Moldy apartment making children sick and younger now have ‘smoker’s cough’, single mother says

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There is no heat in Melanie Knowles-Morgan’s two-bedroom apartment, and city council is committed to pulling out old pipes and radiators to fix the issue within three days of repairs.

Melanie Knowles-Morgan says council has failed to address heating and mold issues in past two weeks

A single mother says her musty apartment is making her children sick and another now suffers from a “smoker’s cough”.

Melanie Knowles-Morgan says her family have been living in “unsuitable conditions” since moving into the Cartland Road council property nine months ago.

The 21-year-old mother-of-two from Kings Heath, Birmingham, said her youngest had developed a “smoker’s cough” because of the black mold and damp inside.

She told BirminghamLive: “My kids have coughs all the time and I know it’s from mold.

“My youngest is particularly bad. It’s like a smoker’s cough.”

There is also no heating in the two-bedroom apartment, confirmed by the city council, which managed to pull out the old pipes and radiators to fix the problem within three days of repairs.








Melanie Knowles-Morgan says council has failed to address heating and mold issues in past two weeks
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Picture:

Birmingham live)




“I have been without hot water and heat for weeks despite having children aged eight months and two years,” said Melanie, moved, who says her mental health is at its lowest.

“The council told me to move all my furniture out of the way for
these three days, the time for repairs.

“But I have nowhere to go. I have no close family and I will not take my sick children to the park nine hours a day.








Melanie Knowles-Morgan’s building in Birmingham
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Picture:

Birmingham live)




“One of my children has autism and cannot be here while he is drilling holes and making loud noises because it will really scare him.”

Full-time mom says she doesn’t have enough money to stay in a hotel.

She said Birmingham City Council asked her to move appliances to a cabinet full of black mold and dampness because the current refrigerator space is the only suitable place for a new boiler.








Melanie Knowles-Morgan faces humidity issues that have caused health problems for her children
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Picture:

Birmingham live)











An interior door is very affected by humidity and mold in its apartment
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Picture:

Birmingham live)




“I can’t do this,” she said, “my kids are already coughing constantly.

“When they visited the repair team told me my best bet was to leave the property as I have asbestos too. This is what I want to happen, we have to be upgraded.”

Melanie added that she was ready to fight authority in court if they were unable to find her new suitable accommodation, citing negligence.

“On top of all of this, I constantly have bugs, slugs and ants on my property due to the conditions.

“My bathroom is also very old. The water pressure is really bad and the tub has a crack that cut me off before.








She says council has failed to address its heating and mold issues in the past two weeks
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Picture:

Birmingham live)




“The back garden is not secure and there are rats and no fence.”

Melanie added that she had contacted her local MP about her plight, but
is yet to be heard.

Birmingham City Council has apologized for the “distress caused by ongoing repairs” to the property and said the reported mold has “now been dealt with”, which Melanie denies.

She says part of it was repainted when she first moved in, but no work has been done since.








The back of the unfenced building
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Picture:

Birmingham live)




A council spokesperson said: “The reported mold has now been dealt with and another inspection is scheduled to ensure it has been dealt with.

“The property has been the subject of an asbestos expert appraisal by specialists. No asbestos was found except on the door of the ventilation cupboard which will be left because it presents no danger to the tenant.

“Regarding the heating, a new boiler and radiators are being installed which will take place next week.

“An earlier date was offered to the tenant but they turned it down.”


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