The Housing Executive has vowed to take action to address suspected dampness in one of its properties in the Bogside, which 45-year-old tenant Andy Jack, has described as intolerable.
A spokesperson for the H.E. has promised that a contractor will visit Mr. Jack’s home in Glenfada Park by the end of this week at the very latest with a view to resolving the damp problem.
The development comes after Mr. Jack contacted the ‘Journal’ to complain that he feared for his health as a result of what he believes to be accumulated dampness in his ground floor flat in the Rossville Street complex.
Mr. Jack said the H.E. did attempt to fix a perceived “condensation” issue by removing a partition separating his sitting room and his front porch in September.
However, the exasperated tenant said this did not work and that puddles now regularly form in the open vestibule just yards from his main living space anytime there is significant rainfall, which is often.
“I used to work in the building game years ago. I know dampness when I see it,” he said.
“I’m sitting with a coat on. I get up every morning. I’m sitting in here freezing. I’m burning that fire just to keep the place warm. Is that the way they expect me to live?” he asked.
Mr. Jack said he was concerned the dampness would bring on a bronchial condition, especially during the colder weather.
“Someone said to me, ‘Andy you are going to end up with pneumonia. Andy, you can hear it when you are breathing.’
“You can see it for yourself. You might say, ‘Oh, it’s only a few puddles of water’ but you can’t get up and live like that everyday.”
Mr. Jack said living with the dampness was having a draining effect on him both physically and emotionally.
“It’s embarrassing even when the postman arrives and sees big patches of mould on the blinds.
“They post my mail through the door and it’s lying in a puddle of water.
“The whole thing is a disaster. They should have fixed it a long time ago or demolished it and rebuilt it and moved me somewhere else.”
The H.E. said it was aware of the problem, that an inspection had taken place, and that action would be taken to address the issue imminently.
A spokesperson for the H.E. said: “We are aware of this issue and are working to resolve the problem.
“A maintenance officer has inspected the property and a contractor is scheduled to attend the tenant’s home within the next week.”