Anna's Story

Anna's Story

When Anna moved to the UK with her two children, the family spoke little English and were living in a small privately rented over crowded flat. The flat had no heating, poor sanitary conditions, a rat infestation, mould on the walls and a leaking roof. They were also subject to anti-social behaviour and racism from neighbours that made them too scared to leave the flat.

Due to the lack of communication skills and knowledge of English law, the family did not know how to complain or what to do about the conditions of the flat as the letting agency did nothing. All of the family were suffering a great deal of stress. Anna’s younger child had been hospitalised due to severe asthma attacks caused by the mould and damp, while her older child had dropped out of school due to the stress of living in that flat.

Fortunately, Anna came to DHI’s Reach service for help. We were able to help her to get an increased priority on the social housing waiting list due to the fact that her flat was in such a poor condition. We supported her to submit an environmental health complaint about the flat, and to report the anti-social behaviour to the police.

Thanks to this help, Anna and her family are now in secure, affordable and good quality social housing. Anna is in work, her younger child has had no more hospital admissions and her older child is back in college, catching up with the work she had missed. While the private landlord who had been renting out a flat in an uninhabitable state has been prosecuted and fined £12,000.

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