Cornwall mum says mould-infested housing association property is making her family ill

Jemma Wildman and her three children. Credit: Cornwall Live/BPM/ Jemma Wildman

A single mum-of-three says her and her children have become ill after a year of living in a severely mouldy and damp house with a leaking roof.

Jemma Wildman, who lives in Helston in a property provided by Sanctuary Housing, says she wakes up coughing every day.

She claims it is because of an issue with a leak in her roof, which is making her house damp and causing a "serious mould problem."

Sanctuary says "significant" roof repairs have already been carried out and a further inspection is planned for this issue.

A spokesperson said they will ensure the work is completed "as soon as possible" and apologised to the family for the inconvenience.

Jemma said she noticed there was damp problem when she moved into the house last October but it became increasingly worse in the months that followed.

Jemma said: "When I moved in I saw that one of the walls was painted purple and that it had been spray painted white in the corner, which I thought was an odd choice.

Jemma says she thinks the walls were painted purple to cover the mould Credit: Cornwall Live/BPM/ Jemma Wildman

"I later realised that it was to cover the mould that was on the wall because when I decided to paint over it not long after, I noticed that there was water running down the walls.

"I also took a photo of a leak in the roof last Christmas, which I reported but they seemed to botch a fix when they came to repair it in the summer because I'm still having problems with it and now there's also water running through one of the pendant lights."

The family were put in temporary accommodation at the beginning of the year when repairs were carried out but Jemma does not want to have to move out again due to her son, who has autism.

She says he does not like being moved between places and so despite her home becoming "unlivable" she is now fearful of being moved out.

"I was given compensation last year but moving between staying with family and temporary accommodation was not good for my son," she said.

"I'm scared we're just going to be decanted again over Christmas and I find it really upsetting.

Jemma says there's water leaking through the pendant light in one of the rooms Credit: Cornwall Live/BPM/Jemma Wildman

"I just wish they fixed the problem properly when they came here in the summer because now it's going into winter, the problem is going to get worse."

She said her walls are now covered in black and green mould spores.

"My son has special educational needs and has sensory issues so he really doesn't like the smell that is caused by the damp problem. I've also had to go to the doctors myself because I've been coughing a lot and the mould is making it a lot worse.

Green mould spores cover the walls in one of the bedrooms Credit: Cornwall Live/ BPM Media/ Jemma Wildman

"I feel like we are not being valued and have been really really let down. I am sick of having to chase people to sort this issue out, especially because this could have been fixed over the summer."

A spokesperson for Sanctuary said: “Our contractor carried out significant roof repairs at this property earlier this year and for their own comfort, we supported Miss Wildman and her family to move into temporary accommodation while the work took place.

"While the repairs were completed successfully, we have recently been made aware of a separate, unrelated issue and further roof inspections are booked for early next week.

“Plans are also in place to install a new ventilation unit on the landing, additional fans in the bathroom and kitchen, and further insulation in the loft.

"We will ensure this work is completed as soon as possible and are sorry for the inconvenience the family have been caused.”