£2,000 of damp damage drives family to move

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A DESPAIRING mother is reluctantly moving after four years living in a house plagued with damp and mould.

Kelly Petch, 28, shares her Stanton home with partner Greg Hatchell, 37, and their three-year-old son, George.

She has been forced to replace more than £2,000 of furniture, bedding and clothes damaged by mould and damp conditions.

When they moved into the Havebury Housing Partnership property, the family immediately spotted patches of black mould but cleaned the walls thinking the problem would not return.

Kelly now has to regularly wash down her furniture, replace bed pillows and clean up puddles of water.

After the mould destroyed most of her clothes, she is now scared to keep new or clean items in the mould infested rooms.

She said: “I don’t understand because the neighbours don’t have the same problem.”

The family are now faced with moving house to escape the problem.

Kelly said: “I don’t want to move, I like it here, but Havebury won’t rehouse us.”

Havebury Housing inspectors and environmental health have visited the property and, despite painting the windows with an anti-mould paint, the problem has continued.

Kelly said: “The Havebury inspector just handed me a leaflet and didn’t even look at the damp. Environmental health said we must be fitted with electric vents but Havebury said they can’t afford them and have put in different ones instead.”

Havebury Housing said it was working with Kelly to set up a convenient appointment to fit the ventilation system which its specialist damp contractor suggested.

But the family are already worried about their health after Greg’s asthma returned and George was diagnosed with the same breathing problem.

Shelagh Green, head of housing at Havebury Housing Partnership, said: “We are aware of the issues that Miss Petch has been experiencing and have been working with her to try to resolve the condensation inside her home which has caused the mould.

“Havebury understands Miss Petch’s request to move and we will continue to support her.”