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Family’s six month ordeal in damp flat
A FAMILY is locked in a battle with the council over damp problems after their one-year-old son became ill.
Khalid Baalawi, 29, who lives with his wife and two children in the Highden flats, Islingword Road, Brighton, reported problems to the council in December last year.
They suffered in the flat through the wet winter and spring with a property racked with damp and draft problems.
Mr Baalawi’s one-year-old son Yousuf has suffered from acute bronchiolitis, a respiratory infection. Mr Baalawi said the family doctor has connected the problem to their living conditions.
He has also suffered seizures due to the fever – including three in 24 hours.
Mr Baalawi said: “It is awful. We have mould, damp, water leaking through the walls, draft and worst of all it is affecting my children.
“The carpet is always wet and the water leaks over electrical sockets.”
Mr Baalawi said the flat is also affecting his own mental health.
He said damage to the brickwork above the living room window lets in streams of water when it rains.
He said while the council has worked on the flat and scaffolding is in place on the side of the building, there have been little improvements.
Mr Baalawi said they were offered bed and breakfast accommodation while work was done but he felt that was inappropriate.
“If I was on my own it might be ok but I have kids and we do not know how long it will take,” he added.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council has been working with Mr Baalawi to alleviate his family’s situation at Highden since December.
“Scaffolding was erected to expedite repair of the outside wall, to be followed by internal work, which we estimate should finish within two weeks. However, Mr Baalawi found the noise of the work too disturbing and asked us to stop.
“Despite advice that work can be carried out while the property is occupied we have offered to provide temporary accommodation for Mr Baalawi and his family, but unfortunately, he has not accepted this offer, which is still available to him.”
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