Black Mould Death. This is what the coroner reported as a cause in the sad death which is widely being reported in the media today. Two-year-old toddler Awaab Ishak, who passed away with severe respiratory issues as a result of the disrepair.
Mould Death severe black mould in flat a killed two year old due to chronic exposure ‘defining moment’, says coroner
Black Mould is very dangerous, especially to young children and those living with severe health conditions. This is a very chilling story of which, there has been a lot of hostile rhetoric around refugees and migration here in the UK.
Awaab was born in the UK. His Parents fled Sudan due to poverty, famine and war. Arriving in the UK in 2017, they were placed in unsuitable accommodation in Rochdale.
The Chromic exposure to black mould and damp ultimately killed poor Awaab, and I wonder how long it will be before we have a similar tragedy here in Brighton and Hove.
Many young homeless families living in Brighton and Hove report similar issues as do those living in similar death traps with severe disrepair in the private sector.
I myself have had a few very severe cases, of which a few families had their children hospitalised, and some needed longer treatment due to severe respiratory infections.
Just like this case where the health visitor wrote to the housing provider, similar things here in Brighton and Hove are happening and often enough the Council isn’t responding to the issue fast enough, with many homeless households reporting hostile interactions after reporting repair issues or feeling as though they will be stuck in these damp and mouldy homes for years.
Many people report to me or online in forums that they wait a long time for repairs or simply are moved, and then the homes are put back homemove for “Homeless Priority” households to take up!!!
Without any repairs!
Passing the suffering on to others to deal with.
Broader Issues Raised
This case never went to the local government and social care ombudsman and if it had, Awaab may very well be alive today.
Richard Blakeway, said landlords must make plans to tackle the “real risk of worsening damp and mould issues” as energy bills soar.
Awwab Ishak Died as a result of “Chromic Exposure” to Black Mould and Damp in 2020. In Rochdale. Aged Two
With inflation hitting 11.1% in the UK and even higher for poorer households, repair costs are up, and no one can get access to decent lawyers to use the existing laws we have, to prevent these types of deaths.
Cases like Awaab as sad as they are should indeed be defining moments of change and should mean reform, this should have happened after Grenfell.
Locally politicians and Council Officers in Brighton and Hove need to look closer to home by ensuring we have a better-regulated private sector, better enforcement and access to legal help around these issues.
Especially where the council pay these providers or have contracts with them, we need to see a zero-tolerance policy toward disrepair.
The Coroner in Awaabs Case Speaks OUT
Back to Awaabs case, the senior coroner Joanne Kearsley said.
“Awaab Ishak died as a result of a severe respiratory condition caused due to prolonged exposure to mould in his home environment,” she said. “Action to treat and prevent the mould was not taken. His respiratory condition led to respiratory arrest,” she said.
“I’m sure I’m not alone in having thought: how does this happen? How, in the UK in 2020, does a two-year-old child die from exposure to mould in his home?
“The tragic death of Awaab will, and should, be a defining moment for the housing sector in terms of increasing knowledge, increasing awareness and a deepening of understanding surrounding the issue of damp and mould.”
Addressing the family, Kearsley said: “I hope you know that Awaab will, I am sure, make a difference for other people.”
Statement and Debate in Parliament
Michael Gove the Government for levelling up today released a statement in Parliament on the death and said “the government have strengthened the local government ombudsman so that residents have a place to turn, in addition, we have changed the law so that residents can complain direct now instead of having to wait eight weeks”.
What they are not telling you is that whilst I would also encourage you to complain, there is a huge backlog in cases. some up to 3 months. To complain directly to the ombudsman, you do complete a complaint form here.
If you rent in the private sector, including housing associations then go to the housing ombudsman. Click here to go to the Housing Ombudsman Website.
Some handy information on disrepair and other issues relating to housing is on the Advice Now Website. Written by Housing Law Specialists to make it easier for you to know your rights. Click here to goto Advice Now Disrepair Pages