DCSIMG

Family’s battle against damp in Havebury flat

Chris Gill and Amanda Stubbs have been battling with Havebury Housing over the mould growing in their flat.  T  Pictured:  Kerry Hopkins with Aflie Rush (3), Venessa Swarbrick, Amanda Stubbs with Lacy (7 months) and Chris Gill with Lily-May (3)

Chris Gill and Amanda Stubbs have been battling with Havebury Housing over the mould growing in their flat. T Pictured: Kerry Hopkins with Aflie Rush (3), Venessa Swarbrick, Amanda Stubbs with Lacy (7 months) and Chris Gill with Lily-May (3)

A couple say they are worried about the health of their children as their housing association flat is plagued by damp and mould.

Chris Gill, 39, and partner Amanda Stubbs, 27, live with their two children Lacy, seven months, and Lily-May, three, in a block of flats in The Vinefields, Bury St Edmunds.

Chris said their home, which is owned by Havebury Housing Partnership, is full of mould and damp and no matter how hard they try to clean it away, it just keeps coming back.

The couple said they have had to replace wardrobes, beds, mattresses and clothing after they were left rotten and smelling damp.

Chris, a sales consultant, said he had been asking for Havebury’s help for more than a year but said he was told that they should try to ventilate the house better.

He said: “It is my kids’ health I am worried about more than anything.

“The kids are always ill.

“We are now on our third sofa and our third double bed.

“We’ve had to replace chests of drawers and our daughter’s mattress.

“I have had to throw away lots of clothes from the wardrobe where it has rotted through.

“It’s absolutely disgusting.

“We’ve just bought ourselves a new bed but who knows how long that will last.

“You can smell the mould all through the flat.”

Chris said he had tried everything to ventilate the flat but so far nothing had worked.

“We have to live with the windows open on the latch to keep the moisture out,” he said.

“We are having to pay £40 to £50 a week to keep the home heated. We have the ventilation fan Havebury installed on constantly – I don’t know what more we can do.

“Havebury have come here twice to re-artex the ceiling because the mould just keeps coming back – it’s appalling.

“We have to do a weekly de-mould just to keep on top of it.

“We both work full-time and pay to live here, we don’t get any benefits to help pay the rent. Havebury don’t seem to care about us, they have just told us we need to ventilate better.”

Kerry Hopkins, 25, who lives in a neighbouring flat with her son Alfie, three, said her flat was affected too.

“I have just had to throw away my son Alfie’s wardrobe and all his clothes,” she said.

“I have been living here for two years in May and it has been a problem since I moved in. As soon as you wipe it off it just comes back.”

Neighbour Venessa Swarbrick, 24, lives with her 17 month old daughter Saskia and is six months pregnant.

“I have had to sleep in the living room because the smell is so bad,” she said.

“I worry about my health and the health of my little one.”

Matthew Dick, head of assets at Havebury Housing Partnership, said: “We are aware of the issues that some tenants at The Vinefields have been experiencing and we have been working with them to try to resolve the condensation inside their homes which has caused the mould.

“A number of properties at The Vinefields have had ventilation units installed to help with the condensation.

“We recognise that condensation can be a problem in many homes, particularly at this time of year, and we will offer advice and practical assistance where possible to help reduce it.”

 

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