A Croydon grandmother fears she could become paralysed as she is forced to use crutches to get around her council flat as it is not big enough for the wheelchair she needs.

Susan Cosgrove moved to a ground floor flat in Selsdon in 2019.

Since living in the one-bedroom flat, the 63-year-old has been unable to use her wheelchair, which she was told she needed four years ago.

Mrs Cosgrove has disabilities which affect her mobility, including rheumatoid arthritis.

She has an unstable neck and spine and using crutches puts pressure on her body.

Your Local Guardian: credit: Grahame Lartercredit: Grahame Larter

She claims she was told to use a wheelchair to prevent her condition from getting worse.

She said: “I think I am going to be stuck here, I am going to end up paralysed using the crutches, it puts so much pressure on my neck. 

"They were supposed to house me properly.”

The grandmother of five also said problems with damp were clear as soon as she moved in.

Then a few months after moving in her boiler leaked and the whole carpet was covered with water – she claims the sopping wet floors were left for months.

She gets help from friends and family to clean the mould throughout the flat but said it comes back in a matter of weeks.

Your Local Guardian: credit: Grahame Lartercredit: Grahame Larter

The worst of it is in her bathroom, where thick black mould covers the walls.

In the rest of the flat, the carpets feel sticky with the mould and damp. There is also black mould on the kitchen walls which returns when it’s removed and green mould in some of the cupboards.

She said: “It is not the mouldiest place but with my disability I get really ill. I lose my voice and get a bad chest.”

Her daughter Michelle Crowther, 43, thinks the conditions are making her mum’s health worse.

She said the situation is now affecting her mum’s mental health too.

Michelle said: “There is a a whole lot of mould in the property which has led her to her breathing difficulties.

"It has 100 per cent made her health worse. With her disability she needs a wheelchair.

“The council just don’t care, I know they haven’t got many homes but it is not fair to having to listen to her cry saying she can’t cope.

"I think she needs to move, I don’t think it can be adapted.”

Mrs Cosgrove received a call from the council after it was contacted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service for comment.

A Croydon Council spokesperson said: “We have reassessed Mrs Cosgrove’s housing needs and we are doing everything possible to support her to find a more suitable home as a priority.

"In the meantime, we are liaising with our contractor to ensure any necessary repairs to her current property are carried out swiftly.”