Campaigner reveals mould covered room in council-owned London housing

A family of five are being asked to live in social housing where mould almost entirely covers the walls and ceiling of one of the bedrooms, a campaigner has claimed. 

Kwajo Tweneboa, who frequently posts on social issues on his Instagram account, filmed himself in a bedroom of the property in Islington, North London, which is believed to be owned by a private landlord, who rents the property to Islington Council.  

The shocking clip, which has been seen by more than 1,500 people and shared by TV chef Andi Oliver, shows Tweneboa in an upstairs bedroom, allocated to one of the children in the family. 

Mould covers much of the wall and ceiling space as the camera pans around the room. 

Tweneboa, who himself experienced poor living conditions while growing up living in a council-owned property in Mitcham, South London, is heard telling viewers: ‘The whole room is covered in mould and no-one can sleep in here because of how bad it is.’

Islington Council told MailOnline representatives have tried ‘seven times’ to gain access to the house to try and resolve the situation but hadn’t been granted access by the current tenants.   

In a video posted to his Instagram account, Kwajo Tweneboa said a family of five have been living in the property in North London for five years - with near constant mould and damp on the walls

In the video, Tweneboa says he was asked by tenants of the house to come and look at the home to experience what it’s like to live there.

He said: ‘I’m currently in a bedroom and every single wall is covered in different forms of mould – including pink, green and black.’

Tweneboa says the tenants, who’ve lived in the home for five years, have ‘complained and complained and complained to the point where contractors have been sent in but the job’s been so bad that they haven’t actually dealt with it.’

Solutions such as painting over the mould, or ‘sticking bits of wood on top of it to mask the issue’ have failed. 

The bedroom walls and the ceiling are covered in 'pink, black and green' mould; with the room allocated to a child who has been unable to sleep in it

TV star Andy Oliver said the clip had made her emotional, writing: ‘I have been asked to share this and the moment I saw it I just wanted to cry!!! THIS IS A CHILDS BEDROOM. @islingtonlife (that is Islington council) deem this appropriate housing for a child for a family. I can only imagine how their health is living under these conditions.’ 

She added: ‘This is what happens when council just does NOT CARE! I am so sick of this conservative self serving hideousness! This family need help and they need it NOW @islingtonlife ( ISLINGTON COUNCIL) what are you going to do about it?’

Another commented: ‘The council and the landlord need to be sued. Expecting anyone to live here is INHUMANE.’

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Homes and Communities, told MailOnline: ‘We’re determined to ensure that everyone in Islington has a safe, decent, and genuinely affordable place to call home.

‘We sympathise with the resident involved with this case, and we’ve tirelessly tried to resolve these issues since we took direct management of the property in April 2022. 

The social issues campaigner says he was told by the family that they'd 'complained and complained and complained'

However, so far only temporary solutions have beeb offered

‘We’ve visited the property on seven occasions to try to carry out the necessary repair works, but unfortunately haven’t been granted access to the home.

‘We’re so concerned about the situation that, as a last resort, we’ve had to take legal action to try to gain access to the property and carry out the necessary repairs. However, we’d much rather resolve this directly with the resident, and would urge them to make contact with us.

‘We’ve also offered the resident temporary accommodation on numerous occasions, and our offer still stands. Again, if the resident is able to make contact with us, we can arrange this for them.

‘This clearly is not fit accommodation, and we want to resolve this as soon as possible.’

In December 2020, Awaab Ishak died aged just two in Rochdale after he developed severe breathing problems that were caused by mould fungus in his blood and lungs, an inquest reported in November 2022.

Awaab Ishak tragically died from a respiratory condition in December 2020, just over a week after his second birthday

Following Awaab’s death, the Housing Minister Michael Gove wrote to every English council leader and social housing provider to warn that deaths caused by social housing conditions must ‘never be allowed to happen again’. 

He said councils and housing providers must stop hiding behind legal process and take prompt action when complaints are made.

In her ruling at the inquest, Senior Coronor Joanne Kearsley found ventilation at the home was ‘not effective’, and criticised Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) for blaming the family – insisting there was ‘no evidence that the ways of living by the family were in any way excessive’.

As she delivered her damning verdict, she told the inquest: ‘I’m sure I’m not alone in having thought, ‘How does this happen? How, in the UK in 2020, does a two-year-old child die from exposure to mould in his home?’.

‘The tragic death of Awaab will and should be a defining moment for the housing sector in terms of increasing knowledge, increasing awareness and a deepening of understanding surrounding the issue of damp and mould.’

His parents, Faisal Abdullah and Aisha Amin, issued a heartbreaking statement saying they ‘shouted as loudly as we could, but nothing changed.’


Related posts