Welwyn Garden City woman sleeps on blow-up mattress to avoid ‘disrepair’ in bedroom
PUBLISHED: 09:40 12 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:16 12 June 2020
A Welwyn Garden City woman has been sleeping on a blow-up mattress so she can avoid the water damage in her bedroom, and is hoping the council will help.
After being forced out of the home that Tara Amys had lived in for over 20 years, due to being unable to pay the ‘bedroom tax’ – a charge for under-occupancy of council properties – she moved into Heronswood Road on June 1, 2019.
But after not really being able to view the property before moving in and being in desperate straits, Tara opted to take the property on as she was worried about becoming homeless.
And after a few weeks of living there, she got a friend of hers to carry out work – which cost her a considerable sum of money – but now the water damage is so bad that she is no longer sleeping in her bedroom and the house has fallen further into disrepair.
The extent to the damage can be seen in the holes in the ceiling – which have been covered with a plastic bag by council workers – and the broken curtain frame, damaged sockets and wall holes.
Tara said: “I suffer with my mental health and I am classed as vulnerable on [Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council’s] system.”
She added: “My house is freezing in the winter as well.”
Coping under lockdown – while having a lung condition – has exasperated Tara further.
Tara claims Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has told her that at the moment a surveyor cannot come down to inspect the property and see what can be done, but they have sent repairmen out to make some changes.
She said: “I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. I just want it done.”
Adding, “All I want [the council] to have is the decency to say they cannot for this amount of time.”
A spokeswoman for WHBC said: “We were very concerned to hear about Ms Amys situation as no repairs had previously been reported to us. As soon as we were made aware, we’ve been in regular contact with her to assess the damage and arrange repairs to her home.
“The ceiling has been temporarily sealed with plastic sheeting until we return to complete these repairs along with any others that we believe are necessary. The safety and wellbeing of our tenants is a top priority, which is why we’re arranging for all works to be completed as soon as possible.”
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