Sheffield family's horror as house 'crumbles down' around them and their newborn baby

A Sheffield couple have spoken about their horror as their home feels like it is ‘crumbling down’ around them as council delay repairs due to Covid-19.

By Lizzie Day
Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 8:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 8:22 pm

Tyrone and Chloe Burke first noticed ‘huge heavy chunks’ of plaster falling from the walls in their living room moved into their council-owned home in Heeley back in March this year.

The couple, who have two young children together, said they reported the issue to Sheffield City Council but were unsatisfied when the loose wall, which so much plaster has fallen off that the bare brickwork is now visible, was taped with some plastic.

The council claim they made the wall in the Burke’s house safe earlier this year on April 14 but plastering work has been unable to be carried out during lockdown as it was not deemed an ‘urgent’ job.

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The Burke family are concerned that the plaster could cause injuries to their young daughter.

The pair allege that the plaster on the wall is so weak and ‘crumbling’ that they can’t put curtain poles up, paint or wallpaper which is causing dampness and now have a living room window which neighbours can clearly see into due to the lack of privacy.

The couple, who have recently had a newborn son, are concerned for their welfare of their children in their own home, as their nearly two-year-old daughter keeps pulling at the plastic cover which could cause potential injuries.

“We said the concrete could easily fall on our toddler and the woman in the repairs department told us in no uncertain terms that if any harm comes to our child because of the walls its down to us and it would be our fault”, Tyrone said.

“We are really concerned now at this stage as we are literally on show to anyone that walks or drives by our house.

The Sheffield family said an engineer came to the property in April to fix a plastic sheet over the plaster.

“We pay nearly 500 rent per month to the council we have no arrears and we are being treated very badly.”

The 34-year-old pub worker explained how the delayed repairs has impacted his family’s life.

"It makes me feel distressed and it's incredibly degrading for my wife because she's only just given birth and can’t even sit down on the sofa without her privacy being invaded”, Tyrone added.

"There is mould over the kitchen door and there are cracks in the ceiling, it just feels like it is crumbling down around us.

Tyrone and Chloe Burke have been living in the council owned home since March.

"It is really affecting my wife's mental health because when I'm at work my wife is running around the house after a one and a half year old trying to get her not to play with the wall.

"It is ruining what would be a really special time for us.”Director of Housing and Neighbourhood services Janet Sharpe said: “We are in contact with Mrs Burke about the wall in her home which we made safe on 14 April this year.

“Plastering hasn’t been classed as an urgent job during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Our intention had been to return to carry out any necessary work as part of our repairs schedule when it was safe to do so.

The couple claim plaster has been falling off the wall in 'huge chunks' since the moved in over 4 months ago.

“We’re going to visit the property tomorrow 8th July to assess what needs to be done and when.”

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