Toxic mould in Stamford Hill home not removed for a year due to Hackney Council ‘error’
PUBLISHED: 14:56 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:22 06 November 2017
A mum’s calls for toxic black mould to be removed from her Stamford Hill flat have repeatedly gone unanswered – and it has affected the health of her autistic son.
"We can’t sleep in our bedroom because it’s mouldy, it’s freezing cold. We’ve thrown away bags of clothes and furniture, and my bed is wet to touch"
Charlotte Pearson contacted the Gazette in March after months of begging the town hall to sort out serious mould in her Amhurst Park home.
The council at the time said it had arranged to visit Charlotte and fix the problem that week, but an “error in the service” meant that did not happen.
Eight months on and Charlotte is still living in the nightmare conditions with her four-year-old son Chayce, who is autistic and has been prescribed an asthma inhaler due to the damp.
“My little boy can’t sleep and he can’t breathe,” said Charlotte. “What really upsets me is that before this happened he had no health problems.”
Charlotte first noticed the mould in December 2016.
“They tried to fob me off saying it was caused by over-crowding, or telling me I must have been drying clothes inside, which I wasn’t doing,” she said.
The council eventually said a blocked gutter on the roof was causing the mould – which Charlotte’s surveyor friend had already explained. A quick-fix was carried out, but the problem soon returned.
Charlotte said: “We can’t sleep in our bedroom because it’s mouldy, it’s freezing cold. We’ve thrown away bags of clothes and furniture, and my bed is wet to touch.”
Charlotte tried using vents, damp tramps, opening windows and avoiding hanging washing indoors. Last week, she was forced to take Chayce to A&E.
“He started having a panic attack and crying at the train station because he couldn’t breathe,” she said. “We drove to Homerton hospital, where they monitored him because he was wheezing.”
Last week someone was sent to look at the roof, but left after realising his ladder wasn’t tall enough to access it and scaffolding was needed.
A Hackney council spokeswoman said: “We are understandably concerned about this ongoing situation and have been working to address the issues.
“Unfortunately the work that was scheduled in March didn’t take place after an error in the service, we would like to sincerely apologise for this.
“An annual roof inspection was carried out in June which found no trace of a leak, however we are continuing to carry out further investigations.”