Teenager's stress as family spends months in 'mouldy' temporary housing

A teenager has spoken of his family’s stress at being left in temporary accommodation for months with mould covering the walls.

After losing their family home of more than two decades last September, Harry Cannon, 19, contacted Liverpool Council’s housing options service to help secure housing for him, his nan and auntie. The family, alongside Harry’s 13-year-old cousin, have been placed in two rooms at Granite House Apartments ever since.

Images seen by the ECHO have documented the conditions Harry and his family have faced since being relocated from Walton, including mould covering the apartment walls as his auntie battles cancer.

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Harry said he and his family had faced eviction last autumn and spent a month with a relative before reaching out to housing options for support. The service - provided by the city council - helps those facing homelessness and works with families and individuals up to eight weeks before they may need to be rehomed.

The family were resettled in temporary housing at Granite House Apartments in October 2023 where they have been ever since. Harry claims that despite multiple attempts to secure a more permanent solution, the family have felt left behind, well beyond the six-week limit for temporary accommodation.

He said: “It’s been really, really difficult. I try to stay out to give my auntie and my nan some space, I’ll go to my mates’.

“It doesn’t feel like we’re living a normal life."

To make matters worse, Harry said the family had discovered mould all around the two rooms they had been housed in, placing them under further stress. He said: “It’s been very hard and my auntie’s just been diagnosed with cancer.

“That’s why we’re trying to get out because of the impact the mould could have on her chemotherapy. I’ve had to take myself out of work to look after my family really as my nan has dementia.

“I’ve got a room and my auntie, my nan and my cousin are in another. We’ve bought loads of stuff like dehumidifiers to get rid of it. We’ve phoned them and phoned them but had no response, then last week were told it had been escalated."

In April, Liverpool Council agreed to secure further support from the private sector to help tackle its housing crisis. According to its own contract terms, the local authority “does not have a sufficient supply of permanent affordable suitable accommodation to meet the demand in the city.”

Earlier this year, the city council confirmed it would move ahead with plans to engage with the private sector to access hundreds of homes for up to five years. Each year, around 6,500 people present to the city council as having nowhere to call home.

Across the city, there are currently more than 500 households in emergency bed and breakfast or hotel accommodation - used as a measure to provide much-needed housing support. The ECHO contacted Liverpool Council for comment.

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