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Mum fears for daughter's health due to damp room

BBC News 5 days ago
Shauna Fox is worried about her daughter Ava's health © BBC Shauna Fox is worried about her daughter Ava's health

The mother of a three-year-old girl has said she fears for her daughter's health due to damp in the bedroom in which they are sleeping.

Shauna Fox shares a home in Poleglass on the outskirts of west Belfast with her mother, sister and daughter.

She said water was dripping from the bedroom ceiling to electricity sockets below.

Ms Fox has called the Housing Executive multiple times to get the problem fixed but it has yet to be resolved.

The Housing Executive told BBC News NI it had been out "at least a dozen times" over the past year in an attempt to solve the problem.

"Our priority is to get this issue sorted out, it is just not acceptable," Jennifer Hawthorne from the housing authority.

Water has been dripping from the bedroom ceiling, leaving stains on the walls © BBC Water has been dripping from the bedroom ceiling, leaving stains on the walls

Ms Fox said her family has been living with damp and black mould at the property for the past three and a half years.

She said she was most worried about how it would affect her daughter Ava.

The only time spent in the room is to sleep because of her concerns about how the damp could affect her toddler, she said.

"I took her home when she was a wee baby into this room and now she is getting treated for asthma for sleeping in it for so long," said Ms Fox.

"It's the child, I just don't want her to get any sicker in hospital," she said.

"You see stories of kids who have passed away breathing in the damp."

The Housing Executive has promised the fix the damp problem this week © BBC The Housing Executive has promised the fix the damp problem this week

Ms Hawthorne said it was not acceptable that any Housing Executive tenants "should be living in such conditions" and that it needed to find a solution.

"It's not that we haven't tried - we have done extensive works including repairing the roof, sealing the external wall, treating the internal walls," she said.

"But this has not resolved the problem and I totally get Ms Fox's frustration about the length of time it has taken to sort this out."

Ms Hawthorne said the Housing Executive was a landlord of some 84,000 homes and took the matter "very seriously".

She said it had a damp mould expert at the property on Saturday who said the source of the problem was condensation.

The Housing Executive was determined to address the matter quickly and would be attending the house on Thursday," said Ms Hawthrone.

She said that would include fitting composite boards to the bedroom walls, cleaning the mould with a specialist mould killer and installing a ventilation system to enhance the air circulation.

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