A council tenant claims he has been left to “suffocate” in his mould-infested council home that makes him feel like he’s “living in a slum”.
Images of Mehdi Sheikh’s flat, owned by Lewisham Council, show the severe mould infestation throughout the flat and serious water damage.
The leaking water was tested and has even been found to be contaminated with faeces.
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The colossal amount of mould throughout the flat was also found to be linked to “adverse health conditions” and Mehdi has said he needs a respirator to be able to breathe after living there for 17 years.
Mehdi told ITV News that he feels totally helpless about his living conditions: “I don’t feel like even going in there because it stinks. I don’t feel comfortable.
“My chest is feeling congested. I am on literally on the verge of a nervous breakdown.”
His story is revealed in a new ITN documentary Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame.
Despite the appalling living conditions, Mehdi has fought to stay as healthy as possible.
However it is not always easy – Mehdi suffers from chronic back and leg pain, which affects his mobility, and says the living conditions only add to his problems.
Though Mehdi has lived in his council flat for 17 years, the problems intensified last November when an unfixed leak left his home inhabitable.
ITV News even asked an expert environmental health inspector to assess the flat. The expert’s findings were beyond Mehdi’s fears.
The inspector found a “100% chance of electrocution” at points in the property and linked the leaks in Mehdi’s flats to significant faecal contamination.
According to ITV, Lewisham Council’s own independent inspection of Mehdi’s property also found the conditions were “unfit for human habitation”, though Mehdi believes the council’s response has been “simply pathetic”.
“Nothing has been done whatsoever. Because they don’t have to go and live like the way I am living.
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“It doesn’t feel like a home.”
Margaret Dodwell, CEO of Lewisham Homes, said in response: “We realise Mehdi has been put in a very difficult and distressing position, and we apologise to him for the condition of his home.
“Although we did make attempts to resolve the leaks, the service he has received is of an unacceptable standard.
“We are working closely with him to find a new home.”
Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame is on ITV this Sunday (September 12) from 10.15pm to 11.10pm.
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