Gran clashes with council on damp work

Jeanie Brown says dampness is rife at her Motherwell home.
Jeanie Brown says dampness is rife at her Motherwell home.

A gran with multiple health problems has clashed with council housing chiefs over a four-month delay in moving her out of her damp-ridden home.

Jeanie Brown says her bedroom walls were stripped and loft insulation was removed in a bid to find the source of water penetration at the house in Clapperhow Road, Motherwell.

She can’t remain while work is done, but says North Lanarkshire Council has failed to find a temporary home for her and her son, daughter and four-year-old grand daughter who also live at the address.

However, the council said it has offered Mrs Brown (47) four different homes, all of which have been turned down. It says the family would be out of the house for less than a week while repairs were done.

Mrs Brown said she suffers from osteoarthritis and sciatica, and was diagnosed recently with the respiratory condition emphysema. Her daughter has asthma and her grand daughter is being tested for that illness also.

She said: “The house is freezing since they stripped the walls in July and removed the loft insulation. I haven’t been able to use my bedroom, I’ve had umpteen chest infections and the doctor says it’s not good for us to be here.

“I was offered a top floor flat which is no good because of my sciatica. This is a four-bedroom house, but I’m willing to take a three and it doesn’t have to be in this area.

“I’ve also been offered a two-bedroom flat which is too small and another house in an area I would have issues moving to.

“My daughter spends her nights elsewhere because of the dampness in her bedroom. I just want this work done because we can’t go on living like this.”

Mrs Brown said dampness in the house has been a long-running problem. She added: “There’s water coming from somewhere, but they don’t know where. The loft insulation was removed to see if it was coming in the roof, but it wasn’t.”

The council said it is doing all it can to help Mrs Brown.

Operations manager Stephen Llewellyn said: “Mrs Brown’s property needs works to two ceilings and an internal wall.

“The repairs would take under a week to complete and we have offered the family four different homes which meet their requirements. The family would be back in their home in less than a week.

“We have also offered to phase these works to allow the family to remain within the home, but which would require some room-sharing for a few days. All these offers have been turned down.

“We urge Mrs Brown and her family to work with us so we can make the repairs as soon as possible. Meantime, we will continue to try to find a suitable solution.”