Asthmatic couple ‘left in house which is making them ill’ by Sheffield Council

A disabled couple from Sheffield who both have asthma claim the council have left them living in a house which is so damp it is making them ill.

Monday, 28th October 2019, 5:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:09 pm
Disabled Michael Gath-Cocker who claims he and his wife have been left by the council to live in a house with severe damp. Picture Scott Merrylees

As well as asthma, Michael Gath-Cocker, 29, and his wife Emily, 28, both have multiple health problems including fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic pain and dementia - and Emily is also a wheelchair user.

However, despite their clear need for a healthy environment in which to live, they claim their council bungalow in Stocksbridge is plagued by rising damp and is unsuitable for human habitation.

Michael says he has been reporting the problems since January but that the council - who say it is just condensation - have only started listening since he said he was getting a solicitor and going to the press.

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Disabled Michael Gath-Cocker who claims he and his wife have been left by the council to live in a house with severe damp. Picture Scott Merrylees

“All the kitchen walls are damp behinds the cupboards and I can put my hand through the bathroom wall into the kitchen because it is so wet,” said Micheal.

“The company that is meant to be doing the wet room say they won’t do it until the damp is fixed.

“In have got virtually no bathroom - all I have got is one toilet.

“We can’t have a shower - I haven’t had one in two weeks.”

Disabled Michael Gath-Cocker who claims he and his wife have been left by the council to live in a house with severe damp. Picture Scott Merrylees

The couple say the house is not safe for them or for their large array of pets including 10 snakes, two geckos, a bearded dragon, two hamsters a gerbil and a dog.

Michael added Emily recently ended up in hospital with a flare up of her asthma, with her doctor saying the unhealthy conditions in which she lives were the likely cause.

And further problems have been caused after the Council refused to do emergency repairs on their house after wrongly claiming they were not registered as disabled on the housing list.

Michael added: “I lose my temper with them when I ring up - I have had enough.

“It is not healthy living with damp and it is even worse when you have asthma.”

The Council say they are working with the couple to find a solution and intended for the work to be done as soon as possible.

Janet Sharpe, director of housing and neighbourhood services said: “We are working with the residents at this property to improve their situation as much as we can.

“We will be carrying out any work that is needed as quickly as possible.”