Sick mum and two daughters stuck in ‘crumbling’ flat riddled with mould

Gemma Coleman, who lives in a small housing association apartment with her two daughters, says the appalling state of the property is impacting the family’s day-to-day life

Gemma Coleman is not very mobile and suffers from several health issues

A mum with serious health problems is stucking in a ‘crumbling’ flat, riddled with damp that has the windows nailed shut.

Gemma Coleman says her living situation with her two daughters has worsened her quality of life.

The three of them live in a small housing association apartment in Edinburgh and have reported several issues.

The Leith property has brown water with a pungent smell coming up from the drains into the bathroom sink and bath, reports Edinburgh Live.

There is dark mould growing on the ceilings’ which is detrimental to Gemma’s respiratory health issues which require her to use a bipap ventilator for every night.

The condition of the property deteriorated before and throughout lockdown

No repairs have been carried out

The condition of the property deteriorated before and throughout lockdown and despite reporting it to landlords Places for People, formerly Edinvar Castle Rock, she says no repairs have been carried out.

After being contacted by Edinburgh Live , Places for People apologised to Gemma and vowed to tackle the problems.

Gemma said: “I require Night Ventilation and use a Bipap Ventilator due to respiratory failure and lung disease caused by a side effect of medication they were using to treat my Inflammatory Bowel Disease and also my Ankylosing Spondylitis.

“I’m having to share a room with my 18 year old daughter and my Ventilator alone keeps her up most of the night and she as well as being my full time carer also attends College.

“My sink and bath fill up with waste water often and everything requires upgrading.

The home is riddled with mould

“This is just a little of what’s going on but my mental health and my physical health are going downhill rapidly.

A flat in which I’m able to open windows doesn’t seem so hard to ask for considering the whole street got new windows but I was in hospital and missed out.

“I suffered a mental breakdown three months ago and I don’t want to suffer another. I’m housebound and feel as though no one is listening to me or my family’s cry for help.

“I’ve been bidding every week for months and I’m completely broken.

“I have been waiting over two years for a wet floor and special toilet as I can’t use the bath.

“The occupational therapist gave permission but no one is doing anything or even acknowledging me.

“I have inflammatory bowel disease, ankylosing spondylitis, lung disease caused by a side effect of medication and respiratory failure which require ventilation through the night called Bipap.

“I have epilepsy, FND and severe anxiety and depression caused by my living conditions.

“My mobility is very poor and I’m housebound and the windows are crumbling away and nailed shut so I can’t get any fresh air through the house.

“I’m honestly at my lowest ever and I don’t know where to turn or what to do next.”

A spokesperson, for Places for People Scotland said: “We are very sorry that our customer is facing these challenges and are doing what we can to address them.

“Our priority is ensuring our properties are safe and well-maintained for all our customers and we are undertaking extensive works to upgrade 80 properties in Lorne Street acquired from another landlord in 2016. Specialists are investigating the drainage situation today.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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