Foysol Choudhury MSP urges the government to tackle the issue of damp housing in Lothian and Scotland
Image 1 A – Foysol Choudhury MSP for Lothian
MSP for Lothian, Foysol Choudhury, following the Court ruling on the death of Awaab Ishak in England, asked a question in the Scottish Parliament, “The First Minister will be aware of the tragic death of Awaab Ishak in Rochdale due to mouldy housing. I currently have constituents contacting me about issues with mould and substandard temporary housing which could pose a similar threat to human life, particularly for small children. These issues seem alarmingly common across local authority boundaries in a variety of different housing stock. What is the Scottish Government doing to ensure that similar tragedies are not going to happen in Scotland?”
The answer from the First Minister was to say the Minister would send a detailed response to Choudhury’s question. The Minister’s written response is said to give an impression there were no problems of damp housing and that all the legislation is in place to address the problems raised by Choudhury.
Following his question to the First Minister, Choudhury has been contacted by many constituents who are living in damp housing. Choudhury says, “I am urgently contacting the City of Edinburgh Council to resolve the unacceptable conditions residents are having to endure.” A family from West Pilton, who have endured dampness for nearly four years, say that enough is enough and are pleased with Choudhury who is taking action on their complaint and highlighting damp housing in Lothian.
The City of Edinburgh Council reported in January 2022, 495 dampness cases received citywide. Choudhury has asked for an update from Edinburgh Council on the current dampness figures. This is not just a problem in Edinburgh, but Scotland wide.
Choudhury says, “I am asking today for the Scottish Government to consider setting up a grant scheme to tackle dampness problems in council, housing association and private sector properties. We need to address both the long and short-term problems with damp housing and consider extra investment for a whole house retrofitting programme, across Scotland. I have submitted a motion, on damp housing, to the Scottish Parliament. I want all political parties to work together to tackle this problem and identify adequate funding to address the growing problem of damp/mould in Scotland’s housing stock.
Supporting Foysol, Mark Griffin MSP, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Housing and Local Government, said, “ A growing number of constituents are getting in touch about issues with dampness and mould and the impact it is having on their health. The NHS is already at breaking point and cannot cope with worsening respiratory conditions because of the state of people’s homes. The Scottish Government must come up with a solution to this serious problem before we see a repeat of the tragic case of Awaab Ishak.”