had this issue with any of our cases not carrying out the repairs before.”

But Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association, whichowns the flat in Royal Avenue, Scarborough, disputed the claims.

Chief executive Lisa Pickard said: “The points contain some material inaccuracies. Officers have been working extensively to resolve this matter with Mr Reece and this continues to remain our priority.

“The association is a responsible landlord and take our tenant obligations seriously.”

She says they are committed to resolving complaints.

She added: “This is what I believe we have done and continue to do in terms of this case; none of which is reflected in these claims.”