November 30, 2022 10.00 am This story is over 17 months old

‘Tenfold’ increase in Lincoln council mould reports since boy’s tragic death

Council sets up new team to handle surge in calls

More Lincoln council tenants are reporting mould in their homes since it was blamed for the death of a young boy last week.

An inquest found that two-year-old Awaab Ishak died due to prolonged exposure from mould in Rochdale social housing.

The City of Lincoln Council have set up a new team to handle the surge in calls from concerned residents.

A full council meeting on Tuesday heard that accurate figures weren’t available as they had increased “tenfold” since the inquest, and were still rising every day.

Councillor Donald Nannestad (Labour), the Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing, said: “The council takes its responsibility as a landlord very seriously. Every effort is taken to ensure tenants live in a safe environment.

“There has been significant additional demand regarding mould on councils across the country. Since the Rochdale inquest, we have set up a short-term team to respond to these quickly and give assurances.

“Anyone calling about mould is directed to the team immediately. It is important to take each case individually.

Awaab Ishak, who tragically died after living in a mould-ridden flat | Photo: Family handout

“There is information on social media on how to manage air flow, damp and mould. When we visit properties, we also give practical advice.”

Councillor Mark Storer (Conservative) asked how many reports there had been recently, adding: “It is a basic requirement to live in safe homes.”

Councillor Nannestad replied: “The number has increase tenfold since the inquest, and the numbers are increasing everyday.”

He promised to supply the latest figures as soon as they were available, and said that the amount of time taken to deal with mould problems varied according to the conditon.

The inquest into Awaab’s death has sent shockwaves around the country.

He died in 2020 after prolonged exposure to mould in a house rented from Rochdale Borough Housing.

When the coroner announced his verdict last week, he said it should be a ‘defining moment’ for all social housing providers.

The charity Shelter offers advice on controlling mould, and the rights of tenants in rented housing.

If you have been affected by this issue, email [email protected]

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