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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Olimpia Zagnat

Irish traveller mum living in 'disgusting' Nottingham council flat with ceiling covered in mould

An Irish traveller - a mum-of-four who is 'seriously disabled' - says she's concerned for the health of her children as the ceiling of her home is covered in mould. Marie Rooney, aged 34, left the life in a caravan behind her and moved into a Nottingham City Homes flat in Cranmer Street, St Ann's, in October 2021 after suffering a stroke just months before.

But she said she would revert back to her old lifestyle 'in a heartbeat' if her health permitted he to. Ms Rooney suffers from severe asthma and also has a heart condition.

With breathing difficulties and being steroid dependent, Ms Rooney also has vocal cord swelling, which is affecting her speech. But she's worried and concerned for the health of her children because of the scale of mould in her NCH property, calling for an urgent fix.

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NCH said when Ms Rooney first reported the problems towards the end of last year officials carried out a survey which had shown mould and damp problems in need of sorting. NCH added that when staff arrived to carry out repairs Ms Rooney refused to allow the workers entry as she wanted to be moved elsewhere.

But Ms Rooney claimed she could not be present in the house while the work was carried out due to her health conditions, saying she required alternative accommodation which NCH are working to provide. But in the meantime, before she is found alternative accommodation while the issues in the existing flat are resolved, she is now more concerned for her children's health and safety than her own - with the ceiling in both of the rooms of her home covered in black mould.

Three of her children are autistic, and Ms Rooney said the damp and 'disgusting conditions' affect their wellbeing. Ms Rooney believes that she is "treated less than other residents just because I am a traveller".

Marie Rooney 34 and her 4 children are living in a nightmare Nottingham City Homes flat in Cranmer Road, St Ann's. (Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson.)

Ms Rooney said: "They would not let anyone to live in these conditions. But because I am a traveller they would just leave me here. Sometimes it is hard to speak because of my condition and I feel like they know that so they do not do anything. I have never lived in mould in my life."

Ms Rooney said she cannot clean the ceiling herself because of her health condition. "It is disgusting. It's a nightmare," she added. "I believe I am being discriminated. I do not want to moan about me anymore - it is about my children. It is really hard to breathe.

"Three of them have autism and one of them also has suspected ADHD. It is affecting them, children with autism need routine and this is not the place where I could offer them that.

The children's bedroom (Nottingham Post/Marie Wilson.)

"They have severe sleeping problems, they go to school tired. I am scared for my children's health."

A spokesperson for Nottingham City Homes said: “When Ms Rooney first reported the problems towards the end of last year, we took it seriously, acted promptly and carried out a full survey which revealed unacceptable mould and damp issues that needed addressing. However, when we arrived to carry out the repair appointment, she refused to allow us in as she wanted to be moved to alternative accommodation while works were carried out.

"We’re seeking a temporary property suitable for her needs, although this is a challenge due to current demands for housing. Part of the works we have planned is fitting dehumidifiers and associated equipment to reduce the amount of condensation generated in the flat, and once works are complete we will offer Ms Rooney support in managing the property to avoid this happening again.”

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