Bristol family-of-seven says their mouldy and damp two-bedroom flat is a 'living hell'

The couple says the flat has been deemed unsuitable for the family. Credit: BPM Media

A family-of-seven from Bristol desperately in need of a bigger home says the two-bedroom 'mouldy and damp' flat they are living in is 'hellish'.

Adrian Paisey and partner Lucy Neale claim their children are suffering inside the ground floor flat in Withywood - as they say they are afraid of sleeping inside of their bedroom.

The couple claims to have reported their concerns to Housing Association Curo, but say they have been pushed from “pillar to post” since they moved in to the flat 10 years ago.

Curo has apologised for the situation and said it will do everything it can to help resolve the problem.

The mould in the flat in Bristol.

“It's been an ongoing thing for a few years and rats are now starting to come into the property,” Adrian said.

The 33-year-old said the Housing Association came out two years ago to treat the mould and damp with a 10-year guarantee that it would "not return."

Curo said overcrowding is a likely cause of the mould formation due an accumulation of condensation - and will do everything it can to help resolve the problem.

A spokesperson said: “We’re sorry that the family is experiencing these problems in their home.

“Last year we carried out a programme of damp and mould treatment at the property and installed a ventilation system to minimise condensation.

"We’ve arranged for a specialist surveyor to visit this week so we can assess the problem, agree on a treatment programme and identify what else we can do to prevent mould coming back.”

The problems have also contributed to Mr Paisey's poor mental health, anxiety and depression and he says that more suitable housing must be found for his family to help protect his and his family's health.

Ms Neale also said that a new home for the family would have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

Adrian's one-year-old son Jenson has multiple health complications which include cysts on his brain and respiratory difficulties. After being taken to a paediatrician the pair said they were advised to find more appropriate accommodation immediately.

There are concerns over the safety of the couple's one-year-old son in the flat.

The couple claim Curo wanted them to speak with Bristol City Council to see what they could do about their living circumstances.

“We are eligible for a four bedroom property and we were put on band two a couple of months ago but we are still waiting," Adrian continued.

The council confirmed that there were more than 16,000 people on its housing register waiting list.

A spokesperson said: “We work hard to find clean, safe homes for applicants on Bristol’s HomeChoice housing register, with each case being assessed individually. This includes taking care to ensure that their banding on the register reflects the urgency of their needs, where those needs become more immediate additional priority is placed on their application.

“We are taking action to maximise the city’s limited housing stock, while working with our partners in the sector to make the most of available housing. The ongoing housing crisis and impacts of the pandemic are putting continual pressure on families to find suitable accommodation.

Curo has apologised for the situation Credit: BPM Media

“We are supporting in the best ways we can within a nationwide situation that cannot be fully addressed without increased amounts of housing being delivered.”

Curo is also aware that the family has bid unsuccessfully for larger properties, but says it will continue to advocate for the family’s urgent housing needs.

“The property which Ms Neale first moved in to on her own in 2013 is clearly no longer suitable for her family and we’re doing all we can to help them move to a larger property," added the spokesperson.

“There is a serious shortage of housing in the region and we’re concerned that they have been unable to move to a home that meets their needs."