Mum wants out of mouldy prop­erty

Coun­cil cleans up after Gazette raises is­sue

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Police Chief - By Joe Wright jwright@thek­m­ @joe_wright98

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

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