Wednesday 17 April 2024
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West Bridgford: Cancer sufferer living with mould and damp in housing association property

A man living with cancer says damp and mould in his housing association home is exacerbating his health problems.

David Wright lives in a Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) property in West Bridgford.

The housing association manages more than 57,000 homes across the country.

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Mr Wright, 56, says problems in his home with damp, mould and cold conditions are worsening his health.

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His front door and bedroom window do not fit properly, letting cold air into the home.

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Mr Wright has prostate cancer, the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and angina.

He says his bedroom is so cold that he bought a bed to sleep in the living area.

He moved into the home, part of over-55s accommodation, in Rugby Road in June 2022.

He says that he is in a “catch 22 situation”.

MTVH said there have been “many visits to the property by our heating team to get the bottom of what is going on”.

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An Environmental Health officer from Rushcliffe Borough Council wrote to Metropolitan in November 2023 with a “schedule of work”, but Mr Wright says this work has not been completed.

Mr Wright’s doctor also expressed concerns to him in a letter that “significant mould levels reported in the property may be impacting on his COPD health”.

 

He said: “I feel like I’m climbing a mountain and there’s no top to it.

“Throughout my cancer treatment, I’ve been breathing in mould and I keep getting chest infections.

“I have to go and sit in my car in the day with a flask because it’s warmer. I shouldn’t be doing this in the 21st century.

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“They’ve been out eight or nine times to try to fix the window.

“I had a meeting with Macmillan Cancer Support and they said how important it was for me to keep warm.”

 

Mr Wright has finished radiotherapy treatment and is now having hormone injections.

He added: “It’s been 18 months and I have had problem after problem. It’s shocking.

“Some days I think I can deal with the cancer but I’ve also got mental health issues and then my head starts playing up.

“If it turns into pneumonia I won’t be able to cope with it.”

Max Curtis, Director of Corporate Affairs at MTVH, said it was a “highly distressing situation”.

He said: “As a not-for-profit housing association, our focus and priority is absolutely on our residents and ensuring that they have a warm, safe and dry home.

“The winter after Mr Wright moved in, he raised these issues with us. Since then there have been many visits to the property by our heating team to get the bottom of what is going on.

“We replaced five heaters in early 2023 to ensure a higher temperature was achieved over a shorter period of heating.

“We have renewed two windows, we have undertaken mould prevention works, we have installed high capacity condensation control fans, we have installed additional drainage.

“We will replace the front door in the next eight weeks.

“We believe the heating may be underused, especially during the winter months. We understand there is a serious cost of living crisis. We can provide financial support.”

When asked if he would apologise, Mr Curtis added: “We are sorry to see that these problems are still continuing.”

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