A DESPAIRING single mother says she is being forced to bring her children up in damp and squalid conditions because Hammersmith and Fulham Council will not fix a leak which has existed for four years.
Mother-of-three Jean Brahimi, 48, claims the local authority has ignored her pleas and has refused to carry out repairs, leaving children Farouk, 14, Miriam, 11, and Adam, eight, to sleep in rooms covered
in black mould at their council home in Westcroft Square, Hammersmith.
She said: “The council has known about this all along but just refuse to do anything about it.
“All I want to do is bring up my children in a nice environment but I am unable to that and I don’t have the money to make things better. The council is shirking its responsibilities and has abandoned us.”
Ms Brahimi, whose eldest son is autistic, says water started coming in from the roof in 2009 but, despite several visits from council workers, the authority has failed to get to the root of the problem.
Despite repeated calls, no one has been able to fix it, and the problem is getting worse, she says.
Ms Brahimi, who has lived there for 37 years, said: "Every time it rains, water comes in. It seems like a pretty simple thing to fix and, as a tenant of the council, it is up to them to help me, but they won’t."
She tried to seek legal advice with a view to taking the council to court but was told legal aid cuts meant solicitors couldn’t take on the case.
“I don’t now know where to turn,” she added.
The council said: "We have been in regular contact with Mrs Brahimi about this and visited her twice last week to inspect the flat. We are replastering the walls in the flat and, though tests have shown there is no sign that the roof is leaking, we will continue to monitor the roof and ceiling.
“We are visiting Mrs Brahimi again to check the roof and ceiling once more.”