Mum wants out of mouldy property
Council cleans up after Gazette raises issue
A mother-of-two living in a mould-infested council house says she and her family are being made ill by the conditions.
Now her plight has been highlighted by Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield, who says the conditions endured are “outrageous”.
The 40-year-old, who had to move between five temporary homes in 10 days last autumn, says the extreme conditions in her Sturry home have led to her daughter developing asthma. Walls, beds, curtains and even dresser drawers are all covered in the mould.
After we raised the issue, the city council visited the property and carried out a full clean-up.
Speaking to the Gazette under condition of anonymity after posting a video of the problems online and before the council’s visit, she said: “I reported it five weeks ago but nothing was done - they are putting our health at a great risk. My teenage daughter has now got asthma and she also suffered an ear infection.
“When I moved in, the wall was freshly painted. So they had just covered up the mould to make it seem nice. But now it’s come out in every room. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
She says she has discovered fungi in the kitchen and developed a cough since.
One of the family’s previous temporary homes was in Vauxhall Crescent, Canterbury, but it was found to be infested with bed bugs.
The mum, who told the Gazette she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown in November, says the current accommodation is the worst of the recent six homes she’s been moved to.
“This is worse than the bed bugs,” she added. You wouldn’t let a dog stay in here, let alone people.
“I work 12-hour shifts and want to get home to relax but I can’t as we’re surrounded by this mould. It has come to the point where it’s a nice break going to work.”
She added: “This should be a council priority but it doesn’t seem to be as my complaints keep getting passed from person to person. They just need to start from scratch as this place is rotten. Nothing in here is safe from the mould.”
The family, who moved from their home of seven years in Spring Lane after the landlord decided to sell up last year, has gained the support of Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield.
“I’ve been working with this family to try and get the council to provide them with decent, healthy accommodation,” she said. “It is outrageous that there are so many people and families in Kent suffering in these sorts of conditions.
“I have spoken in the House of Commons supporting a bill that would make it illegal to offer tenancies of any nature for unhealthy, unsafe homes such as these. Canterbury City Council will, in the future, be breaking the law. The council must sort out the terrible state of housing provision in this area.
“What will it take to finally get something done?”
Inside the mould-infested council house