Sunderland asthma sufferer’s dampness heartache

Phillippa Hills in  her Silksworth flat which suffers from damp, she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.
Phillippa Hills in her Silksworth flat which suffers from damp, she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.
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AN asthmatic says a housing association’s lack of help with clearing up damp in her home is affecting her health.

Mould in the living and bedroom at Phillippa Hills’ Sunderland home is also damaging her chances of work, the 23-year-old claims.

Damp mould on the bedroomroom wall of Phillippa Hills' Silksworth flat she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.

Damp mould on the bedroomroom wall of Phillippa Hills' Silksworth flat she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.

Ms Hills, who lives in Trident Road, Silksworth, says the problem has got worse over time and despite visits from landlords Gentoo, the situation has worsened.

She says that the damp is making her asthma worse and claims she has been prescribed extra medication by her doctor.

“It’s now in my living room and smells foisty,” said Ms Hills, who is originally from Washington.

“Even my clothes now smell when I go out because it’s near the mould when I dry them on the radiator.

Damp on the living room wall of Phillippa Hills' Silksworth flat she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.

Damp on the living room wall of Phillippa Hills' Silksworth flat she is unhappy with the way gentoo are dealing with the problem.

“I’ve had to be given a stronger inhaler because it’s affecting my asthma.”

Despite a number of visits from Gentoo workers since the problem first came to light, the former Sunderland High pupil says it has not been eradicated.

“They just keep fobbing me off,” said Ms Hills.

Ms Hills also says the damp is harming her chances of getting back into work.

She has worked as a special constable for Northumbria Police in the past and was based at Gilbridge Police Station, in Sunderland city centre.

But she says she has had to stop trying to get a position in the force because she cannot complete fitness tests.

“I can’t even run down the street now because I am so out of breath,” she said.

“I need to be able to pass fitness tests.

“I can’t at the minute so I’ve had to pack in trying to get into the police.”

Gentoo says it will make improvements to the flat in the coming days and added that Ms Hills did not arrange a visit for work to be carried out after they called at her home when she was out.

Ian Porter, managing director of Gentoo Sunderland, said: “A visit was made to Phillippa Hills’ home in October 2012 to investigate a report of dampness.

“We were unable to gain access and the customer did not contact ourselves to rearrange as requested.

“Work has recently been completed to Ms Hills’ bedroom radiator and further re-pointing work is due to begin on Tuesday.”

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