'I don't want to bury another child': Telford mum's fear over mould in social housing

A young Telford mum in social housing has spoken of her fear that she might bury her daughter after dealing with months of mould.

Chloe Daley, 21, and her one-year-old daughter Ophelia. Inset: Mould at their home in Lawley.
Chloe Daley, 21, and her one-year-old daughter Ophelia. Inset: Mould at their home in Lawley.

Chloe Daley and her one-year-old daughter Ophelia are one of an estimated 120,000 households in social housing in England that have problems with condensation and mould, according to official figures.

The 21-year-old, who recently suffered a miscarriage, said: "I lost my son three months ago and I'm scared. I don't want to bury another child. My daughter's getting poorly and I can't do anything to help her."

Chloe, a single mum from Lawley, said the problem has been ongoing since summer, and that when she contacts Sanctuary Housing - the association in charge of her new build flat - she is simply told to open a window.

Chloe and her daughter are one of an estimated 120,000 households in social housing that has a problem with condesation and mould

"It doesn't make a difference." Chloe said, "they just tell me everyone is getting mould this time of year.

"They were meant to send a surveyor out but that was cancelled and I've not heard anything else.

"I'm phoning every week, a social worker has got involved, I don't know what else I can do."

Mould in the house

Photos shared by Chloe show mould growing inside one of Ophelia's soft toys as well as along windows, doors and walls.

Chloe said she believes the mould is causing her daughter to become ill and has taken her concerns to the doctor.

Mould inside Chloe's home

"She has a really chesty cough," Chloe explained. "I took photos of the mould to the doctor and they said it was probably down to the mould."

A spokesperson for Sanctuary said: “In recent months we have carried out a number of repairs at Ms Daley’s home, including an emergency call-out to investigate a reported issue with the immersion and boiler.

"While on occasions in the past we have been unable to gain access to this property for agreed appointments as part of our ongoing proactive programme to treat mould and damp, we have spoken to Ms Daley and arranged an inspection for Wednesday, November 30.”

An inquest into the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in Rochdale has led the Government to warn housing providers that they will not hesitate to act if they ignore complaints from tenants.

The inquest revealed the two-year-old died from severe respiratory problems with fungus later found in his blood and lungs after being exposed to "chronic" mould in the families home.

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, which managed the property, later admitted to making "false assumptions" about the family's bathing habits and lifestyle, and failed to adequately address complaints.

Two-year-old Awaab Ishak who died in December 2020 (Family handout/PA)

Coroner Joanne Kearsley said the death of Awaab Ishak must be a “defining moment for the housing sector”.

In response, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said the company would not receive its £1 million of public funding.

Mr Gove said that the ruling should act as a warning to housing association.

He said: "Everyone deserves the right to live in a safe, decent home and this Government will always act to protect tenants.”

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