A DESPERATE family are pleading with Barrhead Housing Association (BHA) to rehouse them after claiming they have endured years of black mould and damp problems in their current flat.

The final straw for BHA tenants William Hanvidge, 57, and his disabled wife Gillian, 52, came recently when a leak in the flat above saw a ceiling collapse on their autistic son Jack as he slept in his bedroom.

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Glasgow Times: The ceiling in their son Jack's room had to be pulled down completely after it collapsed on him while he was sleepingThe ceiling in their son Jack's room had to be pulled down completely after it collapsed on him while he was sleeping (Image: Newsquest)

The horrifying incident took place at 1.30am in the morning in the Walton Street property on March 28 despite dad William claiming he had warned the housing association “months and months” ago that they feared this would happen.

It has left the 17-year-old, who doesn’t speak, sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the living room and terrified of returning to the room after what he experienced.

BHA said the tenants reported a leak in their son’s bedroom roof on March 22, but that it has no record of any previous reports of the leak.

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Glasgow Times: The collapsed ceilingThe collapsed ceiling (Image: Newsquest)

William told the Glasgow Times: “We’ve had loads of dampness. You could see a stain in the ceiling and I warned them long before that it was ready to come down.

“They came and ripped it all down, but I’m not happy, put it that way.

“Luckily he wasn’t hurt. The man said when they pulled it down that he was lucky the whole thing didn’t fall down on top of him because it could have killed him.

“He got the fright of his life and being autistic is quite a struggle for him. He doesn’t like change at all.”

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Glasgow Times: The collapsed ceilingThe collapsed ceiling (Image: Newsquest)

Following the collapse, the housing association stripped the ceiling to allow the timber to dry prior to carrying out repairs. 

The family were moved into a hotel for two nights at the weekend while the housing association put in dehumidifiers to try and dry out the ceiling but William said they face a further wait for items such as a carpet. 

The leak, which caused the ceiling to collapse and has left the wood bowed, has now been fixed in the flat above, but William said he suspects there could be another leak further up the tenement building and that further water is coming in the building from somewhere.

“The room is still wet above," he added.

"They sent guys out to put the ceiling up and I said 'no you can’t it’s still wet'.

"It’s a shambles."

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Glasgow Times:

A spokesperson for BHA said they had "been in regular contact with the tenants, however, getting access to the property has been a challenge".

"We completed extensive specialist works to the property in January 2024 and damp and mould issues have been resolved," they added. "We have been sensitive to health needs throughout, including providing hotel accommodation for the family during the works."

The family have been in the ground floor flat for nearly five years but claim they have faced nothing but issues, which are having a severe impact on their health.

Indeed, for about three years they claim they have had an "ongoing" mould and dampness problem, which has been so bad that it has also ruined furniture and left their home “stinking".

Their clothes have also been left with a “musty smell” William said which they cannot get rid of despite washing them all the time.

“They had to come and do my walls, one in my son’s bedroom and one in our bedroom, because they were riddled with dampness,” explained the frustrated dad, who is a carer to wife Gillian who suffers from functional neurological disorder.

“All they have done though is put new boards in front of the old mouldy wall. They have only covered it up and not taken it back to the bare brick.

“In the bathroom, we’ve got black mould and they plastered over the top of it and painted it, but that’ll come back through again.

“They have also covered up in the living room a main structural wall that has got rising damp in it. It was black and my couch is smelling. My whole house is smelling. My suite’s ruined.

“There is still dampness in my living room and it’s in another wall now. The mould is on the back wall in my living room and right around my unit.

“My wife has got asthma and I’ve got COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) because of this house. It’s the stress as well. My wife is under major stress, so am I and so is my son.”

The housing association said that the tenants have refused access to the property on several occasions to carry out necessary repairs.

What the family want, however, is a move because they are “just fed up with it", they said.

They added that they have been “high priority" for a move for three years but are “getting nowhere fast".

“That is what we are striving towards because it’s just not good enough. It’s uninhabitable for a family. They should be decanting us out here totally,” said William.

“We've been treated like second-class citizens. It’s getting beyond a joke now."

BHA said it has offered several times to support the tenants with their housing options.

"However, this support was declined, and we have not received an application," the spokesperson added.

"The repairs to the ceiling have started and will be completed this week.

"We will continue to engage with the family and support them in any way we can."