Editor: I’d love to see politicians try to live in a rotten tower block

If our homes are meant to be our castles, you would at least expect that they are habitable.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 6:37 am
Family in the hallway of Robertshaw tower.

It is hard to imagine the mental and physical impact of being unhappy in the place where you live, because it is a long way from what most of us would accept.

This issue is one that is hard to accept in a well developed city within one of the richest countries but, sadly, there are many families in Sheffield who are living in what I can’t really describe as anything other than squalor.

It is quite the opposite to the image that is portrayed of ‘scroungers’ living in spacious council homes and rolling in benefit payouts. In fact, it is heartbreakingly the complete opposite.

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Why are there so many people forced to sleep with damp or rotten roofs over their heads in Britain in 2021? It isn’t just a problem with underfunded social housing, we see it too with private landlords who seem to care about little else other than the rent being paid into their bank account.

Why don’t the people who could bring in real change see the problems? If they do, why on earth is it allowed to continue?

Somewhere that a dry, warm, safe and clean is the very least everyone should accept but then there are far too many who don’t have any choice at all. The impact it has on their lives, and those around them, is almost incalculable.

You don’t have to have a spacious, posh house to realise that the four walls we call home are incredibly important.

While some of us are worrying about colour of paint and matching sofas, others are having to use breathing equipment because the damp is so bad it affects their chest and makes them ill. Others are lucky to have paper that stays on the wall because it peels off with the dampness or is covered in thick black mould.

There needs to be a national plan to tackle what has been a crisis for thousands of individuals for many years but is only now making its way into the spotlight.

I would love to see some of our top paid politicians try to survive for a year in the rotten tower blocks which some Sheffielders are forced to call home. They wouldn’t cope but then they shouldn’t have to … and neither should anybody. It is time for change.