Pregnant mum 'can't stop crying' over 'nightmare' state of Caernarfon council house
A pregnant mum-of-two from Caernarfon says that the "horrible" living conditions inside her council house has affected the health and mental wellbeing of her young family.
Chloe Pritchard moved to the two bedroom house on Cae'r Saint in Caernarfon with her two young children last November.
With her young family growing, the 21-year-old was happy to find a bigger home and was eager to move into the house as soon as possible.
She says that the house initially appeared to be an improvement on her previous home, but within days of moving in she says she realised that a lot of work was required to make it a safe environment for herself and her children.
Three months after moving in, she claims that no progress has been made by the social housing provider Adra in remedying the problems as she keeps on discovering more issues with the house.
Chloe said: "Living in this environment is horrible, especially with two children and another one on the way. I can't stop crying, I can't eat or sleep here - it's no way to live."
The young mother claims there is damp in the house and that significant cracks and holes in the wall were covered up by wallpaper.
Pieces of wall fall off at random points in the day, she claims, and there are issues with several windows where water seeps through every time it rains.
The numerous cracks in the walls and the ill-fitted window frames, she claims, means that heat can escape from the house easily which leaves her with having to have the heating switched on throughout large parts of the day.
All of these issues are affecting the physical and mental health of her young children, she claims.
"My young son lives mostly with my mum because he can't stand being in the house. There's dust everywhere form the crumbling plaster which affects him badly because of his bronchitis.
"We have damp, some of the plaster is wet to the touch and parts of the walls crumble off at random parts of the day. The sockets are also exposed and there's holes in the walls which are obviously dangerous for young children.
"The children are stressed out living here. My baby girl who's just turned one won't settle and my three-year-old boy absolutely hates coming here. He's always got a cold and his asthma plays up because of how cold, damp and dusty it is here.
"He's missing school because of it as well. He sees me stressed and he's at that age now where that affects him and that just builds up," said Chloe.
Chloe's baby is due in July and she feels that she is "getting nowhere" despite being in constant contact with Adra.
As things stand, Chloe says, they are all staying in the same room as the others are "not safe" for her children.
"I can't let my baby girl crawl around because the floor is so rough and if I was to take my eye off of her for a second she could be sticking a finger into loose plaster or a hole in a wall.
"We're all staying in one room at the moment because I can't have my kids in any of the other rooms given the way they are at the moment - it's just not safe.
"I'm constantly told by people that these are not living conditions but when I bring the issue up with Adra - something I've done many times - it's like they're not interested.
"We've had inspectors over who acknowledge that work needs to be done on the house but they say we just have to keep on living here and wait months on end for it to be done," Chloe said.
Chloe says she feels as if she has exhausted all of her options. She says that she needs Adra to act urgently and that her current situation is not tenable for the long term.
Dealing with her pregnancy and all it entails on top of living in this environment, she says, is a "nightmare", and she has considered handing back the keys on several occasions.
The only thing that is stopping her from doing so, she says, is her responsibility to her children.
"I've come close on so many occasions to handing my keys back to Adra and just sleep on people's sofas but obviously with the children involved I can't do that.
"I don't feel like I have any options at the moment."
Work will be completed 'to a high standard'
A spokesperson for Adra said: "Providing good customer service and making sure our customers feel safe and comfortable in their home is a priority for us.
"Our customer moved into this house in November as part of a mutual exchange. In January we were notified about the issues involving some of the plastering in the property. To date we have carried out an inspection at the customer's home and have identified the work required which will be completed by the end of February. We will make sure the work is completed to a high standard."