‘I was misled over council house bathroom’ claims mum

BATHROOM BLUES ... Chelsea Slater and her six-year-old son Arron Slater.
BATHROOM BLUES ... Chelsea Slater and her six-year-old son Arron Slater.

A YOUNG mum says she’s “appalled” with housing bosses who she claims misled her about the property she was taking on.

Chelsea Slater accepted a council house in Henderson Road, South Shields, despite it being fitted with a wet room that was specifically altered for a disabled person rather than a standard bathroom.

The 25-year-old, a full-time mum to six-year-old Arron, says she was told by housing officials that Decent Homes work was being carried out in the area and that she would see a bathroom fitted in her house soon.

However, after she signed a contract to accept the house, Miss Slater says she was told that no changes would be made.

Miss Slater says the lack of a bath means she can’t move into the property as she suffers from chronic pelvis pain and needs to bathe regularly to help soothe the pain.

Housing bosses said they are “sympathetic” to the problem and will discuss it with her.

Miss Slater, who is staying with relatives, said: “I’m just appalled. I wouldn’t have accepted the house if they had have told me from the start that I wasn’t going to be able to have the bathroom changed – but they told me I would.

“They made empty promises to me.”

Miss Slater first viewed the property on April 25 and was told that she would need to contact a housing officer to ask for a new bathroom.

She added: “I went to see someone at Jarrow Town Hall and they said it would be no problem to get it changed because the Decent Homes project was being carried out in the area, so I signed the contract on April 26.

“Now it’s been two months and I still haven’t been able to move in. It’s taken five weeks of phoning the housing office every morning and afternoon to finally get through to somebody, only to be told that I won’t be getting a new bathroom.

“They said that Decent Homes work was carried out on the house in 2007 so that there was nothing they could do about it.

“I’ve got chronic pelvis pain and need a bath. I even showed the housing people a letter from my doctor saying I need a bath in the house, and they said the letter would only make a difference if I had a serious skin condition.

“I’m just appalled.”

Brian Scott, director of housing, finance and support services at South Tyneside Homes, said: “Miss Slater accepted the property as viewed, with a wet room.

“Subsequently, she made a request to the housing management officer to take out the wet room and install a bath.

“The council provides a budget each year to carry out much needed disabled adaptations to council houses. It is the council’s policy that once a property has been adapted, those adaptations remain, as to make further unnecessary modifications would require significant resources which are needed to make adaptations for other tenants.

“However, we are sympathetic to Miss Slater’s circumstances and a housing officer will visit her to discuss her options.”

* Do you have a housing complaint? Call the newsdesk on 427 4858.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki