A tenant is living with mould so thick it looks like fire damage and leaks which could lead to his ceiling collapsing, a documentary has shown.
Mehdi Sheikh is using a respirator to breathe, he says, because his flat, owned by Lewisham council, has been neglected for so long.
His home, in Dacres Road, Lower Sydenham, managed by Lewisham Homes, has had severe leaks for more than six months, and despite his repeated pleas for help, his requests have been ignored, he says.
He said in the ITV documentary Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame: “It just feels like living in a slum. And I just simply don’t know what to do. I feel totally helpless.
“I don’t feel like even going in there because it stinks. I don’t feel comfortable. I am on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.”
Black mould has grown thick on his walls and ceiling and he has water was dripping everywhere, drenching his floor.
Tests carried out on the water dripping into his flat revealed it was contaminated with faeces. Tests on the air found raised levels of mould linked to adverse health conditions.
Lewisham Homes chief execuitive Margaret Dodwell said: “We realise Mehdi has been put in a very difficult and distressing position, and we apologise to him for the condition of his home.
“Although we did make attempts to resolve the leaks, the service he has received is of an unacceptable standard.
“We are working closely with him to find a new home.
“We have commissioned our own independent testing of the property.”
The hour-long documentary, followed six months of investigation into Britain’s poorest housing conditions in properties managed and owned by councils and housing associations.
Surviving Squalor: Britain’s Housing Shame, is available to watch on catch up on the ITV Hub.
Pictured top: Mehdi Sheikh (Picture: ITV)
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