Family forced to live in mould-ravaged flat with leaky ceiling in 'worst conditions' experts have ever seen

A FAMILY are being forced to live in a mould-ravaged flat with leaky ceilings in the "worst conditions" experts have ever seen.

Residents say they feel “not even human” living in the flooded tower block in Croydon, South London.

Shocking pictures show the rooms covered in floor to ceiling black mould, with water dripping through the roof.

Fransoy Hewitt, who lives on the ground floor of the council-owned block, says she and her two children have been forced to live in just one room.

She told ITV News: "I'm not coping.

"There is only so much I can get angry about and pull my hair out – I just feel like I'm going to kill myself if I continue like that."

The mum-of two has been forced to plug out their fridge over electrocution fears and says the way they’ve been treated “makes me feel like I am not even human”.

She says the mould is making her family sick and she has to put vapour rub on her youngest son's chest to help him breathe at night.

Meanwhile  Leroy McNally, who lives on the floor above, says he has to have buckets in his sitting room to collect dripping water.

He said: "Every night I go to bed at twelve, and I wake up at 6am to empty the buckets."

Another man, who wished to remain anonymous , said he has to sleep in a tent in his own home because of the leaks.

Now the former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive has said the flats were the worst housing conditions she has ever seen.

Dame Judith Hackitt said: "When I talked to residents in the wake of Grenfell, when I talked to residents in other tower blocks as part of my review, one of the common complaints from residents was 'nobody listens to us – we express our concerns and nobody acts on it.

"That, I'm afraid, is typical. That is one of the fundamental cultural issues we've got to get over – where someone actually feels responsible and takes responsibility for fixing things."

Meanwhile Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: “This is really bad. 

“It’s definitely the worst I've seen, just in terms of the sheer unlivability of it. 

“I mean, there really isn't any possible way, that those properties are fit for human habitation.

“Can you even imagine having to live like that… in lockdown? There’s absolutely no excuse for it at all.”

A council spokesperson said: “Croydon Council has taken immediate action to repair properties in Regina Road and launched an investigation after conditions at the flats were brought to our attention.

It appears that the situation which is being caused by a leak in a property above has deteriorated rapidly since our contractor carried out repairs in February.

"We have since moved these residents out while we carry out further investigations and repair their properties. 

“We are very sorry that these residents have not had the proper level of care and the standards at these homes are not what we would want or expect for any of our tenants.

"We are carrying out an investigation into how this has happened as a matter of urgency.”

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