A family of seven from Bristol in desperate need of a bigger home say they live in a “hellish” two-bedroom apartment with mold, moisture and rats roaming the ceilings.
Adrian Paisey and partner Lucy Neale claim that their children in the first floor apartment suffer and are afraid to sleep in their bedroom.
The Withywood couple said they reported their concerns to the Curo housing association but had been pushed from “pillar to pillar”.
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Curo has apologized for the situation and said it will do everything possible to resolve the problem.
Mr. Paisey said the last 10 years he has lived in the apartment have been “nothing but hell” as mold and moisture ate their home away.
“It’s been an on-going thing for a couple of years and now rats are starting to invade the property and Curo isn’t doing anything about it,” he said.
The 33-year-old said the housing association came out two years ago to treat the mold and moisture with a 10-year guarantee that would not return.
Curo said overcrowding is a likely cause of mold formation from condensation build-up – and will do everything possible to resolve the problem.
A spokesman said, “We are sorry the family has these problems in their home.
“Last year we ran a moisture and mold treatment program on the property and installed a ventilation system to minimize condensation. We have arranged a visit to a specialist assessor for this week so that we can assess the problem, agree on a treatment program, and find out what else we can do to prevent mold from growing again. “
Despite months of complaints about pests at Curo, Mr Paisey said nothing had been done about it.
“In the colder weather, the rats dig holes in the walls and run around our kitchen ceiling,” he added.
Curo replied, “Mold and pests have been reported to us in the past and every time we learned about it, we took immediate action.
“When pests like rats are reported in common areas, we bring in pest control companies, and that specialist company is currently running a treatment program throughout the property.”
Mr Paisey, who also suffers from anxiety and depression, said the family urgently needs more suitable housing for the health of their children.
The couple’s one-year-old Jenson has multiple health complications, including cysts in the brain and difficulty breathing.
Concerned for his well-being, they went to a pediatrician, who said the family must move to more suitable accommodation immediately.
The couple claim Curo wanted them to speak to Bristol City Council to see what they can do about their living conditions, but say they have been “pushed from pillar to post” by both organizations.
Mr Paisley said when telling Bristol City Council about their housing situation, an environmental health officer visited their home and gave them an “overcrowding awareness hazard” warning.
“We’re entitled to a four bedroom property and were included in Volume 2 a few months ago, but we’re still waiting,” he added.
According to the Bristol City Council, there are more than 16,000 people on the waiting list for the housing register and as the city’s population is also expected to grow significantly over the next few years, the provision of new housing across the city will be a priority to accommodate this Demand and to prevent future generations from being priced out of their local community. “
A spokesperson said: “We are working hard to find clean, safe homes for applicants on Bristol’s HomeChoice housing register, with each case being assessed individually. This includes ensuring that their ranking in the register reflects the urgency of their needs and, as those needs become more immediate, their application will be given additional priority.
“We’re taking steps to maximize the city’s limited housing stock while working with our partners in the industry to make the most of the housing available. The ongoing housing crisis and the effects of the pandemic are putting families under constant pressure to find suitable accommodation.
“We are providing support to the best of our ability in a nationwide situation that cannot be completely resolved without the provision of apartments.”
Curo is also aware that the family has unsuccessfully bid for larger properties, but says they will continue to advocate for the family’s urgent housing needs.
“The property that Ms. Neate moved into alone for the first time in 2013 is clearly no longer suitable for her family and we are doing everything we can to help them move into a larger property,” added the spokeswoman.
“There is a serious housing shortage in the region and we fear that they have not been able to move into an apartment that meets their needs.
“As a housing association, we do not manage the waiting list for apartments, nor do we set the priorities that households receive when they ‘bid’ for an apartment,” said a spokesman.
Ms. Neal said she is ashamed when visitors come to her home and with Christmas approaching there is simply not enough space for the family to celebrate the festivities with loved ones.
“A bigger home would really help improve our health and wellbeing,” she added.
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