A DISABLED woman is calling on housing bosses to solve a ‘horrendous’ damp problem she believes is severely impacting her health.

Kelly Hocking has been waiting for more than two months for Darlington Borough Council to tackle the issue which has left her unable to safely change her catheter for fear of causing infection.

The 31-year-old, who suffers from a serious bladder condition and mental health problems, says she is also unable to cook a hot meal because her kitchen is covered in ‘black mould’ after the ceiling collapsed following a flood caused by a leak in an upstairs flat.

Ms Hocking, who only moved into the flat on Grey Street, Darlington, in March, wants the council to take action before the ‘disgusting' mould makes her ill.

The Northern Echo:

Mould on the kitchen ceiling

She said: “The council keep telling me that it is condensation but it is so bad that I don’t feel that it is safe to be in the flat because the black damp is everywhere – it’s in the kitchen, the cupboards and around the windows.

“It is so disgusting that I have to go to my friend’s house to change my catheter because I am too worried that I will catch an infection would could make me seriously ill.

“I really struggle with a number of medical issues and this is ruining my health.

“It feels to me that I am just going to have to carry on as it is as there is nothing I can do about it. The council keep telling me to put bleach on it but I can’t reach where the mould is spreading to.

"The mould is absolutely disgusting."

The Northern Echo:

Mould covering Miss Hocking's toaster

Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: “We were first contacted in May about a condensation issue but the tenant was not available for an appointment until July, when it was found there had been a leak from the flat above. After initial investigations led to the toilet, which was repaired, the intermittent leak was subsequently found to be caused by the upstairs tenant’s washing machine, which he then failed to have repaired.

“Because of this we have now carried out a repair to the pipework linked to the washing machine to avoid further leaks and damage. We have also arranged for a dehumidifier to be delivered to the ground floor flat to dry out the ceiling and walls and will then carry out re-plastering work.”