Stratford mother says ‘leaky flat gave my babies whooping cough’

Mother-of-four Rohima Khanon is upset at Genesis housing for not fixing the damage at her home.

Mother-of-four Rohima Khanon is upset at Genesis housing for not fixing the damage at her home. - Credit: Archant

A young mother says she fears for the health of her new-born twins after they caught whooping cough, she claims, from living in a leaking Stratford flat.

A mouldy patch in Rohima's house due to a leak

A mouldy patch in Rohima's house due to a leak - Credit: Archant

Rohima Khanon, 23, of Great Eastern Road, has been begging housing association, Genesis, to move her since the leaking started in February 2013.

She contracted bronchitis during her pregnancy and her twins were born prematurely. One was hospitalised with whooping cough at one month old and both have had breathing problems from birth.

“All I want is to be moved as soon as possible for the health and welfare of my family,” said Rohima.

“Ever since I moved in there has been major problems and it terrifies me my children get ill because of it.

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“We don’t have any windows which open out. In winter it’s really stuffy and in summer it’s unbearable. We had to move out and live at my mum’s. The humidity isn’t healthy. There hasn’t been one night that my children haven’t coughed.”

Rohima lives with her four children, the twins aged six months, and their older siblings aged five and two years old.

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Since moving to the flat two years ago there have been three leaks, each one turning the flat mouldy and giving off a strong smell.

“My neighbours have even asked if I’m doing drugs in here the stench is so strong so I just show them the mould and they’re shocked,” Rohima said.

“The wall is sodden from the leak. It’s dangerous. My little boy even fell through it one time, that’s how soft it is. I’m not getting help from anyone though.”

A spokesman for Genesis said they carried out extensive redecoration and damp proofing at Rohima’s property when the leak was reported, but it returned after the flat was relet.

They explained a plumber would visit on Monday to locate the source of the leak, adding: “Once the leak has been resolved, there will be some follow-up work required at Ms Khanom’s flat and we have been liaising closely with her to develop an action plan in the best interests of her and her family.

“We offered to source and cover the cost of temporary accommodation for her but she said she would prefer to make her own arrangements.

“We will stay in close contact with her and work with our allocations team to find her a suitable alternative property if this is required in the longer term.”

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