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Disabled mum and kids forced to live in ‘damp and mouldy’ home after sewage leak

A disabled mum and her family of five were forced to live in a damp and mouldy house that leaked raw sewage for almost six weeks while they waited to be rehomed.

Wheelchair user Anaya Hinton, 33, from Stratford, east London, who has multiple sclerosis, a compromised immune system and can't stand or walk, said she, her husband and four kids had to mop up raw sewage after it began seeping into the hallway.

She was also stuck in a ground floor bedroom full of damp and mould because she could no longer access the upstairs after the downstairs furniture had to be moved.

The family had lived in their adapted townhouse home in the East Village, Stratford, since 2014.

The adapted property included a lift so that Anaya can easily access all floors of her home.

The Hintons were informed of a leak in a neighbouring house in early February.

Two weeks later, huge wet patches had formed behind the furniture on the ground floor of their house, with greying damp developing in the corner of the room.

Anaya said she contacted housing association Triathlon Homes to address the issue, which manages the property, but the damp continued to spread.

"There was never a mention of a sewage leak at that time, everyone I spoke to just told me it was a 'leak' and that they would get it sorted," Anaya said.

"They told us to remove all of our furniture from downstairs and move it upstairs, and that they would rehouse us – but we were told we could be rehoused anywhere in London under Southern Housing's remit."

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Anaya explained that once furniture was moved upstairs, she could no longer access that floor of her home because the excess furniture meant she couldn't move around in her wheelchair.

Meanwhile, Anaya's children, who were all home-schooling with one studying for GCSEs, were sharing bedrooms upstairs.

Anaya said: "It wasn't until we left the house and went back in that we noticed the smell. It just hit me. It was so bad.

"The head of housing came round and when she walked through the door she was covering her nose because the smell was so horrendous, the mould and damp was halfway up the wall."

Anaya and her family wanted to remain living in the East Village, which had been home for the past seven years and where the children all go to school, but were concerned that they could end up having to move out of the area.

It would take almost six weeks for Triathlon Homes to find them a new house.

Kath King, managing director at Triathlon Homes, said: "We completely understand and sympathise with all those people who were affected by this situation. We know that to having to relocate, even temporarily, is hugely disruptive, especially if there are school-age children in the household."

Anaya's friends have set up a GoFundMe to help replace furniture damaged by the leak.

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