Families with young children say they are being forced to live in ‘disgusting’ mould and damp-infested homes because the council won’t rehouse them despite doctors advising it.
Tenants in Essex have been complaining to their landlord Thurrock Council for years but authorities fail to properly deal with the issues.
The council often pays for mould washes to be carried out, but tenants say black spores grow back soon after and one environmental hygienist says they are actually making the problem worse. Reports by surveyors regularly deny there is an issue or blame residents for mould, accusing them of failing to properly ventilate and heat properties or exacerbating the problem by hanging out wet clothes or using tumble dryers. This means the root cause of the damp and mould is not remediated, say tenants, who are spending a fortune in regularly replacing their fungus-covered belongings, including furniture and children’s toys.
Ms Easter, who is ‘petrified’ of her children getting sick, has provided letters to the council from Hope’s play therapist and her own doctor explaining the mould may exacerbate her allergic rhinitis. ‘They just ignore it all. They don’t care,’ she said. ‘It’s been awful. Especially when I kept finding all of my belongings completely covered in mould,’ she said. ‘I just burst into tears because I thought “I can’t keep buying new stuff”. It’s very depressing.
Unsure where to turn, Ms Easter has now got a solicitor involved. An independent surveyor’s report has listed numerous construction issues as the cause of the mould, such as old, damaged windows, inappropriate extraction devices and loose and damaged cladding that could be allowing water to get into the properties.