'It's like sleeping outside' - Mouldy Wiltshire home affecting 5-year-old girl's health

Phil White says his family has endured months of mould and cold in their Amesbury flat Credit: ITV News

A father from Wiltshire says he fears for his step-daughter's long-term health because of mould problems in their rented home.

Phil White says five-year-old Chloe's asthma has deteriorated as a direct result of the living conditions in the two-bed flat in Amesbury.

The housing association responsible for the property has apologised and pledged to help, but Mr White has now appointed solicitors to help in his family's fight to leave the property.

He said: "We need to get out of here very quickly for Chloe's health. We just want a home like anyone does. A nice warm home where we can be just a normal family.

"I go to work knowing my partner and child are in the cold. I feel like I've failed my family."

Phil, his partner Lucy and Chloe moved in last October after a two-year wait on the housing register.

In those three months, they say Chloe's asthma has worsened to such an extent she has to rely on two inhalers.

The ceiling in the main bedroom of the Amesbury flat Credit: ITV News

He told ITV News West Country: "It's just getting worse and you can see parts of the ceiling are starting to give in.

"It's like sleeping outside to be honest, sleeping in a tent would be better.

"There's mould going all around the window and it's forming on the actual window as well. There's a pool of water (on the windowsill) on a daily basis."

Phil, a docker, pays £520 a month for a home which he says has intermittent heating and hot water because of a faulty boiler.

"I think the whole (social housing) system is broken," Phil added.

"I think this goes right up to government. I think our MPs really need to be looking at all this because this situation doesn't just affect us, and it's affecting us quite badly, but there are so many other families out there."

Phil White says his boiler is faulty and the thermostat broken Credit: ITV News

Housing association Stonewater told ITV News West Country it would be happy to support them through an application for any type of move, saying they offered the family a temporary move during repair works which were turned down.

They say additional heaters have been supplied and their running costs of them will be covered.

David Lockerman, Director of Housing Operations at Stonewater added: "We have been working hard to resolve things and have made several visits with our contractors since an issue was first raised with us in December.

“A further visit to carry out work was scheduled on 23 January.

"However, we were refused access and instructed that all communication must be through a solicitor appointed by the family.

"We have offered an alternative date but access has still not been agreed upon and, as a result, we have applied for an injunction which will allow us to enter and complete the necessary repairs.

"Sadly, it means things will take a little longer, as we have to communicate through solicitors, but we remain fully committed to working with the family towards a positive outcome."

The centre for sustainable energy has issued some tips to help reduce mould:

  •  Produce less moisture by keeping lids on pans when cooking, drying clothes outdoors and venting your tumble dryer to the outside.

  • Let the moist air out and the fresh air in. Extractor fans are an effective way to get rid of moist air and steam.

  • Insulate and draught-proof your home.

  • Heat your home a little more as very cold rooms are more likely to get damp and mould.

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