Woman says she feels like a ‘hostage’ living in council flat riddled with mould

A woman says she feels like a “hostage” in her own council flat home which is plagued by mould.

Samantha Elliott moved into the flat in April 2012 having been on the housing waiting list with no home of her own.

She said it was only meant to be a temporary place to live but she is still living there today.

The 32-year-old says mould began to grow throughout the property and has, in the last year in particular, become so bad it has become “horrible” to live with.

She said: “I’ve had mental breakdowns over it. I wake up not feeling well every morning and another thing is that the place is too small. It’s only one room with a separate bathroom.”

Pictures taken at the property on Hyson Green, Nottingham, appear to show extensive mould growth throughout.

Ms Elliott says she feels she has no way to move out or return to the housing waiting list for fear of making herself ‘intentionally homeless’.

She described her situation as feeling as if she is “a hostage in the flat with no way out”.

A Nottingham City Homes spokeswoman said in response: “Ms Elliott contacted us about damp and mould in her home last October.

“Our Surveyor found the property was not being heated properly and a lack of ventilation was causing very high humidity. We spoke to Ms Elliot and gave her advice on heating and ventilation to prevent the mould from getting worse.

“Due to Government Covid-19 restrictions about working in people’s homes at the time, we offered her mould kits as a temporary solution for the most severe patches, until we could do a full mould wash.

“Unfortunately, Ms Elliott elected not to take advantage of the mould kit or follow the advice given. She hasn’t contacted us directly since we visited and we can see that the mould has worsened considerably because of this.

“However, we have contacted her and are making arrangements to go and do a full mould wash of the affected areas, and discuss with her again the best way for her to keep the situation under control going forward.”

Ms Elliott went on to say in response that it was difficult to ventilate the flat due to its size and said she did not want to use a mould kit as the issue should be fixed by Nottingham City Homes.

She added: “The mould started not long after I moved in.

“As for the heating, my boiler got replaced last year. The heating was not on during the summer months and as for ventilation, my window is three feet wide and opens inwards.

“I don’t even have much stuff because I have nowhere to put it. I have eight boxes, a small table, my bed and my shelving but that has mould on it.”