July 4, 2022



Mother-of-three moved into “life-threatening” housing by Croydon Council

3 min read

By Theo Burman, Local Democracy Reporter

A mother and her three children are facing “a risk of severe harm” after being moved into council housing with untreated asbestos, extensive water damage and drainage issues.

Ms Moore, a teacher working with autistic children, was moved into the housing at Foss Avenue in Croydon in October 2017, after her previous high-rise apartment at Violet Lane was found to have fungi and polluted smoke contaminating the air.

Moore and her three children, have all developed serious breathing difficulties and other health problems after living there.

The impact of these living conditions was noted by the head teacher at her daughter’s school, who in a letter to Croydon Council stated that “Ms Moore and her family having been living in extremely unsatisfactory and what can be considered dangerous conditions.

Ms Moore’s nine-year-old daughter has been “in and out” of Accident and Emergency for the last three years due to breathing problems.

Her five-year-old son, born at the Violet Lane property, has also been diagnosed with extensive breathing difficulties, and was rushed to hospital after drooping in his mother’s arms on several occasions.

Her last child has been on a blue-level inhaler since he was born. The two older children are both on antibiotics and also have inhalers. In one instance, Moore’s daughter had pus weeping from her eyes.

However, the new housing came with more problems. Moore’s new house has had more than 400 workmen to deal with issues, including widespread leaking in her childrens’ rooms and the chimney.

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In 2018, it was discovered that asbestos ran throughout the walls, and while most of it was removed, parts of it remain in the front room and the bathroom. Her fridge and other electrical appliances do not function properly, and technicians have told her that there’s no way to fix the electrics without major refitting.

“My son has had his adenoids and his tonsils taken out because he couldn’t breathe otherwise. He’s still got a lung capacity issue and has continuous nosebleeds. He’s scared to come upstairs because of the smell of sewage.

“My children don’t know what it’s like to not have an inhaler. Even my baby is on an inhaler. Not even an animal should be treated the way my children have been treated.

“Whenever it rains, my walls turn yellow. They just absorb the water. Whenever I wash clothes, there’s another drainage issue”.

“Ms Moore is trying her best to provide a stable and consistent home for her children, but this is being hindered by the constant disrepair to her property and persistent health issues arising as a result.

“All children by law have the right to ‘enjoy good physical mental health and live a healthy style’ as stated in Every Child Matters legislation.

Ms Moore’s children are not able to enjoy or live a healthy lifestyle due to their current living situation for which Ms Moore is not accountable.”

The family doctor has written similar letters to the Council, expressing his anger over the continued neglect of Moore’s situation.

In the most recent letter, he said “I am quite frankly angry and annoyed by the apparent inaction to either rectify the problems in her home, or provide more suitable accommodation for her and her young children given the number of letters we have written over the last year.

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“Either people working in your department are incompetent at what they do, simply don’t care or are powerless to do anything, in which case the housing department in its current state is not fit for purpose and letting vulnerable families down.

“I’m imploring someone in the council to show some compassion and help this lady and her three young children.”

Moore argued that Croydon had a duty of care for her family that they had not fulfilled. “I’ve been told by inspectors that I never should have been moved here. They let me move into a property that wasn’t fit for purpose.”

Croydon Council were contacted for comment.

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