Stamp Out Damp in York
Stamp Out Damp in York

This week, Rachael Maskell MP launched a campaign to ‘Stamp Out Damp’ in social housing and also in homes owned by private landlords across York.

In recent weeks the York Central MP has received a huge volume of casework from people who are experiencing problems with damp and mould in their homes. Some of the correspondence is from people who live in council or housing association properties and other correspondence is from people who live in houses owned by private landlords who are unwilling to carry out the remedial work which is needed.

Ms Maskell has dealt with a number of distressing cases including one involving a mother and two children who were sleeping on the sofa because their bedroom was inhabitable because of the damp.  She has also had letters from students and individuals who are living in privately rented accommodation which is in a poor state of repair and in some cases the damp and mould present a major problem to peoples’ health, and some have been admitted to hospital.

Rachael Maskell wants a zero tolerance approach to the damp and mould and she wants all landlords, including the council, to act quickly when they are made aware of problems.  Over the last week she has met with City of York Council and Student representatives of both York St. John University and the University of York, as well as raising her concern with the Prime Minister.

Councillor Margaret Wells, Labour Spokesperson for Housing, says:
“We all agree that everyone deserves a decent warm home to live in but sadly many families living in rented properties in York don’t have this. They are living in horrendously damp conditions, with walls blackened by mould and paint and wallpaper peeling, destroying their clothing and furniture and damaging their heath. It shouldn’t be happening in 2018 . We need to do something now.”

Rachael Maskell MP says:
“It feels like we are going to the Victorian era. In such a rich and modern nation, no-one should be living in these appalling conditions. I have been really shocked to learn that there are so many people in our city who are living in conditions that are simply unacceptable.  No-one should have to live in a home which has rooms they cannot use because of issues with damp and mould, or are being made ill due to their poor housing conditions.

This is a massive public health scandal.  We need all landlords whether it is the council, a housing association or a private individual to accept responsibility for their properties.  The Shelter website explains peoples’ rights and information can be obtained by referring to:

“I am also concerned that some people are frightened to speak out in case there are repercussions from their landlord.  Some are worried about revenge evictions.  This is wrong and if I am made aware of any revenge evictions I will fight tooth and nail to help.  I am willing to speak up for tenants in York and will ensure that this will be heard in Parliament in order to rid homes of damp and mould.  If there is anyone out there who is suffering in silence I would urge them to get in touch with my office on 01904 623713.  I will then get on the case.”


Rachael Maskell is a supporter of the Homes Fit for Habitation Bill currently going through Parliament.


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