Tenants claim they are becoming ill in 'unliveable' mould-infested Cornwall homes

The housing association property has had 'ongoing issues', according to the families. Credit: BPM Media / Cornwall Live

Two neighbours have said that they are growing increasingly frustrated with a housing association after ongoing issues with mould and damp have caused their families to fall ill.

Jemma Wildman and Miss Greenaway live one door apart from each other on a street in Helston and have both said that their properties, provided by Sanctuary Housing, have had ongoing issues which have caused their families to develop a continuous cough.

Miss Wildman explained that she has had a leak in her roof since she moved into her home in 2020 which has now created a "serious mould problem" and has made her home "unliveable."

"I reported the leak in the roof the Christmas of 2020 but they seemed to botch a fix when they came to repair it in last summer because I'm still having problems with it," she said.

The families say that damp and mould have made them ill. Credit: Cornwall Live / BPM Media

"After my most recent report, someone came to look at it again but it seems to be that it's going to be a big job to repair because now I've had to be decanted from my home which was the last thing I wanted."

She added that she was "heartbroken" when she found out that she needed to move between family members with her three young children over Christmas when her home became unfit to live in.

"Sanctuary gave us money to stay with family and friends while they look to repair the roof but nothing has been fixed yet and it's becoming increasingly frustrating and distressing for my family", she said.

"We've been living out of bags and we feel so unsettled. My son has special educational needs so it can really set him off being moved between so many different environments. It's just heartbreaking that we've been left in this situation for so long and it feels like no one cares."

Miss Wildman also explained that the damp and mould spores in her home have become so bad that she is not able to go back to her home without becoming ill.

'I'm just getting fed up'

"We can't go back until it's fixed because the mould is going to affect my chest, I've already had to go to the doctors because I'd been waking up with a bad cough when I was living there", she said.

"I knew that the problem would just carry on getting worse and I know it won't get fixed overnight but this has been an ongoing issue for over a year now and I'm just getting fed up."

Her neighbour, Miss Greenaway, has also said that she has had similar issues with damp in her home since she moved in over three years ago.

She explained that she also has a leak in her roof, has recently become so bad that it has started ruining her belongings.

"I've had problems with severe damp in my house since I moved in three and a half years ago. It's recently got so bad that my attic has been completely ruined. Before Christmas I stored away a table and chairs in there and when I went to get it back down, they were destroyed and I had to throw them out", she said.

"My son's room seems to have a large crack in the wall and the water leaking through has got so bad that you could probably lift the roof up, so the whole thing needs to be fixed."

'Our house is just becoming hell, it's not even a home anymore it's more like a hostel'

Miss Greenaway also added that her home is becoming increasingly "unliveable" and that her family has become ill as a result of the damp.

"Me and my kids are always full of chesty colds but as soon as we leave the house for a little while, our coughs seem to go away. I can try to clean the mould but it just comes back by the next morning, and everything just gets soaked because of the leak", she said

"Our house is just becoming hell, it's not even a home anymore it's more like a hostel. They came out to fix the problem last year but it is still an ongoing issue."

Miss Greenaway continued: "They've offered us a hotel to stay in but to get four kids to stay there is virtually impossible. I work in care and I know we've all had a tough time over the last couple of years but to have to come home every day to this just isn't good enough."

A spokesperson for Sanctuary said: "We want to ensure the issue at these properties is completely resolved and have arranged for scaffolding to be erected so a full roof inspection can be carried out.

"We understand the frustration being felt by the families and are sorry for the inconvenience they have been caused. We will be speaking to both households about any extra support they need."