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Residents appeal for action on damp flats

RESIDENTS living in local authority flats on the Southside fear that persistent dampness and mould in their homes could be affecting their health.
Tenants of the Dublin City Council flats in Braithwaite Street in the Coombe have called on the local authority to identify the source of the dampness in their homes.One tenant, who has been living in the flats since 2003, said she has repeatedly asked the council to address the problem since she moved in but claimed that they have failed to do so.The single mother, whose two young children live with her, suffers from asthma.She said she was hospitalised recently with chronic pneumonia.The woman, who did not want to be named, said:

“I have been living here for eight years. The dampness and mould has been a problem since the day I moved into this flat. I was in hospital a while ago with pneumonia for three nights and I believe that the dampness did not help matters.

?She noted that the deterioration in her asthma generally coincides with the winter months when the damp conditions are at their worst.

“My asthma is quite bad in the winter and I am sure that the dampness is not making it any better,

? she said.

“The paint is peeling off the wall in the kids’ bedrooms and you would be embarrassed even bringing people into the house.

“The paint in the bathroom has also peeled off the walls, which are black and smelly. It drips constantly in the winter. In the summer it is not too bad because it has dried out but when the winter comes again all the water just pours off the wall. The bedroom is the same, where there is water running along the walls.

“I have been on to the council loads of times,

? she added.

“They have come out and said there was nothing they could do and that a lot of people in these flats have the same problem.

“Just because everybody has this problem doesn’t necessarily make it right.

?In addition, she said she has been forced to pay a painter decorator almost every year to paint over the dampness in the bathroom in an attempt to address the problem.

“I want to get the bathroom painted because the dampness looks terrible but the painter decorator says this will just need to be done again and again because the problem is on the outside,

? she explained.Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh (SF) said she knew of a number of tenants living in the flats who were suffering from persistent chest complaints.She asked the council to investigate the dampness issue at the flats last year but claimed they had failed to do so.She has now urged the local authority to rectify the problem as a matter of urgency as she believes that the health of their tenants is being adversely affected as a result of the damp conditions.

“The council promised me last year that they would inspect the dampness issue but it never happened and the problem still exists,

? she said.

“You can’t have people living in these conditions.

“There were plans for these flats to be demolished as part of a local regeneration,

? she added.

“The council has to go out and find out what is causing the severe dampness and address it.

? A spokesperson for the council said:

“The position in relation to Braithwaithe Street flats is that we informed Cllr Criona Ni Dhalaigh that we would have the matter examined over the next three to four weeks and that any issues arising, that we are in a position to put right, will be done.

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