Sydenham disabled woman stuck in ‘nightmare’ housing conditions

A disabled woman in Sydenham has said she is “living in a nightmare” after staying in “unsafe” social housing for over two years.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that her house is full of mould and damp, infested by rats, and that the smoke alarms were removed after a leak and never re-fitted.

The woman in her fifties, who lives with her 14-year-old son, became registered blind and disabled in 2019 after doctors found fluid on her brain.

The family live in a London and Quadrant home in Sydenham but are now asking to move so that they can live in better conditions.

The woman said: “I can’t keep living like this, it’s disgusting.

“I can’t go to the park because I can’t see, but I can’t sit in the garden because it’s full of rubble and rats.

“My son is asthmatic, but we can’t even open windows because of the rats.

“They don’t care – this is how they treat disabled people.”

This Is Local London: The family claim they have had to put out rat traps themselves to handle their pest problemThe family claim they have had to put out rat traps themselves to handle their pest problem

An occupational therapist with the Council assessed her house for changes in 2020, including making the kitchen and shower more accessible so they would be safe to use, but she claims the work was never completed.

However, London and Quadrant say that they did listen to the guidance from the Council and installed a mobility handle, grab rails and new flooring in her bathroom in July 2020.

They added that every time an issue has been raised, they attended the house quickly, including prompt pest control measures.

The woman added: “It takes months for the housing association to get back to me every time I contact them.

“It’s one problem after another and nothing ever gets done.

“It’s so emotionally draining – I’m living in a nightmare.

“I can’t afford to drop dead from stress and leave four children behind.”

This Is Local London: The woman says that her shower has leaked several timesThe woman says that her shower has leaked several times

A spokesperson for London and Quadrant said: “Every resident deserves a home they feel happy and comfortable in, and we are working closely with the woman to make sure that this is the case.

“To ensure her home meets her needs we have been guided by council advice and installed a mobility handle, grab rails and new flooring in her bathroom in July 2020.

“We have attended the property promptly each time an issue has been raised and taken action, including responding with pest control measures and a visit from an operative today to inspect and contain the leak.

“The lack of smoke detectors was not something we were aware of, and we will be sending someone today to install some.

“We are in ongoing liaison with her and have arranged for a surveyor, local authority officer and specialist contractor to visit the property next week.”

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This Is Local London | News