Bedford mum fears for her daughters' health after mouldy house issues 'ignored'

One of her daughters is asthmatic and the other one has been diagnosed with strep A
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A mum fears for the health of her two children and has accused a housing company of ignoring mould at her property for over THREE YEARS.

Chloe Smith and her family have just been forced to move out of their Wootton maisonette temporarily after her eldest daughter – aged four – caught strep A.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chloe and her partner have lived in the bpha-owned home in Manor Road since August 2019 and say they have battled with the social housing company ever since.

Just some of the damp and mould at the houseJust some of the damp and mould at the house
Just some of the damp and mould at the house
Read More
Fly-tipper fined for dumping mattress in Bedford's Priory Country Park

According to the frustrated mum, not only does the property have mould, but the roof is leaking, the heating has packed up and the electrics are “highly dangerous”.

She said: “The damp and mould are in my daughter’s bedroom, the bathroom and also our bedroom.”

Chloe and her partner had been sealing it themselves but when it got out of control, they contacted bpha.

More photos of Chloe's houseMore photos of Chloe's house
More photos of Chloe's house
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “All they have told us is to seal it ourselves. I’ve complained lots of times. The first time would be 2020 – I complained to bpha about the windows being mouldy and damp.”

bhpa has refuted the claims and denies having told the family to seal the mould themselves.

But Chloe’s youngest – aged just two – has got severe asthma, and the mum says even her doctor is concerned with her staying in the property.

Only last month, a coroner called the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak from prolonged exposure to mould in his family’s flat a “defining moment” for the UK’s housing sector.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Chloe added: “bpha has left us without heating and hot water for 11 days, they provided us with blow heaters but with my youngest daughter's chest, we weren’t able to use them.”

She also claims communication from bpha has been sporadic, often non-existent.

And over the weekend, the family were finally forced to move into a family member’s house.

Chloe said: “I’ve come back to the property to move any mattresses and clothes downstairs because of the mould only to find out that all the mattresses and clothing are going to have to go in the bin.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This is breaking my heart having to bin most of my daughter’s belongings.”

Bedford Today put the issues of the leaking roof, mould, damp, no heating, dodgy electrics to bpha.

A spokesman gave the following statement: “We are very sorry to hear that Chloe’s daughter is unwell and we wish her a full recovery.

“Leak – a leak affecting the bathroom ceiling was reported on Thursday, December 15 and an appointment has been made for Tuesday, December 20 by our contractor.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Heating and hot water – TSG, our heating engineers attended the property on Sunday, December 4 after reports of a boiler breakdown. A temporary fix was made, and electric heaters were provided, with additional heaters provided on Tuesday, December 6.

“On Monday, December 12, TSG returned to replace parts and fixed the boiler. They attended again on Wednesday, December 14 to a report of the boiler leaking. Even though the boiler was found to be working, a leak in the filling loop was repaired.

"On Friday, December 16, Chloe contacted us as she had no heating or hot water. An appointment was booked and two oil-filled radiators were dropped off to Chloe that afternoon. TSG attended on the following day and dealt with a frozen pipe and left the boiler working.

“Mould – we take all reports of damp and mould extremely seriously and work with the resident to rectify as quickly as possible. We received a report of mould in Chloe’s home on Wednesday, November 30 and an inspection was undertaken on Monday, December 12 where a small amount of mould was found in a bedroom. A stage one mould wash was carried out on Friday, December 16 with stage two booked for Monday, December 19. Due to circumstances out of her control, Chloe had to reschedule this appointment.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We are continuing to work with Chloe to make sure she is in accommodation which she considers to be safe and comfortable for her family.

“We have no record that Chloe was advised to seal anything up herself and this would not be our standard practice to advise to seal.

“Electrics – our electrical contractor has inspected the light circuit on the consumer unit and found it safe.”

Related topics: