Scarborough mum's fight to move out of cold and mouldy flat

Nicola Dockerty is concerned about the living conditions in her Barrowcliff home.
Nicola Dockerty is concerned about the living conditions in her Barrowcliff home.

Damp, mould, cold breezes and a faulty radiator – these are the living conditions a Scarborough mum-of-two says she has been putting up with for more than two years.

Nicola Dockerty lives in a one-bedroom flat on Barrowcliff Road with her 19-month-old son and four-month-old baby daughter.

The property is situated on the top floor of a block of flats run by affordable housing provider Beyond Housing.

Despite the many complaints logged by Nicola about the conditions of the flat, improvements are yet to be seen, she says.

She said: “It’s draughty, there’s mould around the windows, the radiator in the bedroom keeps going off. One night it was so cold I had to move the mattress to the living room and sleep on the floor.

“I keep reporting these issues and they send someone but they’re not actually fixing the problems, they just paper over them.”

Due to the small size of the flat, both children have to sleep in Nicola’s bedroom and its top floor location as well as absence of a lift makes it impractical for Nicola and her children to ever leave the flat.

“I feel like a prisoner in my own house,” she added.

“I’d like to be able to take my children to the park and see my friends but I can’t even do that. I only leave the house once a week to do my shopping when my mum comes here on her day off. I shouldn’t have to live like this.”

Nicola’s only chance to be relocated in a more suitable property is by bidding for new houses when these become available. Houses are allocated according to a banding scheme and Nicola’s silver band has so far not allowed her to place a successful bid.

“I’d like to think things will change. I’d like to have a nice house at ground level so the children can go out and play but I have no hope it will happen.”

A spokesperson for Beyond Housing said: “We have worked with the customer to make repairs and carry out inspections and will continue to do so to ensure the property is of an acceptable standard.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on an individual’s circumstances, but the banding system is fair and ensures that when demand for homes is greater than availability those with the greatest need receive priority. We would advise our customer to continue to bid on suitable properties.”