My two daughters and I are stuck inside a mouldy and crumbling flat with nailed-shut windows & dirty water

My two daughters and I are stuck inside a mouldy and crumbling flat with nailed-shut windows & dirty water

November 28, 2021

A MUM and her two daughters say they are left "completely broken" by the state of their housing association home.

Gemma Coleman said her flat is plagued with mould and dirty water and the property's "crumbling" windows are nailed shut.


The mum, from Leith, near Edinburgh, told Edinburgh Live she is suffering with severe depression and anxiety due to the issues – as well as a raft of other health problems.

The chronically ill mum also suffers with inflammatory bowel disease, ankylosing spondylitis, lung disease caused by a side effect of medication, and respiratory failure which requires Gemma to use a BiPap ventilator.

She claims the conditions in the house are playing havoc with her existing medical issues, and that her mental health struggles are exacerbated by the state of the flat.

She said: "I have epilepsy, functional neurological disorder (FND) and severe anxiety and depression caused by my living conditions."

Ankylosing spondylitis is a condition where the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed and FND is an issue with the nervous system which affects how the brain and body sends and receives signals.

The bedbound mum added the nailed-shit windows mean she can't get any fresh air, which does not help her conditions.

She described how she suffered a "mental breakdown" a few months ago.

She said: "I don't want to suffer another. I'm housebound and feel as though no one is listening to me or my family’s cry for help.

“I've been bidding every week for months and I'm completely broken."

She claims she has repeatedly asked the housing association, Places for People Scotland, to fix the issues – which began over lockdown – but has had no help.

She also claims she missed out on new windows, as hers are crumbling and nailed shut, because when the entire street's were replaced she was in hospital.

And she claims to have been waiting for over two years for a special bathroom and toilet because she can't use the bath – which also floods with waste water.

She added that her 18-year-old daughter is her full-time carer alongside attending college, but she has to sleep in her mum's room and the sound of the ventilator keeps her up.

Gemma pleaded: "Everything needs upgrading."

A spokesperson, for Places for People Scotland said: “We are very sorry that our customer is facing these challenges and are doing what we can to address them.

"Our priority is ensuring our properties are safe and well-maintained for all our customers and we are undertaking extensive works to upgrade 80 properties in Lorne Street acquired from another landlord in 2016.

"Specialists are investigating the drainage situation today.”


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