Pregnant mum, 23, fears for unborn baby while living in ‘cesspit’ flat riddled with mould

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Natea May-Griffiths says her flat is like living in ‘a crack den’

A pregnant woman says she fears for her unborn baby after being forced to live in a “mouldy cesspit” due to damp conditions in her flat.

Natea May-Griffiths, 23, claims her flat has been covered in mould for the past four years after a leak in her ceiling a year after she moved in, along with a string of other faults including faulty wiring.

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The 23-year-old says water has been leaking in her bathroom ever since she moved into the £400-a-month property in 2018, and she has mould growing in her hallway and behind radiators.

Last year she had a hole in her bathroom due to the water damage and has previously had to rip up mouldy carpet and throw out a mouldy sofa and bed. To add to the problems, the mum-to-be says she cannot put her heating on without the smell of mould overpowering the flat, which she claims has an odour of “stagnant wee”.

She says the filthy conditions have often caused her to wake up with a headache and a cough, and she now fears her unborn child will be forced to live in a “cesspit” when they are born.

Natea May-Griffiths says she fears for her unborn child after being forced to live in a “cesspit” flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)Natea May-Griffiths says she fears for her unborn child after being forced to live in a “cesspit” flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)
Natea May-Griffiths says she fears for her unborn child after being forced to live in a “cesspit” flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS) | Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS

The mum-to-be claims she has complained about the flat to her housing association since moving in and accused Platform Housing of refusing to help. She also says she was told to drive to her mum’s house if she wanted a shower when her bathroom was leaking.

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Natea, who is 16 weeks pregnant, said: “It’s like living in a crack den. I pay money each week for a mouldy cesspit.

“I like my place to be nice and clean but it’s never nice and clean. No matter how much I clean it, I still feel dirty and ashamed. You don’t come out of the shower feeling clean, I have to eat and sleep with mould everywhere.

“At one point I had to chuck my sofa out as it was covered in mould, rip my mouldy carpet up and chucked my bed out and slept on my mattress for two years.”

A hole in the floor in Natea’s flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)A hole in the floor in Natea’s flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)
A hole in the floor in Natea’s flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS) | Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS

The 23-year-old said she has been too ashamed to invite any family or friends around to her flat because of the mould and says she would rather be homeless than raise her baby in the property in Worcester.

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She added: “Your home shouldn’t be like that. Your home should be somewhere you feel safe and confident and have people come around. I hate people coming around, I’m ashamed of the place, I won’t have my family around.

“I started with a leak in my bathroom floor. The overflow pipes were too big and overflowing with water. They came out and bodged that. It’s been leaking since I moved in, no one would believe me, they said it was just water leaking over when I was having a shower.

"I’ve got mould growing in my hallway, behind radiators, they told me to clean it myself. Being pregnant I don’t want to be touching chemicals or the mould. If I put my heating on it smells like mould. It smells like stagnant wee, that’s how I describe it.”

Natea says she cannot put her heating on without the smell of mould overpowering the flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)Natea says she cannot put her heating on without the smell of mould overpowering the flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS)
Natea says she cannot put her heating on without the smell of mould overpowering the flat (Photo: Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS) | Natea May-Griffiths / SWNS

Natea is unemployed and cannot afford to move out of the flat, but has pleaded with her housing officer “for four years” to let her leave for a new property. She is concerned the conditions could impact the health of her baby after several miscarriages and hopes to have the problems resolved before her newborn arrives.

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She said: “I’ve been complaining for four years and they’ve never got back to me. I’ve told them that I’m pregnant and that I’m high risk category due to the number of miscarriages that I’ve had.

"I call this baby the rainbow baby because there is always a rainbow after the storm. I just don’t want to live in a property with mould in with a baby. I also don’t want to be here while I’m pregnant.

“I can’t afford private housing as it’s too expensive. I’ve said to the council they just need to move me out and just rip the place apart and have a look.

“When I had a leak in my bathroom they said turn the water off and don’t have a shower. They wanted me to go around my mums and have a shower - but she’s a 10 or 20 minute drive away depending on the traffic.

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“It does get cold in the flat but as soon as I turn my heating on it stinks. I frequently wake up with headaches and a cough and that could be down to mould. All my floorboards are bowing upwards so when I open my oven hot food falls out.

“I’ve got loose wires hanging out of my wall for my fire alarm. Those wires are live and I don’t want my two dogs to catch them. It’s four years that I’ve been stressing myself out about it because I do want people to come around and see my home and the baby.

"Before my baby is born I just want the flat sorted or I want them to help me move somewhere safer. I would rather be homeless than have my baby in that flat and that is saying something.”

Steve Summerfield, external contracts manager at Platform Housing Group, said: "We are sorry to hear our customer’s concerns. We are undertaking a survey this week and in touch with the customer."

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