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Hi my name is shabana 29 years old I have been diagnosed with asthma 4 years ago I am single mother l am currantly living in an private accommodation under the homeless scheme in tower hamlet London I have had asthma attached where I had to be admitted in to hospital twice with in aweek. The accommodation that I am currency living in is a one bedroom flat its a Victorian house that has been converted into flats my bathroom has mould all over the ceiling I live on a main road where its constantly with people driving and bus route its a very busy road and when living the windows open all I can smell is smoke from the cars and buses I told one of the agent about the moulds on the bathroom ceiling and how its affecting me with asthma she turned and said that moulds and damp do not trigger of asthma I was seriously shocked I have made many complaints regarding the damp and mould instead im being told to use bleach to get ride of it I cant handle the smell of bleach I also have dry mine and my sons clothes indoor I wanted to know what I can do to help me move out from this flat

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Oh dear, it sounds horrible and I wish I could offer something constructive but council housing departments seem to be a law unto themselves. My son and daughter in law have been livng in a 2nd floor flat with no lift for about 12 years. My daughter in law was born with spina biffida and some cerebral palsy leading to weakness down one side, which meant that it was very difficult for her to cope with the stairs. The housing department wasn't interested in helping them. After my granddaughter was born they applied again for council housing because of their concerns about the safety aspect of getting the baby up and down the stairs. Still no help. Further applications were made when my grandson was born and also when he was diagnosed as autistic. Still no help. After the unexpected arrival of another granddaughter a further application was made and the response to this was that the family was adequately housed - 3 children in one bedroom, one of them autistic and keeping the others awake all night because he can't sleep does not seem adequate to most normal people. Add in the concerns about safety dealing with the steps to the flat and you have a total nightmare - but NOT to the housing department!

You might try some of the things we have done, which have included:

[*]Letters to the council from my daughter in law's GP and practice nurse confirming the extent of her disability and the concern for the safety of the children when she has carried them up and down the stairs.

Letters to the council from my grandson's paediatrician giving details of his needs

Letters to the council from my grnaddaughter's school with their concerns about the effect on her of being kept awake at night

Intervention by a local councillor

Intervention by our MP(who wasn't really interested and announced at the start that she couldn't do anything so that was a waste of time really)

The situation has been urgent since my elder granddaughter was born and she is now 6 and my grandson is 5. My son finally received the keys to a house last week, after the housing department received a copy of my grandson's statement of special educational needs.

So, in short, don't expect anything to happen quickly - it won't. BUT. don't give up. Try everything you can think of, ask your GP and practice nurse for their support and get written confirmation that moulds and damp can trigger asthma. DO keep a window open, especially when you are having to dry clothes indoors, even if this does mean that you are living with noise and traffic fumes. Can you get a friend to help by attacking the mould with bleach or another mould treatment now and then? Take some photographs of the damp patches and mould and send them to local councillors with a request for help. Don't try to do everything at once - you'll drive yourself nuts if you do!

Finally, this is a long term project, so don't let it get to you. I know that's easy to say but you need to look after your health as much as you can so make a list of things that you can do, start at the top and work your way through it. As you cross each item off, look at it as an achievement and then sit back and give it time to work before moving on to the next item on your list.

It won't happen for you immediately, but it will happen eventually.

Chin up.



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