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03rd Apr 2023

Pregnant mum-to-be fears for unborn child after being forced to live in ‘cesspit’ flat riddled with mould

Steve Hopkins

‘It’s like living in a crack den’

A pregnant woman says she fears for her unborn child after being forced to live in a “cesspit” flat riddled with mould for the past four years.

Natea May-Griffiths claims she has been complaining to her housing association since moving into the £400-a-month property in 2018.

The 23-year-old says her flat has been covered in mould since a leak in her ceiling in 2019, as well as a string of other faults such as faulty wiring.

Natea has accused Platform Housing of refusing to help and said they even told her to drive to her mum’s house if she wanted a shower when her bathroom leaked.

Natea, who has previously suffered three miscarriages, now fears for the health of her first baby living in conditions, “like a crack den”, when they are born.

The mum-to-be says she can’t put her heating on without the smell of mould overpowering the property and she often wakes up with a headache and a cough.

Last year she had a hole in her bathroom due to the water damage and has previously had to rip up mouldy carpet and throw out a mouldy sofa and bed.

She is too ashamed to invite any family or friends over and says she would rather be homeless than bring a baby up in her property in Worcester.

Natea, who is 16 weeks pregnant, said: “It’s like living in a crack den. I pay money each week for a mouldy cesspit.

“I like my place to be nice and clean but it’s never nice and clean. No matter how much I clean it, I still feel dirty and ashamed.

“You don’t come out of the shower feeling clean, I have to eat and sleep with mould everywhere.”

Natea continued: “Your home shouldn’t be like that. Your home should be somewhere you feel safe and confident and have people come around.”

She claims to have mould growing in her hallway and behind radiators and says she has been told to “clean it myself”.

“Being pregnant I don’t want to be touching chemicals or the mould. If I put my heating on it smells like mould. It smells like stagnant wee, that’s how I describe it.”

Natea, who is unemployed, can’t afford to move out but has pleaded with her housing officer to let her leave for a new property.

She is concerned about the health of her baby after several miscarriages and says she hopes to have the problems sorted out before her newborn arrives.

Natea added: “I’ve been complaining for four years and they’ve never got back to me.

“I’ve told them that I’m pregnant and that I’m high risk category due to the number of miscarriage’s that I’ve had. “I call this baby the rainbow baby because there is always a rainbow after the storm.

“I just don’t want to live in a property with mould in with a baby. I also don’t want to be here while I’m pregnant.

“I can’t afford private housing as it’s too expensive. I’ve said to the council they just need to move me out and just rip the place apart and have a look.”

Natea claims that when she had a leak in her bathroom, her property manager told her to turn the water off and “don’t have a shower”.

“They wanted me to go around my mums and have a shower – but she’s a 10 or 20 minute drive away depending on the traffic.

“It does get cold in the flat but as soon as I turn my heating on it stinks. I frequently wake up with headaches and a cough and that could be down to mould.

“All my floorboards are bowing upwards so when I open my oven hot food falls out.

“I’ve got loose wires hanging out of my wall for my fire alarm. Those wires are live and I don’t want my two dogs to catch them. “

Natea said the problems are “stressing” her out.

Steve Summerfield, external contracts manager at Platform Housing Group, said: “We are sorry to hear our customer’s concerns. “We are undertaking a survey this week and in touch with the customer.”

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