Havant mum locked in dispute with housing association over ‘terrible’ response to ceiling leak flooding kitchen, which has left her worried for her children’s health

A MUM of three is worried for the health of her children after being told that she could be waiting until 2023 to have repairs done in her housing association home.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 11:42 am

Donna Whitwick, who lives in Havant, says she fears her kitchen ceiling will collapse as a leak has been left unfixed for months on end.

She said: ‘It’s terrible, diabolical - I feel disgusted by it.

‘I’m stressed out, very distraught and very depressed. I’m uncomfortable in my own home.’

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Donna Whitwick and her husband Neil in their kitchen which is in need of repair. Donna says she has been waiting for over a year for her housing association to fix problems in her house. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)
Donna Whitwick and her husband Neil in their kitchen which is in need of repair. Donna says she has been waiting for over a year for her housing association to fix problems in her house. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

Stay-at-home mum Donna, 35, has lived in Adhurst Road, along with her husband Neil, 49, and their three children, for four years.

Henry, nine, has epilepsy, while his younger brothers Caleb, five, and Riley, four, both suffer from asthma - as does their mum.

Donna says the damp is causing health issues for herself and her children.

She said: ‘The smell’s not very nice from the damp. No matter how many times you use air freshener, it smells dreadful, and there’s wet flooring from the leak.’

Flooding damage to the ceiling. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

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Water coming down into the kitchen has left the ceiling damaged and has rotted the wood of the kitchen cabinets.

However, The Guinness Partnership says that it repaired leaks at the property shortly after they were reported.

Donna believes that the roof leak is only getting worse, and often takes her children over to her mum’s house for their safety.

Loose worktops. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

She has been locked in dispute with The Guinness Partnership about the property’s issues for around two year.

Donna said: ‘I’m on the phone every day to try and sort it out, but it’s just depressing me.

‘I’m just so drained with not getting anywhere.

‘Being on the phone constantly with them fobbing me off, it’s not doing my mental health any good.’

Her kitchen cupboards are missing doors making it unsafe to store items away from her children. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

Donna said she has been told by her housing officer that the association will not undertake repairs until 2023.

She said: ‘I want somebody to pull their fingers out and maintain the upkeep of the property.

‘How do they think you can live with a kitchen with no kitchen sides attached to the wall?’

The Guinness Partnership said the leak followed the installation of sanitary ware by Donna’s partner.

A spokesperson said: ‘They had boxed in the pipework and would not allow our repairs operative to remove this to remedy the leak.

Her kitchen cupboards are missing doors making it unsafe to store items away from her children. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

‘The resident subsequently advised us that she had allowed another party to access the pipework, but this had left the bathroom in poor decorative order and she wanted compensation from Guinness.’

Donna said: ‘I’m trying to keep the property tidy, I’m trying to decorate, but I can’t.

‘It’s embarrassing - I don’t even have my family visit me. It’s not very nice here at all.’

Donna wants to warn potential customers off Guinness Homes, and said: ‘Guinness are just not pulling their fingers out.

‘They haven’t even investigated what caused the leak - I’ve been left completely in the dark.’

The Guinness Partnership spokesperson said: ‘We have confirmed we will visit again and carry out any works that we are responsible for as quickly as possible.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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