A mother-of-two has described living in her council-provided temporary accommodation in Southwick, which is damp and infested with mice, as a ‘living hell’.
Simone Crossley said the three bedroom terraced house in Albion Street, Southwick, where she has lived for two years, is in a ‘horrendous’ condition – with mice nesting in cavities in the wall and ‘running around’ the house.
They even ate through the bottom of a chest of drawers and nibbled on her deceased father’s old shirt, the 50-year-old said, adding: “Everything is being destroyed.”
Simone and her sons – Joshua, 21, and Nathan, 17 – were housed in the building by Adur District Council after the flat they had rented privately for 14 years was put up for sale.
Having first complained of the mouse infestation back in March, Simone said it took the council until the end of July to act.
“They let it go on and on,” she said.
The council has now put rat poision down, but Simone said the situation has not improved – with the house pervaded by the ‘terrible’ stench of dead mice.
She claims the house is also 'covered in mould' and that she is unable to use the storage heaters at the building because they worsen her and her sons’ asthma.
A former nursery nurse, Simone is registered as disabled due to suffering from several medical conditions, including a non functioning pancreas and a back problems, which leave her using crutches and a wheelchair at times.
She said her living situation is exacerbating her health issues and making her and her sons depressed.
“I’m at the end of my tether,” she said.
“I’ve worked all my life – I can’t believe this is the way people are treated.
“It’s a living hell.”
A spokesman for Adur District Council said: “We are very sympathetic to the tenant’s situation.
“This is temporary accommodation and we accept that this sort of housing is sometimes not ideal.
“Following complaints our officers and pest control teams have visited Albion Street on a number of occasions.
“Indeed housing officers visited again today (Tuesday, October 17).
“Efforts have been made to eradicate infestation and to work on some of the structural issues with the property.
“We believe these are now sorted.
“In the meantime, our officers are working hard to house the family in permanent social housing and are in consultation with a social housing supplier to provide this.
“We hope to see progress soon and will continue to work hard to try to meet their needs.”