West Dunbartonshire: Housing safety priority after toddler’s death

COUNCILLORS in West Dunbartonshire have sought reassurances over housing tenants’ safety after the death of a two-year-old boy who was exposed to mould in his home.

Last week a coroner confirmed the death of Awaab Ishak in 2020 was from prolonged exposure to black mould in his family’s flat in Rochdale, Lancashire.

Awaab died just eight days after his second birthday.

Elected members of West Dunbartonshire Council’s housing and communities committee asked for reassurances that plans were being put in place to protect vulnerable council housing tenants in the local area.

Angela Wilson, the authority’s chief officer for supply, distribution and property, said: “We were all extremely sad at the tragic event and not many of us could comprehend having to deal with such circumstances. 

“It is very concerning, also, that the decision of the coroner was that the contribution to a young child’s death was the dampness and mould in a house.

“We want to overtly say that we completely understand the concerns tenants, elected members and officers have around that.

“We empathise with the concerns we may have.

“We want to reaffirm that we are here to support our tenants and respond to the various needs and concerns in an appropriate way.

“We are communicating [with them] and developing that communication as we go on through the appropriate channels, whether that be our own housing news, social media, telephone networks or local groups.”

The housing team has been working with council services to assure tenants that they can get in touch with the local authority if they have any concerns about their home.

Ms Wilson added: “We want to work with our tenants to mitigate condensation and further dampness.

“We also have a contractor who helps with dampness surveys and where investigation is required we work with our own services and the contractor to review the cases and review the best decision for our tenants.

“It is important that we take all the circumstances into account and respond appropriately.”


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