“Ambulance chasers” contacting Islington residents over mould and damp

Resident fears companies wanted to make money out of any action against the council.

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Mould on a surface

“Ambulance chasers” are contacting residents to see if they want to take action against Islington Council over damp and mould problems.

The Housing Ombudsman is currently looking into the way the council handles problems about mould and damp in its 36,000 homes.

Several cases hit the headlines and housing campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa highlighted concerns over a family’s struggle to get problems fixed.

Una O’Halloran, the politician with responsibility for housing, said residents were contacting her after so-called “ambulance chasers” have leafleted them.

Concerns over damp and mould have been highlighted following the death of Rochdale toddler, Awaab Ishak, from a respiratory illness caused by mould.

Cllr O’Halloran urged residents to contact the council if they have problems with mould and damp in their council homes so it can be put right.

“We want to help. We need to get it sorted out.”

Dean Donaghey, who is a resident observer from Finsbury Park on the housing scrutiny committee, said: “I am very worried about cards coming through the door. I’ve had six in the last three months.”

He said the cards from firms offering to sue the council end up in the bin, but other residents have contacted him about them.

Following Awaab’s death, “People are frightened,” he said.

He feared the companies wanted to make money out of any action against the council.

Residents can contact the housing services department on 020 7527 5400 or freephone 0800 694 3344, or email [email protected] and can ask for a free survey of their home.

The council launched a series of measures to improve the way it deals with mould and damp problems.

It includes reviewing all the 3,500 cases it has tackled over the last three years and checks three months after work is done.

So far it has reviewed work at 150 homes, the head of housing property services, Matt West, said.

“There is a high level of demand (for checks) and we are struggling to get additional surveyors.”

Mick Gilgunn (Tollington) asked about the impact of the cost of living crisis as residents cut down on heating costs.

He said: “Families in dire straits are putting the heating on in one room, making other rooms vulnerable.”

Cllr O’Halloran said: “We will do our darnedest to help. Do not suffer in silence. If you are struggling, get in touch with us.”

The council has schemes, such as the hardship fund, to support people in need.

Whilst mould and damp is found in wards across Islington, homes on the communal heating programme are less likely to be beset by the problem.

AdBlocker Message

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

About EC1 Echo

EC1 Echo is your free local independent community news website. We publish stories to the web across the week and offer a platform for local people to highlight what matters to them. EC1 Echo is a not-for-profit project in partnership with the Peel Institute. Please consider becoming a subscriber supporter from £3.00 per month.
We need your help

Submit your listing here