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In the “most moldy apartment in England”, from which the tenants are finally being resettled

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A look inside a city flat occupied by a disabled mother and her NHS worker daughter reveals the grim conditions that have led to it being dubbed the ‘moldiest in England’ – and they are finally being relocated.

The plight of the occupants of this flat, a 75-year-old mother disabled by a stroke, and her daughter, 44, an NHS health worker at a city hospital, has been made public since pictures of their home were shared online.

Birmingham City Council has finally allowed the family to move.

A new video taken inside the home by social housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa has helped pressure authorities into taking action.

The daughter, whose name we do not give, showed Mr. Tweneboa and a community organizer through what was clearly an uninhabitable apartment.

Her bed sat against a black-stained wall molding and merged with a distressed layer of mold hanging where her pillow lay.

Here, after a 12-hour day shift, she’s crawling on the NHS frontline to support patients at a hospital in the city as they recover.

She doubles her workload by being sole caretaker to her mother, who sleeps in a double room down the hall. It’s the least moldy of all the rooms, but still no place for a sick person.







Housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa filmed inside the moldy, damp house the family calls home
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Kwajo Tweneboa/BPM MEDIA)







The video has revealed the terrible condition of some city shelters
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Picture:

Kwajo Tweneboa/BPM MEDIA)

Together they pay community rent of just under £400 a month. The daughter’s relatively meager income as a nursing assistant is supplemented by her mother’s care allowance.

Originally from India, the mother traveled to Birmingham in the 1960s to work with her husband and start a family here. She can now move around a little with the help of a cane, but is weakened by the stroke and is mostly bedridden.

She is visually impaired and her hearing is poor.

During the tour of the apartment, she expresses her sadness that her home is deteriorating in such a condition that she believes it is affecting her health.

She does not get domestic help, so she is alone during the day when her daughter is at work – her daughter is too ashamed to ask for extra help for her mother and at work is plagued by the fear of her being on the floor to find again or to have come to harm.







Mold covers every surface of the home
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BPM media)

The bathroom and kitchen were both in a state of disrepair, while what should have been the dining room had become a storage room, full of furniture that had grown moldy from being too close to the walls.

Mold covers every wall, every door. Kitchen countertops and sink, bathtub, loo and sink are scrubbed but black with mold everywhere else.

The daughter, who now has asthma, said she has never invited a friend over to her home.

“I won’t let anyone in, I tend not to answer the door, I’m too ashamed and ashamed of the conditions we live in,” she said.

None of her work colleagues know about her pain. Her friends have never been here either. She says she always found excuses to avoid anyone coming to her house.







Housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa
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Kwajo Tweneboa/BPM MEDIA)

She has read comments posted in previous stories and on social media about the family’s plight — cruel comments from people who don’t know anything about their situation, people who think nothing of spreading derogatory comments, and who say , they just have to clean more, decorate something, take responsibility.

“If I could do it, don’t people think I could do it? We don’t want to live like that,” she says, choking back tears.

When the community did a makeshift repair six years ago, removing mold and repainting, they chemically treated the walls, room by room, while the couple lived there. But within a few months the mold was back, worse than ever.

“I realized it was hopeless. I really gave up and we just hid.” The next time she asked for help was in 2020, just before the pandemic. A control visit was booked, said the daughter, but then canceled when the lockdown came. Also in 2021 she asked for help.

A housing officer prepared a report that found the apartment was not naturally damp and mold was growing inside due to condensation, she said.

When an inspector visited him in December, the family claimed he was abrupt and cold, telling them the condition of the house was not bad enough to warrant moving – it just needed repairs.







The younger woman slept on this bed surrounded by moldy walls
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BPM media)

The apartment would be mildew treated and the walls repainted. The daughter also claims she was warned that once the job was done and the mold returned, the council would not pay the bill again.

“I cried for two weeks after that. I felt like it was all my fault, my failure, and I knew I was doing my best.” As a result, she says, she felt her landlord, the community, “wasn’t on her side.” what has since led to a loss of confidence.

The municipal council has now given in and approved a housing offer.

A People’s Manifesto for Fair Housing was produced in Birmingham last year, with campaigners led by current and former renters living in temporary accommodation, private flats and houses, public housing and traveler accommodation across the city.

One of the activists, Mus, who toured the home, said the group had pledged to support the daughter and her mother now in the next phase of the relocation process, while providing additional support and solidarity from others in poorly maintained public housing.







Kitchen countertops and sink, bathtub, loo and sink are scrubbed but mold has blackened everywhere else
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Picture:

Kwajo Tweneboa/BPM MEDIA)







The mold returned within months of the last chemical removal
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Kwajo Tweneboa/BPM MEDIA)

“We want people in Birmingham to know that they are not the only ones suffering from poor housing. There are so many others in the same situation and our campaign is here to support you and to help fight so that no one has to live in terrible conditions like this family,” said a spokesperson for the campaign.

The council said this week: “Following due process, the family have successfully bid on a property and we have been able to offer them new accommodation which they have accepted. We apologize for the distress caused in this case and wish the family well in their new home.”

Asked about the case last week, before the move was approved, Birmingham City Council said: “We deeply regret the poor living conditions caused by the mold in this property.







The Birmingham flat is covered in mold where a disabled woman and her daughter, an NHS worker, live
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BPM media)

“Birmingham City Council have been in regular contact with the tenant over the past six months about the issues and have offered alternative temporary accommodation on numerous occasions.

“However, they refused access every time, so the work could not start. We remain fully committed to treating all mold in the property and will begin work once the tenant is happy and grants us access.

“In the meantime, we have advised them on how to limit mold in the property and are actively discussing relocation to a more suitable property in line with our procurement policy.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/inside-the-mouldiest-flat-england-26923292 In the "most moldy apartment in England", from which the tenants are finally being resettled

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