Council asked to ‘urgently’ report on mould and damp issues in tenanted properties across Flintshire
Flintshire Council has been asked to urgently report on how it deals with mould and damp issues in its tenanted properties.
Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) raised the issue at Flintshire Council’s housing scrutiny committee, asking for members to be briefed in light of a tragedy caused by mould within social housing in Greater Manchester.
Cllr Attridge cited the recent findings of an inquest into the death of a two-year old boy in Rochdale, who was found to have suffered prolonged exposure to mould.
Awaab Ishak, died in December 2020 from a respiratory condition caused by mould in the one-bedroom housing association flat where he lived with parents in the Greater Manchester town.
His father had previously complained to Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) about the mould, the inquest at Rochdale Coroner’s Court was told.
As Flintshire Council is a housing provider, Cllr Attridge said it was important that the authority ensures its tenants are not at risk of similar harm but added that he has been approached by tenants with mould and damp issues.
Cllr Attridge said: “It’s been flagged up as an urgent issue with all housing providers, and what I used to get told by housing when I raised it was tenants need to start opening the windows, or they need to start putting the heating on.
“I’m also aware of the triple vent regulations that have now come into effect – all housing providers should be providing vents within the windows.
“I’ve made some initial enquiries myself, gone and looked within my own ward at new windows and there don’t seem to be any vents on there.
“Just a briefing note for members of the committee and the council would give all of us some clear indication of what Flintshire County Council is doing.
Cllr Attridge added: “You get inundated.”
“I’ve got hundreds of pictures on my phone that people send daily regarding mould within their properties.
“I’m dealing with one that’s not in my ward but is within Connah’s Quay where a tenant has been told they can’t go in a specific room because it’s too dangerous. That’s very serious.
“We need to be assured as elected members that we take mould and damp seriously in our council properties and do all that we can to make sure our tenants are living in a property that is suitably habitable.”
Chairing the meeting, Hawarden Aston Cllr Helen Brown (Ind) agreed that it was an urgent issue, and asked for a full report to be tabled as an agenda item as soon as possible despite the housing department’s current heavy workload.
She said: “I’ve had phone calls this morning about the same issue.
“I think it does need to be a report. A briefing note is great but I think it probably does need to be a report.”
Given its importance, Cllr Brown suggested January as a date for the issue to go on the agenda, agreed by housing officers who will also produce a briefing note on the matter.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter
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