Sheffield Council housing: Mum and daughter forced to visit doctor after being bitten by fleas in mouldy home

A mother and her 13-year-old daughter have both needed to visit a doctor to receive treatment for flea bites they’ve got from their temporary council flat infested with mould and rats.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:52 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:52 pm

Dawn Newton and her daughter have been living in the flat for 13 weeks while they await housing in Cleethorpes to be closer to family. Victor Hollingworth, aged 83, is the father of Dawn’s daughter and is very unhappy with the conditions they have to stay in.

Mr Hollingworth said: “It’s totally disgusting. I’m ashamed to leave my daughter in it to be honest. It’s in a shocking state.”

Ms Newton and her daughter occasionally escape the flat, on Wheata Road, to live with Mr Hollingworth, but can never stay for long due to school commitments.

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Mould in the temporary flat. Ms Newton's daughter has missed school due to the flats affect on her health.

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Despite this, due to health implications the family say are caused by the flat, Ms Newton’s daughter’s education is being hindered.

Mr Hollingworth said: “They’ve had to go to the doctors to get rid of flea bites.

"I’m not happy about it at all. It’s keeping my daughter out of school.”

Mould in the entrance hallway. Both Ms Newton and her daughter have been to the doctors for flea bites

Ms Newton said the second-hand furniture, which came with the flat, is where most of the fleas come from.

The family have lived in the flat for 13 weeks and said they have repeatedly asked Sheffield City Council for assistance but have received littled communication in return.

Mr Hollingworth said: “Sheffield Council don’t seem to be doing anything about it. There’s no water up here, it’s disgusting. The toilet floor is falling through.

"They have to buy new clothes every two weeks.”

The toilet floor coming away. Mr Hollingworth said it can feel like you're going to fall through the bathroom floor

Ms Newton said she is being charged a total of £250 a week to stay in the flat. £235 in rent and £15 for water.

A regular problem

This is the most recent example of a council property waiting long periods for a repair. Suzanne Addams, another council tenant, revealed to The Star she has been waiting 18 months for assistance with mould in her flat and has had to bin a number of belongings.

Last week, The Star revealed 5,922 council properties were awaiting delayed repairs, including one woman who had been waiting 818 days to have her door made fire safe.

Sheffield City Council is yet to comment on Ms Newton’s experiences.