Shocking pictures show the appalling state of a family’s home in London, which is covered in black mould and has mushrooms growing out of the walls and ceilings where sewage has leaked through.
The heartbreaking footage comes just a week after a landmark ruling concluded two-year-old Awaab Ishak died after prolonged exposure to mould – three years after his parents had complained about the damp in their one-bedroom housing association flat in Rochdale.
Kwajo Tweneboa, who shared the videos today, claimed this family is going through a ‘similar’ experience and implored Islington Council to do something to address the situation, which he said was raised with them last December.
He said many of the family’s belongings have been destroyed due to ongoing leaks and black mould in the bedrooms, while all remaining items have been stacked in the front room for the last year.
The mother reportedly has to sleep on the sofa in the front room due to the disgusting mould and peeling ceilings in two of the three bedrooms.
Shocking pictures show the appalling state of a family’s home in Islington, London, which is covered in black mould
The mother reportedly has to sleep on the sofa in the front room due to the disgusting mould and peeling ceilings in two of the three bedrooms
Mr Tweneboa continued: ‘Mushrooms now grow from the bacteria where sewage has seeped through the walls and ceilings in the bedroom.
‘The walls of the second bedroom is covered in black mould. In another corner the mould was light and growing fur, indicating two different types of mould in the same bedroom.
‘The tenants have been paying rent for a three bed property. They haven’t had two of the bedrooms for a year.’
Destroyed wardrobes, other pieces of furniture and belongings from the bedrooms are piled up outside the home, where Mr Tweneboa says they have been since January, clearly water damaged.
Gaps in the walls also appear to have been patched up. ‘They’ve had to resort to using foil and tape to try and keep mice out of the property. All these issues they’ve reported.
‘They said communication from Islington Council has been beyond a disgrace.
‘Workmen and ‘surveyors’ have seen it but nothing ever done to fix it.’
Kwajo Tweneboa, who shared the videos today, implored Islington Council to do something to address the situation
Campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa said the tenants have had to resort to using foil and tape to try and keep mice out of the property
An Islington Council spokesperson said: ‘We want everyone to have a home which is secure, decent, and genuinely affordable.
‘The images posted by @KwajoHousing are extremely concerning.
‘We’ve spoken with the tenant today, have offered immediate rehousing, and are discussing permanent rehousing options. We’re also urgently reviewing this repairs case.’
MailOnline has also contacted the area’s MP Emily Thornberry for comment.
This week Michael Gove stripped new funding from the housing organisation which owns the flat where Awaab Ishak died from prolonged exposure to mould in December 2020.
The toddler’s parents repeatedly begged housing officials and medical professionals to help, but no action was taken to treat and prevent the mould – leaving Awaab with ‘prolonged’ and ‘chronic’ exposure to the substance – due to a communication breakdown, the inquest into his death heard.
The heart-breaking footage comes just a week after a landmark ruling concluded two-year-old Awaab Ishak died after prolonged exposure to mould
The Government on Thursday said Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), which owned the flat, will not be given its expected £1 million funding from the Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) or receive any new AHP contracts for new homes, until the Regulator of Social Housing has finished its investigation and RBH can prove it is a responsible landlord.
Levelling Up and Housing Secretary Mr Gove announced that every council and housing authority must provide details of how they plan to tackle damp and mould in their properties.
He wrote to every English council leader and social housing provider to warn that deaths like that of two-year-old Awaab’s must ‘never be allowed to happen again’.
He has said he fears that tens of thousands of British homes were unsafe because they are not being properly maintained.
Mr Gove said in a statement: ‘RBH failed its tenants so it will not receive a penny of additional taxpayers’ money for new housing until it gets its act together and does right by tenants.
‘Let this be a warning to other housing providers who are ignoring complaints and failing in their obligations to tenants. We will not hesitate to act.
‘Everyone deserves the right to live in safe, decent home and this Government will always act to protect tenants.’
The Government says it will continue to monitor housing standards of RBH tenancies closely, working with the regulator and ombudsman, to ensure that tenants have appropriate housing, the statement added.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Gove added: ‘I fear it’s the case that there are tens of thousands of properties that are not in the state that they should be.’
‘We know there are a significant number of properties – some of which were built in the 60s and 70s and are in poor conditions, but some of which have been poorly maintained – that simply need to be properly repaired and properly maintained.’
As part of a wider crackdown on poor standards, Mr Gove will block any housing provider that breaches the regulator’s consumer standards from new AHP funding until they make improvements.
He will also consider stripping providers of existing AHP funding, unless construction has already started on site, his statement added.
Gareth Swarbrick, chief executive of the family’s housing association Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, was sacked by his own board last week after refusing to resign
Last Saturday, Gareth Swarbrick was removed as chief executive of RBH after pressure from campaigner’s over the findings around Awaab’s death.
The two-year-old’s family repeatedly begged for help from housing officials and doctors to improve the condition of their flat but the serious black mould problem was not fixed.
This left Awaab with ‘prolonged’ and ‘chronic’ exposure to the substance in a home that was ‘not fit for human habitation’.
In her ruling, Senior Coronor Joanne Kearsley found ventilation at the home was ‘not effective’, and criticised RBH for blaming the family – insisting there was ‘no evidence that the ways of living by the family were in any way excessive’.
As she delivered her damning verdict, she told the inquest: ‘I’m sure I’m not alone in having thought, ‘How does this happen? How, in the UK in 2020, does a two-year-old child die from exposure to mould in his home?’.
‘The tragic death of Awaab will and should be a defining moment for the housing sector in terms of increasing knowledge, increasing awareness and a deepening of understanding surrounding the issue of damp and mould.’
His parents, Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin, issued a heartbreaking statement saying they ‘shouted as loudly as we could, but nothing changed.’
Senior coroner Joanne Kearsley argues the death of a toddler who suffered prolonged exposure to mould should be a ‘defining moment’ for the housing sector
Originally from Sudan, they believed their treatment, after repeatedly complaining about the mould, was shaped by them not being from the UK.
The inquest heard how RBH workers assumed the family were carrying out ‘ritual bathing’ involving a ‘bucket’ which was leading to excess water on the bathroom floor.
But workers never asked the family directly about this, and Mr Abdullah told the court his family showered, and such ‘rituals’ were not in his family’s ‘culture’.
In a statement on Tuesday, RBH said: ‘We did make assumptions about lifestyle and we accept that we got that wrong.
‘We abhor racism in any shape or form and we know that we have a responsibility to all our communities.’
Awaab’s condition was caused by mould in the one-bedroom housing association flat where he lived with parents Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin in Rochdale, Greater Manchester
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