Mum stuck in housing hell as she tries to keep her kids safe from needles, damp and insects

A mum said she is stuck in a living hell as she tries to protect her children from the appalling housing conditions they are in. The family have been in the Teesside property since 2019 and have been trying to move home due to ongoing problems there.

Chanelle Parker claims her home in Skelton, East Cleveland, has constant damp and woodlice infestations. The 22-year-old desperately wants to move her and her two kids away from the property and three doors down to her dad’s house.

Chanelle spoke to Teesside Live about the issues and says she no longer feels safe living there. She said: “I moved into the house on September 3, 2019, and have it on a rented basis. I noticed damp on the walls when I moved in and reported it to Beyond Housing, but maintenance workers just told me to put bleach over it or paint over it, which hasn’t helped at all.

“We have a woodlouse infestation too because of the damp and nothing’s ever been done to help us get rid of it. The kids can’t even play out in the back garden in case there’s dirty needles, it’s disgusting. I’ve had someone complain to me about the grass in the garden needing a cut but I can’t do it without moving the needles and I obviously don’t want to touch the used syringes. Beyond Housing have been out to assess the garden and they’ve told me they can’t do anything about it.

“People in the street are always setting fires and smoking cannabis too, which gives off an awful smell and can really affect my three-year-old, who has asthma. I’ve even had kids pulling apart my garden fence recently, it’s just not a good home for me and my kids to live in.”

There are multiple issues in the property

Hoping to move away from the nightmare home, Chanelle has her sights on moving three doors down to her dad’s home, but has been told she’s unable to. Her young family are entitled to a bungalow due to her baby daughter’s disability, but Chanelle is hoping to move into a safer house with less problems.

She explained: “My dad is looking to move out of his house three doors away from mine so I’m hoping to take over the tenancy, but I’ve been told I’m not able to and I’ll have to put a bid in. I have rent arrears which have prevented me from moving there in the past but I’ve sorted payments for that so I’m hoping there’s no more issues.”

A spokesperson from Beyond Living said: “We are working closely with Ms Parker to quickly address any immediate concerns about her property and to support her in her tenancy.

“Beyond Housing subscribes to the rules outlined by Tees Valley Home Finder (TVHF), which ensures fairness and consistency in the allocation of properties, prioritising those currently homeless or those in need. We also adhere to the Localism Act 2011 which sets out relocation restrictions when there are arrears.”

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