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Mould forces cancer sufferer Chloe Hocking to leave her home

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

  • BLACK MARKS: Mould on the bathroom ceiling

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A 15-YEAR-OLD Liskeard girl suffering with cancer says she was forced to move out of her family home because of a growing mould problem.

Chloe Hocking, of Park View was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma on December 3 last year, which has spread from her neck to her abdomen.

The teenager has had to move to a friend's house outside Liskeard after doctors said she is susceptible to chest infections and illnesses from the mould spores growing inside the house.

Chloe's parents, Lianne and Jeffrey Hocking, have eight other children living at the three-bedroomed property.

The house is managed by Cornwall Council, and the family said they have been in contact with the authority for six years to help them resolve the mould problem but with no positive outcome so far.

Mr Hocking said: "We are totally rundown because it's not just affecting Chloe, it's affecting our other children. It's totally disheartening and demoralising.

"I have explained the situation that my daughter had been diagnosed with cancer but the council has other priorities – they said 'join a queue'.

"My wife was in tears most evenings with depression – it feels like banging your head against a brick wall."

Cornwall Housing examined the mould at the property on Thursday.

Mrs Hocking said that each time they complain about the mould the council sends someone to test the dampness of the walls, which they say are dry.

Despite their attempts to paint over the mould it comes back again.

Mr Hocking said he believes the house has too much condensation.

Their other children, who range in age from 1 to 17, suffer from health problems because of the damp.

Mr Hocking said: "My one-year-old has had a filthy stinking cold for at least three weeks."

Sheryll Murray, MP for South East Cornwall, said she will try to help the family and their doctors have said they will write to Cornwall Council.

The house has mould in every room, which grows on children's toys and even clothes said Lianne Hocking, Chloe's mother.

"Chloe living somewhere else is killing me," she said. "It's got to the stage that we can't be bothered any more. It feels like the council doesn't care."

A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "Cornwall Housing has commissioned a specialist damp surveying company to carry out a survey on this property, to help determine what further action is required."

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  • Anyone  |  January 17 2014, 8:37PM

    Deep cleaning, Mould repellent paint, VENTILATION, and a dehumidifier will sort the problem out. Bathrooms are always the worst for mould if you let it get a hold, a ceiling ventilation fan, vented outside would help. Why wait for the council, it is something that can be done yourselves. Have windows open all the year round not just in the summer. Double glazing is part of the problem as we get lazy and don't open the windows because it is cold, well this winter so far has been quite mild. I have to say if my children were getting ill because of it, I would be sorting it out myself. Het the windows open, clean down with a very strong bleach, apply anti fungul/mould paint, and keep the house well ventilated, use a dehumidifier too. Get the council or housing association to fix the windows too, it looks as if they need doing too. The loft insulation looks to be sorted especially over the bathroom, and you can get that done free, and the walls insulated no problem. Ventilation, Insulation, Heating, and a bit of elbow grease is what is needed.

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  • JeremyBadger  |  January 17 2014, 5:04PM

    "Mr Hocking said he believes the house has too much condensation." Yes it has too much condensation...........THEN VENTILATE IT! DipStick is right, get on and do it yourself and stop moaning and waiting for others to do what you should be doing yourself, it isn't rocket science!

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  • DipStick  |  January 17 2014, 2:13PM

    Yep. Ventilation and heating will sort it out. From the look of the bathroom ceiling it needs a lot more loft insulation as well, though bathrooms and condensation go together. If it was my kid having health problems I'd be doing stuff myself to fix it. S*d waiting for the council! DS

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  • TWINSCREW  |  January 17 2014, 11:02AM

    It's a sad story, my experience with mould over the years is that a house needs lots of ventilation, the problem with double glazing is that there are no draughts like the older houses we used to live in, I know in winter the tendency is to close windows but we have our windows open all year round to ventilate the house.

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