Pregnant woman fears for health of her unborn child over damp and mouldy home

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Lauren Davies, who is five months pregnant, says the flat in Swansea, Wales, is covered in mould while water seeps through the walls and ceiling, causing paint to peel off

A young pregnant woman who says she’s living in a damp, mouldy council flat is fearing for the health of her unborn child who she says “deserves better”.

Lauren Davies, 23, shares a council flat in Swansea, Wales, with her 25-year-old partner Brandon Lewis.

Lauren, who is five months pregnant, claims the flat is covered in mould while water seeps through the walls and ceiling, causing paint to peel off.

She told Wales Online the situation was bad for their health, as well as that of their unborn child.

Brandon doesn’t want his young child to visit as he says the area and the condition of the flat is no place for a youngster.

Lauren who has Crohn’s disease and is concerned for her own health, said: “There’s water seeping through the walls and in both bedrooms and some of the ceilings are peeling.

“We’ve got damp all up the balcony door and damp all around the windows. It smells like damp and our clothes are damp.”

A Swansea Council spokesperson told the Mirror that visits had recently been paid to the property to look at the issues raised and discussions were ongoing to help resolve the problem.

“Whenever we are informed of issues such as mould, it is often linked to a lack of adequate ventilation in the property and this can be improved by opening windows when drying clothes in the property for example,” they added.

Photos from inside the flat, in Brynmelyn in Swansea, show damp covering the walls and ceiling with black marks and drips covering surfaces.

The couple say they have also suffered damage to their possessions.

Brandon and Lauren claim the issue is in every room of the flat and wasn’t present when Brandon moved there in August, 2020.

He said the flat had freshly plastered walls in the hallway and living room and there was no damage when he moved in, but in March, 2021, the issue of the damp began.

It has also affected the couple’s personal items including Brandon’s child’s toys and other items.

Lauren added: “We can’t buy anything for our baby that’s due because we’re afraid it’s going to get damp. All of Brandon’s little boy’s stuff had to go to his mothers, so we haven’t got anything for them here.”

Brandon has also had to replace the furniture in their home as he claims the damp has ruined them.

He said: “I’ve just spent two hundred pounds to go to a friends who was selling a new bed and new sofas because I’ve had to throw ours because of the damp. I’ve thrown out four bags of clothes because of the damp.”

The couple also said that the flat had a very strong smell of damp and Brandon said his family never wanted to come into the property.

He added: “People who come here have all said it smells like damp, we’ve got used to it and we don’t notice the smell as much but everybody else notices it.

“When my family come to help us out with stuff, they never want to come in. They only come in to use the toilet then go.”

As well as the issue with damp, Lauren and Brandon said they didn’t feel safe in the area where their flat is located and felt anxious about Brandon’s child spending time there and bring up their own baby there, that’s due in just 18 weeks.

They are located on the fifth floor of a 10-floor block of flats and said they had to pass people who they described as ‘clearly on drugs’ daily.

Lauren said: “We’ve got people stumbling past us that have taken drugs, Brandon’s child has actually witnessed it a few times. If I’ve got to go to work, I’ve got to get Brandon to walk me to the bus because I won’t go out of the flat on my own after a certain time.”

Brandon added: “We’ve seen needles on the staircase and pee and sick in the lift.”

Lauren and Brandon claimed they had raised their concerns with Swansea Council multiple times since the issue started and that they had been to the council at least twice a week since July trying to sort it.

Brandon said: “From August, we’ve been trying to push our transfer but they’ve been saying it’s twelve weeks until you get your points, but that doesn’t even mean you’re going to get moved, It just shows that you are on the list.

“I’m just constantly waiting for repairs, no-one is helping us. When we phone housing options, they just say that we’re on a waiting list and it’s all done on a time system, you’ve got to wait. They obviously don’t know what were living in and haven’t read our application.”

Lauren added: “Because of my illness I’m having a C section at 38 weeks so we’ve got 18 weeks to get out of here, get the baby stuff and settle somewhere before we have him and that’s just 18 weeks.

“The kids deserve better, they don’t deserve to be living here. It doesn’t matter how many times we tell them we’ve got two children going to be living here.”