Family of eight’s ‘living nightmare’ in two-bed flat ‘riddled with damp and mold’

The 37-year-old mother lives at the property in East London with her partner and six children aged between two and 18 – she says the living situation is affecting her health

A mother lives with her partner and six children in this two-bedroom flat in East London
A mother lives with her partner and six children in this two-bedroom flat in East London

A family of eight “lives in a nightmare” in a two-bedroom apartment with “mold on the walls”.

A mother, who asked to be known as Mrs Laima, moved into the east London flat 17 years ago when she had just one child.

She has since had five more children but says she remains “trapped” in the same apartment.

The 37-year-old mother lives on the property with her partner and six children between the ages of two and 18.

she said MyLondon : “We are overcrowded – we shouldn’t live like this.

“Me and my partner sleep together with my two-year-old and my four-year-old, and then in the same room I have my six-year-old in his outgrowing bed.

“And then in the next bedroom my 18-year-old and my 9-year-old sleep on the bottom bunk and the 10-year-old sleeps on the top bunk.”

The mother says her family suffers from being in a small apartment


Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon/BPM MEDIA)

The flat is part of the Metropolitan Thames Valley housing association as Ms Laima also claims the flat door poses a fire hazard as the lock on the front door is broken due to rusting.

She said: “We have told Metropolitan that the door does in fact pose a fire hazard. So if we have to go out, we can’t.”

She also claims there have been significant problems with dampness and mold, which are recurring throughout the apartment.

She explained that the problems were “impossible” to solve because two of the windows in the apartment would not open.

Ms. Laima said: “I think [Metropolitan] just ignore me I’m just stuck in this position until I have to make a complaint about a complaint. I don’t want compensation, I want them to fix the work in the apartment.

“We shouldn’t live as we are – why does it have to take months and months to fix things?”

A bedroom is shared by three children and the mother shared the room with the other three


Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon/BPM MEDIA)

In an attempt to escape her current property, Ms. Laima has been looking for a new home with more space through Hackney Choice’s rental program.

According to the Hackney Council website, this system “allows applicants on the wait/transfer list for accommodation greater control over where they live. You can apply for advertised properties instead of waiting for a home to be allotted.”

Ms Laima expressed her view that the “cramped” living situation had had an adverse effect on her family’s health and well-being.

She added: “My children have no place to do their work from school, they have no place to hang out and play because there are so many of them.

“My 18-year-old is rarely at home. She doesn’t study at home, so some weekends she stays with her girlfriend because of lack of space.”

The family also claims that there is mold in the apartment


Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon/BPM MEDIA)

Ms. Laima suffers from asthma, as do two of her children. She claims that the ongoing mold and damp problems in the home have made her condition worse, and even claims that her children have been hospitalized over these health concerns in the past

A Hackney Council spokesman said: “We would obviously prefer to provide a suitable, permanent home to any family that needs it and we are aware of the difficulties faced by Mrs Laima and the 8,500 other families on ours waiting list for accommodations.

“There are a number of other options available to residents, including the reciprocal exchange scheme which allows people to apply for a property exchange with other council tenants in Hackney – or any other council, housing association or other housing providers in London and across the country.

“See our website for all available options. If Ms. Laima contacts our housing advice service, we can make an appointment to discuss these options with her in detail.”

The mother moved into the shared flat 17 years ago


Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon/BPM MEDIA)

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Thames Valley said: “Ms Laima is right to expect her family to be able to live in comfortable conditions. We fully understand the issues they are facing and have been working to fix them.

“However, we regret that this has not yet happened. We have been in talks with Ms. Laima for several weeks to arrange for moisture and mold treatment. At your request, however, we will first replace the windows that are to be installed by the beginning of July.

“As of last month we have also been in contact with contractors to carry out the necessary work to repair the front door lock. This should be completed in the coming days and we will arrange a suitable date for this with Ms. Laima.

“For some time we have been advising Ms. Laima to apply for an internal change of residence to an alternative MTVH building. Of course we are happy to support her if she wants to pursue this further. In the meantime, we will continue to coordinate with Ms. Laima to complete the necessary work that will allow her and her family to live more comfortably.”

The Mirror contacted Hackney Council and the Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association for comment.

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