Family fears for safety and sanity in Soroba flat

Daniel Smith assesses the damage in the kitchen of his ACHA owned Soroba flat. 15_T06_DanielSmith_SorobaDamp

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A father-of-two is worried about the health and wellbeing of his family due to what he describes as a recurring damp problem.

Daniel Smith, who lives in a second floor flat on Shuna Terrace, took to social media this week after consistent concerns about the poor condition of his Argyll Community Housing Association-owned (ACHA) property appeared to fall on deaf ears.

Mr Smith accused ACHA of not ‘caring’ about its Soroba residents, triggering a tirade of like-minded complaints. He claims that over the past six years he has filled in numerous online repair reports which have all resulted in the same outcome.

‘I fill in a report, someone comes out to look at it, and basically nothing gets done to fix the root cause of the problem,’ he said.

‘I have been told the problems are down to condensation (damp) and people running across the balcony above (kitchen ceiling collapse) and advised to buy a humidifier and open the windows.

‘My walls and ceilings are black, the flooring is uneven and spongy in places and part of my kitchen ceiling has just caved in. It’s not condensation!’

When asked by The Oban Times to comment on the issues in the flat on this week, however, ACHA insisted there was no damp problem in the building.

‘In relation to that property, we had an issue of condensation, not dampness, which relates to heating and ventilating,’ stated chief executive Alastair MacGregor.

‘The problem with the kitchen ceiling has come from a leak in a common external walkway. On inspection, the Association discovered someone had left a section of carpet on the walkway which had blocked the drain and contributed towards the water ingress.

‘The Association has removed the affected plasterboard and installed a temporary section of ceiling and will carry out any external repairs necessary and then reinstate the kitchen ceiling.

‘There has been excessive rainfall in the past three weeks and from time to time leaks in buildings will occur.’

Mr Smith, a scaffolder, has lived in the flat with wife Shannon for just over six years and says it was in poor condition when he moved in. The couple now have children aged five and three and spend much of their time worrying about their welfare.

‘The paper is peeling off the wall in the children’s room and the window sills are constantly wet,’ he added.

‘Their clothes get damp as well and we are constantly cleaning, drying and decorating to make sure our children don’t suffer any ill-effects from the conditions we are living in.

‘It has been really stressful, not to mention costly. ACHA is building lovely new homes right, left and centre and in the meantime we have to put up with this mess. We’re sick of it!’ he added.

Main caption: NO_T06_DanielSmith_SorobaDamp