'He didn't make it to his third birthday': Housing activist calls for justice in death of 'innocent' Awaab Ishak

20 November 2022, 16:29 | Updated: 20 November 2022, 16:54

Sangita Myska and Kwajo Tweneboa talk about social housing

By Nesta Kupemba

"There need to be criminal charges": Housing Campaigner Kwajo Tweneboa called negligent landlords to be held responsible following the tragic death of 2-year-old Awaab Ishak who died of mould exposure.

"He didn't make it to his third birthday," Mr Tweneboa said to Sangita Myska.

Sangita asked Mr Tweneboa if Ishak's death would be a 'turning point' for social housing institutions to finally start listening to tenants, but Mr Tweneboa brought up Grenfell.

"The same was said about Grenfell five years ago, that was supposed to be the turning point when it came to social housing regulation. We are here 5 years on and an innocent 2-year-old has died.

Mr Twneboa continued: "The family had been ignored, and had been complaining before he was even born about the condition of the property."

He bashed social housing institutions that claim to provide 'decent and safe homes' and said the words don't line up to reality.

READ MORE: James O’Brien reacts to the 'utterly harrowing' death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak

Sangita and Mr Tweneboa received calls from people who lived in social housing and they shared their horror stories.

One caller said he complained about a rodent infestation at his place but was told to take care of it himself.

"I was told to take responsibility for the rodent problem," said the caller.

He revealed that after complaining the housing association gave him an ultimatum and told him it was the mice infested house or nothing.

Mr Tweneboa shared his own experience of living with rodents and social housing ignoring his complaints until the entire estate banded together and demanded the association attend to the issue.

At the end of the discussion Sangita again posed the same question to Mr Tweneboa: "Will the death of Awaab be a turning point?"

Mr Tweneboa responded: "I hope it's a turning point, but it's going to take criminal charges against landlords like this."

READ MORE: 'This is truly horrific,' says Awaab Ishak lawyer as he cites racism a contributing factor in death

Criminal charges against landlords who ignore tenants