A Radstock mum has been left having “constant asthma attacks” after part of her bedroom ceiling fell in — but housing association Curo has not offered to rehome the family of seven.
Carly Wisbey had just got into bed, after putting her baby to sleep in the next room, when part of her bedroom ceiling came down. Mrs Wisbey said: “Normally she goes to sleep in bed with me but I’m trying to get her into a routine of trying to get her to sleep in her own bed. She laid with me for a little bit then I put her into her own bed.”
She said: “I literally had put in her in bed, went back into my bed, and then the ceiling dropped — and it was like a there was a river coming in the house.”
Simon Wisbey, her husband, works as a plasterer and said: “I knew it was going to go eventually.”
The family had repeatedly told housing association Curo about a leak which had gone on for three years. The housing association had sent people round but none of the things they did fixed the problem, despite the family knowing the cause — a “valley” in the sloping roofs of the Radstock cottage causing water to pool.
Curo even sent a surveyor, who told the family the ceiling was not going to come down. When the ceiling finally did, it also revealed rotten joists which had to be repaired.
The housing association then told Mr and Mrs Wisbey not to sleep in their bedroom because the rest of the ceiling could cave in at any time and warned that they had no information on whether their house had asbestos. But Curo did not offer to rehome the family, leading Mr and Mrs Wisbey to have to sleep on the living room floor and worry that their five children — Cortney, 19, Braydon, 15, Connie, 10, Scarlett, 8, and Piper, 18 months — were staying in a house that was “unsafe.”
Dust and soot from the lath and plaster had spread across the house from the damage, coating carpets, furniture and surfaces. Although the house has been cleaned, as an asthmatic, Mrs Wisebey is still dealing with the effects.
She said: “I have been having constant asthma attacks. I had to take the week off work because my asthma was really bad. I had an asthma attack at work and then had to come home because I had collapsed on the floor.”
Cortney Wisbey said: “Mum was playing with Piper, the baby. She was playing with her for five minutes and she was on the chair and couldn’t breathe. It’s got to the point where she can’t even mother her child.”
She added that, at night, she can hear her mother “almost gasping for breath” as she sleeps.
She said: “It’s almost more scary when I hear her stop. When you are asleep and you are asthmatic, you can’t regulate your breathing.”
Curo repaired the ceiling ten days after it fell in. But Mr and Mrs Wisbey are still sleeping on the floor, as the room is being re-plastered — a job Mr Wisbey himself has taken on. He said: “I’d rather do it myself. I want it done properly.”
A spokesperson for Curo said: “We’re very sorry about the problems with Mrs Wisbey’s ceiling and we completely understand the disruption they’ve caused to her and her family. This isn’t the type of service that we aspire to provide for our customers.
“As soon as Mrs Wisbey reported the damage on 18th October, our out-of-hours repairs team visited her home to make sure it was safe for the family to stay in. We fixed the roof on 21st October and repaired the ceiling on 28th.
“We’ve arranged for a deep clean of the property and have asked Mrs Wisbey to make a list of the damaged items so that we can do everything we can to make things right.” LDRS, J Wimperis