'I can't protect my children': Cornwall mum's fears while living in damp social housing

  • Jasmine Betts tells ITV News she fears for her children's health while living in her accomodation

A mother from Cornwall says she feels angry that the severe damp and mould in her social housing has been harming her children.

Jasmine Betts, from Penryn, says a doctor has confirmed her daughters, aged 4 and 5, both have recently diagnosed asthma which has been been brought on by the conditions in their home.

"It's really worrying, because as a mum, I have to protect my children and I feel like I can't."

"I'm also pregnant as well, which I really thought that the works would have been done way before now. I didn't think I'd be in a situation where potentially I could be bringing a newborn baby into this house."

Jasmine says she has thrown away countless toys and the mould cleaning is never ending Credit: ITV NEWS

The parent says she has been complaining about the damp problems at her home since she and her three children moved into the property in 2020. Over the years she estimates thousands of pounds worth of damages to their flooring, clothing and electrical devices.

Jasmine says the worst room is her bedroom which has black mould across the ceiling and under the window it "streams with water".

She says the problem has become so severe she and her partner, who also has asthma, now sleep on a sofa in the living room.

"It was affecting his chest so for three or four months he was getting different antibiotics and steroids and in the end we thought we just can't sleep in here anymore."

This photo was taken in the dining room after the family were away for a fortnight Credit: Jasmine Betts

A surveyors report in January seen by ITV News West Country has confirmed the property has leaks in the roof and little to no insulation in the loft and in the walls.

Due to the severity of the repairs needed Jasmine has been told the family will need to move out of the property.

Last month Cornwall Housing offered Jasmine and her family a new property in Penryn. Jasmine says whilst she wants to move to this new accommodation she wants to be properly compensated for the health and financial costs this has put on her family."The money that they've offered us does not even cover the toys that we've had to buy, let alone the furniture and our devices that are damaged and I just feel absolutely disgusted in how we've been treated and what they have put my children through."

Cornwall Housing told ITV News West Country there are currently more than 750 households living in temporary accommodation in Cornwall and the pressures of finding the right home for someone can be more acute if a household has "specific location requirements".

In a statement they said: "While we are unable to go into specific details in this case, we have been working with the family for many months over the issues raised and have offered alternative accommodation."

"In some cases where alternative accommodation has been refused, we may offer another property.

"This accommodation will be placed on hold and will not be available to bidders on Homechoice while we await a decision from the tenants."

"There are currently more than 750 households living temporary accommodation in Cornwall and these pressures can be more acute if a household has specific location requirements."

Jasmine says she has contacted her local MP Cherilyn Mackrory and the Housing Ombudsmen for support but at this stage has not heard back from either offices.