Family's fears over damp and mouldy council house

A mouldy, partially-collapsed ceiling
Part of the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom has collapsed, the second time it has happened, the family said [BBC]

A family living in a damp and mouldy council house in Birmingham fear it is severely compromising their health.

The property in Northfield is home to 19-year-old Nia, her three brothers and their parents, who said they had complained to the council numerous times and want to move.

"There's a lot of mornings when I feel really ill," said Nia, whose bedroom is worst affected by mould, while part of the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom has collapsed twice.

Birmingham City Council said it was sorry for the inconvenience and stress, and was exploring options for emergency accommodation, depending on the timescale of the repairs.

Bedroom walls covered in mould
Nia's bedroom has the worst mould in the house [BBC ]

"There's lots of nights where I'm just coughing and feeling really sickly, and in winter it is really hard because with mould, you have to open your windows, but it's cold," said the 19-year-old.

Her father, who is very ill, sleeps in a hospital bed in the front room of the house, and as he cannot walk, having a downstairs bathroom is vital.

But part of the bathroom ceiling has fallen in twice, said Nia, and the second time, water leaked for two days.

"Honestly, it makes you feel hopeless," she said.

A mouldy window sill
The council has said it is sorry for the family's inconvenience and stress [BBC]

Birmingham City Council said an ongoing national housing crisis meant demand for accommodation in the city had never been higher.

It said there were 24,000 households on its housing register.

Of that number, nearly 7,000 families are seeking a two-bedroom home, 6,500 want a three-bedroom home and there are more than 3,000 families, like Nia's, who require a four-bedroom home, but they are in short supply.

A date to fix the family's bathroom ceiling has been arranged, with additional remedial works to be planned, the council added.

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