Disabled woman forced to live in mould-ridden house has said that living there is 'killing' her

A disabled woman is begging her housing association to fix her mould-ridden bungalow after being forced to live in just one room of the property due to the conditions.

Christine Riddell, 54, has been sleeping on the couch since September due to the mould in her bedroom, which she fears is 'killing her'.

Christine, who suffers from degenerative disc disease, and her husband David, 52, no longer use the shower in the house either as it worsens the mould problem.

It comes after an inquest heard that damp and mould in a house were 'clearly established' as a link to the death of a two-year-old child.

Christine, of Bacup, Lancs., said: "It's terrible, it's just horrendous. I just want a nice, warm home that I can live in and I just can't have that.

"We can't use the shower because it's creating more wetness in the house and it's wet enough as it is.

"I’ve been sleeping on the couch which is killing me because of my disability.

"I'm just stuck in there - I eat, sleep and basically do everything in the living room.

"My husband is sleeping in the bed at the minute because it's not affecting him as much as me, but eventually it will affect him.

"The mould is making me cough, I can't cope with the damp and the wet - it's terrible.

"I'm going to have to go to the doctors now because I probably need some antibiotics about it now.

"Sleeping on the sofa is just killing me because of my condition and mobility issues, I can't lie down so I'm sleeping propped up with cushions.

"I need to lie in my bed in my bedroom but I just can't do that comfortably so it's just awful."

The couple moved into the one bedroom bungalow in June last year but mould started growing all over the house four months later.

It mould now covers the walls and windows of the property, which is owned by a housing association.

And shockingly, she fears the previous tenant was also forced to sleep on her sofa due to the mould before she passed away from cancer.

Christine says she has tried to contact the association to fix the mould, but every time someone is supposed to come and sort the problem, her appointment gets cancelled.

She said: "One of my neighbours told me that the tenant who lived here before also put a complaint about it so obviously they know about the problem.

"The neighbour has said that Julie had passed away before but they never came out and did anything and just blamed it on the condensation.

"But she ended up sleeping in the living room - and she was riddled with cancer.

"And now I'm stuck in the living room now. I'm not sure if it's a curse or anything."

The couple have taken to desperate measures to reduce the amount of condensation and now have a stand up wash in the sink instead of taking showers.

They cook with an airfryer instead of using the oven and have even asked Lancashire County Council if she could have a wood burner fitted to help with the condensation.

But her request was denied, she says, despite offering to pay and maintain it.

She said: "I've even put in permission to have a wood burner fitted as I still have my chimney.

"Me and my husband were going to pay for it all and maintain it - the council wouldn't have to lift a finger or pay anything towards it.

"But they said no. We thought we could have one just so it helps all of the damp, but that failed straight away."

Stephen Garner, Together Housing Group’s assistant director of property, said: "We are sorry to hear that our resident Mrs Riddell has been experiencing problems at her home in Bacup.

"After completing some requested work in August and responding to a query about damaged pointing, we identified an issue with condensation as a result of roof ventilation.

"We have set an appointment to address this at the end of November.

"In order to provide Mrs Riddell with some peace-of-mind an inspector is also due to attend on November 14 to look at any immediate action we can take while the ventilation problem is addressed.

"Once this work has been completed, there will be a follow up inspection on December 1 to check the remedial work has been completed successfully.

"We will, of course, do any further work that is necessary.

"Together Housing work with residents to find an appropriate appointment time.

"Unfortunately, from time to time, appointments do need to be rescheduled and this has happened on one occasion.

"I apologise to Mrs Riddell for any inconvenience this may have caused.

"Together Housing take the welfare of our residents extremely seriously and would urge Mrs Riddell to continue to keep us informed if she has any welfare concerns.”