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Tenant with chronic asthma still living in flat covered in mould

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:02 09 July 2020

Tracy Shaw's bed and wardobe were destroyed by the mould. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Tracy Shaw's bed and wardobe were destroyed by the mould. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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A severe asthmatic is still living in a flat covered in mould after a council failed to repair it.

Tracy Shaw moved into the flat before lockdown and landlord, Norwich City Council, said it would be repaired, but it has been left in a squalid state. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMANTracy Shaw moved into the flat before lockdown and landlord, Norwich City Council, said it would be repaired, but it has been left in a squalid state. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The damp has got so bad in Tracy Shaw’s flat, on North Park Avenue, near Eaton Park, that her nebuliser machine for her asthma is mouldy, her dogs have become ill and she is having to take extra asthma medication.

The 50-year old’s possessions, including clothes and precious photos of her grandma, have also been ruined by the damp.

She saw the flat was in a state of disrepair when she visited it in January, but she was told by Norwich City Council that it would be fixed by the time she moved, in February.

It was not and when this newspaper first reported on Ms Shaw’s plight in April, the council apologised and said it would move “as quickly as we can to sort this out by working with our contractors”.

Tracy has had to throw away some of her clothes as they are now covered in mould. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANTracy has had to throw away some of her clothes as they are now covered in mould. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

More than two months later the work has not been done.

The council blamed the delay on coronavirus and said because Ms Shaw had been shielding it had not been able to visit.

But Mrs Shaw said she wanted the work to be done as soon as possible.

The council said it had now booked a date to carry out repairs.

The flat is in a state of disrepair. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMANThe flat is in a state of disrepair. Photo: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Ms Shaw said the council contractor, Norse, had visited once to fix a handle on a window, but not the damp.

“All my belongings are ruined, photos of my nanny that can’t be replaced are ruined, my clothes are full of mould,” she said.

Ms Shaw, who has various health conditions including chronic asthma and lives off Employment Support Allowance (ESA), has been given a compensation form by the council to claim for her damaged possessions.

She said that she understood coronavirus was delaying work, but had been told in February, several weeks before the lockdown, that repairs would be done.

Tracy Shaw's council flat by Eaton Park, Norwich, is covered in mould. Photo: Tracy ShawTracy Shaw's council flat by Eaton Park, Norwich, is covered in mould. Photo: Tracy Shaw

Norwich’s 15,000 council homes are maintained by a company, joint owned by the city council and Norse, called Norwich Norse Building Ltd.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “Work on Mrs Shaw’s flat was prioritised as it clearly didn’t meet the standards we expect any of our tenants to live in when she moved into the property.

“The work didn’t start as quickly as we wanted at the outset and was further complicated by the fact that Mrs Shaw was shielding during the pandemic.”

Tracy Shaw's new council flat by Eaton Park, Norwich, is covered in mould. Photo: Tracy ShawTracy Shaw's new council flat by Eaton Park, Norwich, is covered in mould. Photo: Tracy Shaw


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