Locals kicked out of flats so disgusting block 'has to be BULLDOZED' after complaining for months of damp and mould

NEIGHBOURS face being kicked out of their homes because their flats are so disgusting authorities are planning on BULLDOZING the entire block.

Residents in the grubby homes have complained for months about the damp and mould with reports of leaking roofs and fire risks.




But they were left shocked when they were informed in a letter that Newport City Homes' had plans to knock the entire block down.

They were told they have a maximum of eight months left in the housing association flats ruled unfit to live in.

Some occupants were close to tears but others are jumping at the chance of a fresh start and a £6,400 compensation handout after complaining for months over the mould issues.

Mother-of-four Michelle Harries, 59, also in Alway, can’t wait to swap her damp first-floor flat for a new one-bedroomed bungalow with easy access for her mobility scooter.

She said: "I've lived here for five years, there’s damp in the kitchen and damp in the bedroom, it’s about time these flats were torn down.

"The neighbours here are lovely, there’s a few kids about who cause problems but I tell them to b*****r off and they do."

Great grandmother Michelle, who used to work at a nearby Burtons biscuit factory making Wagon Wheels, is ready to pack her bags and move "somewhere nice nearby".

She said: "I’m hoping they offer me a little bungalow with a garden. That and £6,500 compensation, I would rip their arm off."

Two floors up from Michelle, single mum Phoebe Baker, 21, only moved in three months ago and hasn’t received the letter delivered to 106 condemned flats in the former steel town.

She said: "I’ve just spent over £300 on new carpets, I’ll have to cancel the order.

"The flat is OK but there’s a hole in the roof and I have to mop up every time it rains. 

"They’ve put scaffolding up outside now to try and fix it because it was affecting the electrics and that could have been dangerous.

"I’ve only just moved in, now it looks like I’m on the move again.”





Howard Makela, 50, told The Sun the damp and black mould in his bathroom is a big problem – he's reported it 20 times.

He said: "We try to treat it and paint the walls but it always comes back."

Mortgage underwriter Howard and his wife Annmarie, 50, pay £410-a-month rent for their top-floor flat in Alway, Newport.

"I’m not interested in the compensation, I’ve never been on benefits, a man has to work for money not be given it for nothing."

He said: "We are happy here, it’s quiet and we would not choose to move unless we feel we are going up the ladder to a better area."

GLAD TO GET OUT

Work is set to begin between winter this year and spring 2022 after a survey of 106 properties in Alway, the Gaer and Rogerstone found numerous problems including terrible damp and black mould leaking roofs, and fire risks.   

The resettlement scheme is even offering residents the chance to keep the same neighbours by moving them into flats, houses and bungalows close to each other.

The demolition plans are good news for Alyson Davis, 39, who is in a wheelchair and has multiple health problems.

She said: "We’ve been trying to get moved for the last 18 months – I’ve even written to my MP about it.

"The black mould is so bad that I inhaled the spores which delayed me from having an urgent operation."

Alyson has lived at the top floor flat in Aberthaw Road, Alway, with partner Dean Milton, 35, for 11 years.

She said: "I’ll be glad to get out of here, it is not suitable for someone with my needs. We would like a bungalow somewhere nearby because I don’t want to change doctors."

The first of the blocks could be demolished in the New Year and there is even talk of residents being put up in temporary accommodation while new flats are built.

Two blocks of flats are on the hit list in the Gaer area of Newport, a green and leafy part of the city.

Stacey Rowell, 36, can’t wait to move from her "poked" ground floor flat which she shared with her disabled partner.

She said: "We were in a terrible road accident five years ago which has left him with epilepsy. When he has a lot I get so worried because the rooms are so small he could easily injure himself.

"I have to protect him and wait for help – it’s not suitable accommodation for us. 

"I would love to move but it would be nice if they moved us all to the same place, I love my neighbours, there’s a real community here."

It’s about time these flats were torn down

Her neighbour Karen Morgan, 47, said the damp in her flat has blown her electrical appliances.

In her eight years on Kipling Hill, Gaer, she is on her fourth washing machine and second cooker.

Karen was one of the first to be told her home will be bulldozed next year.

She said: "They sent me a booklet about it. I’m glad, you can’t swing a cat in here. Just knock them down and hurry up about it. It's long overdue. 

"I’d like to stay in the Gaer area here because my partner lives over the road. You can't get anywhere no better than the Gaer."

But on the ground floor of the same block Malcom Richards, 72, and his wife Anne, 71, are "gutted" they are about to lose their lovely home after spending thousands on refurbishments.

Grandfather Malcolm said: "We’ve been here 11 years and we are very happy so we don’t want to move

"We’ve spent £10,000 of our own money on it, mostly on a new kitchen. We’ve made it into a nice home and the thought of moving at our ages is not good."

The couple share their neatly decorated flat with Jimbob, their 10-year-old greyhound they rescued after he was retired from the race track after 28 victories.

Anne said: "If we have to move it would have to be somewhere suitable for Jimbob, he’s part of the family."

FIT FOR THE FUTURE

Rachel George, Head of Regeneration at Newport City Homes, said the housing association would work closely with the tenants to discuss their housing options.

She said: "We have looked at the general condition of homes, including any damp and mould. 

"By regenerating the 106 existing homes in these areas, we can make sure that these homes are fit for the future and suit the needs of our existing and future residents. 

"We understand that residents may be concerned about how this work may affect them. 

"Before any future regeneration activity takes place, we will continue to work closely with local communities to understand any concerns and preferences they may have and do our best to address these wherever we can."



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