Belfast Telegraph

Antrim flat is a health hazard: teenage mum

BY JOANNE SWEENEY

A young mother has claimed that the Housing Executive is refusing to help her with the horrendous damp conditions she and her toddler are living in.

Fiona Howes (18) from Carrickfergus in Co Antrim and son Logan (2) have not been able to sleep in their ground floor flat for days because of penetrating damp.

She claims the damp throughout her flat at Drumhoy Place poses a health risk to her and her son. They both have asthma.

"The Housing Executive doesn't seem to believe me just how bad the situation is, but I don't think that any of them would live in it," said Ms Howes

"I'm forever trying to keep the damp and mould at bay by washing the walls but everything just blackens after a while, including brand new blinds.

"The damp has now turned into a fungus growing out of the walls and my son's bedroom carpet is really wet from it all. I feel that it's because that I'm only 18 that I keep being palmed off."

An Executive spokesman said yesterday that a maintenance officer would visit the property immediately along with an officer from Carrickfergus Borough Council to assess the problem.

He stressed that Ms Howes had been offered temporary accommodation but this was refused.

The Executive tried to investigate the problem in June, but an officer was unable to gain access.

It was arranged for a contractor to call yesterday, but he was denied access by the tenant.

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