A KILWINNING woman suffering from severe asthma and lung cancer was forced to flee her damp house and sleep in her car.

She faced a years-long battle with council inspectors, who insisted the problem was merely ‘condensation’ and urged her to open windows and turn her heating up.

She told the Herald: “It has been a nightmare. I did spend a lot of time sleeping in my car during the past year as I couldn’t breathe in the house. I could have lost my life. I am still fighting for my life every day.”

The woman, who is in her 40s and whom we have agreed not to identify, finally produced a letter from her consultant, who warned that her life was at risk if she remained there. Even then, the council insisted on carrying out a final set of checks before, finally, confirming the house was damp.

Now she has been put in temporary accommodation, but she’s been told she will be rehoused as a priority.

She first moved into the house as part of a swap deal in February 2017.

She said: “I smelled dampness. They said it wasn’t damp. I was so isolated where I was in my previous house, so I went ahead with the swap.

“While it was being decorated, my friend found damp patches in both bedrooms. When I contacted the council, they told me it was not damp, it was condensation. It was ridiculous.

“A housing officer agreed it was dampness, but an inspector said it wasn’t, it was condensation. They told me to keep my windows open and heating on.

‘I have other health issues. I suffer from PTSD because of stuff I suffered while I was I care. It has been a nightmare. It is never ending. Physically and mentally I feel trapped.

‘I ended up in high dependency and also had to get radiotherapy for lung cancer. “

Things came to a head in recent weeks when her consultant wrote a letter to the council stating: “It is my opinion that dampness in her flat is a significant factor contributing to the poor control of her asthma. At times the situation is so bad she needs to stay in her car.

“As her lung function is already significantly diminished, any flare up of her asthma is a significant risk to her health and life.”

A council spokesperson said: “We obviously have a great deal of sympathy for the tenant and she will be given priority for rehousing now that is has been confirmed there are issues with dampness in the property.

“We first inspected the property in 2017 and all the indications were that condensation, rather than dampness, was causing the


“In August we again carried out extensive tests on the property.

“These proved inconclusive and, following another inspection in November, we sought the second opinion of an outside agency.

“They concluded there were signs of dampness in the property.

“The tenant has been offered temporary accommodation until we find her somewhere suitable to stay on a permanent basis.”