A charity has blasted housing bosses for forcing a 93-year-old Otley woman to live in “horrendous conditions” for nearly three years.
The sheltered flat of great grandmother Lillian Todd, who has bronchitis and arthritis, has mildew covering her bedroom walls and sheets, while the stench of damp permeates every room.
The problem is so bad she ended up throwing away her electric blanket for fear of using it in such damp conditions.
Yet Mrs Todd has been asking West North West Homes, which manages the Adams Croft property for Leeds City Council, for help since 2010.
She said: “This has been going on for three years – it’s unbelievable nothing has been done, I’m at the end of my tether.
“The way they have treated me is abominable. I think they thought they could get away with it because I’m ‘just an old woman’.
“They’ve told me to keep the window open in the morning and put the heating on in the after-noon, but when the heat-ing’s on, the smell gets worse. It is a worry for my health, and I’ll be 94 on Saturday, God willing.”
Otley Action for Older People’s social inclusion worker, Catherine Green-wood, said: “Mrs Todd has been forced to live in these horrendous conditions for nearly three years.
“Her concerns have been ignored on many occasions and her health has suffered terribly as a result.
“No older person should be made to feel so powerless and that their rights and concerns are not important.
“West North West Homes has a duty of care to tenants and timely repairs must be made a priority for the over-90s, particularly as they are so vulnerable and at risk of failing health.”
MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West), who contacted West North West Homes to demand action, added: “This is completely unacceptable.
“Mrs Todd is 93 and should be safe and secure in sheltered housing, not having her health put at risk due to things such as mildew on her bedroom walls and sheets.”
West North West Homes said yesterday work had finally begun to fix the problem – but only after it had been contac-ted by this newspaper.
A spokesman said: “We are working with our contractor to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
“We are establishing what is causing the damp patch on the bedroom wall and have started work to identify this.
“We are deeply sorry the situation hasn’t been addressed more quickly for Mrs Todd. We will work closely with her and the scheme manager to ensure the best and most comfortable resolution is met in the shortest time possible.” Any other tenants in need of help are asked to call Otley Action for Older People on (01943) 463965.
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