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'Mould is affecting our babies' health' say St Blazey residents

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 07, 2014

  • KICKER KICKER: Jess Best, Matthew Benney and their son Kian, 1, inside their mouldy property in Polgrean Place.

  • Mo Cook, Jamie Vague and their son Aiden, 6 months, inside their mouldy property in Polgrean Place. BOTL20140228B-002_C

  • MOULD: Mo Cook, Jamie Vague and their son Aiden, 6 months, with Jess Best, Matthew Benney and their son Kian, 1, outside Mo and Jamie's block in Polgrean Place.

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FAMILIES living in a block of flats in St Blazey say their children's health is being put at risk due to the "horrendous" state of the building.

After moving into their flat at Polgrean Place a year ago, Matthew Benney and his partner Jessica Best say their flat has become riddled with black mould and claim the problem is affecting the health of their 21-month-old asthmatic son Kian.

"Our flat is dripping with water," Mr Benney said.

"When we looked around the flat we had some concerns but because we were homeless we couldn't turn it down," the 25-year-old explained.

Mr Benney, who also suffers from asthma, said he has raised his concerns with Ocean Housing, which manages the building but claims the company has not done anything to help.

"My son was diagnosed with asthma five months ago and the doctors said the damp wouldn't help," he said.

"It's just getting worse," he added.

"I ring them [Ocean Housing] and no one seems to even know who we are. I have been calling them probably three times a week."

Jamie Vague, who also lives in one of the flats with his partner Morwenna Cook, said they have had continuous problems with high levels of moisture and mould.

When their son Aiden became ill the couple feared the problem could hinder his recovery.

"When my son was six weeks old he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and spent two weeks in hospital," Mr Vague said.

"We had only lived in the flat for ten days before he got ill," the 27-year-old added.

"We didn't want him to have to stay in the flat so my partner and Aiden had to move back in with her mum."

Mr Vague said the state of the property has also affected his health.

"I have never had any respiratory problems before but now I wake up in the morning and I can barely breathe," he said.

Frances Turner, managing director of Ocean Housing, said she sympathised with the families involved and claims the mould is caused by condensation.

"The incidences of homes suffering from condensation are on the rise nationally, as many households are struggling to afford heating bills," she said.

She added: "Fuel poverty is a real problem for many households. We are becoming increasingly concerned at the number of tenants who are struggling to afford the higher fuel costs, imposed last winter and again this year. Without adequate heating levels and ventilation, even well-insulated and maintained homes will suffer from condensation."

Mrs Turner said the company ensures the properties have adequate insulation, ventilation and heating.

She added: "We are though still working with our customers to see if there is anything further we can do to help. We are investigating possible recent storm damage to the property and researching new materials to insulate homes."

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3 comments

  • susannewoodman  |  March 12 2014, 11:11AM

    Agree with previous comments - these problems are frequently caused by people persistently drying clothes indoors because they do not want the expense of using the tumble-drier. Keep some windows open most of the time (keep bedroom windows slightly open at night because of all the water vapour people breathe out), use extract fans, keep doors to kitchen and bathroom closed to prevent moist air getting into other rooms, and DO NOT dry clothes over radiators without having the windows wide open or a dehumidifer on. see http://tinyurl.com/255tndo

  • Anyone  |  March 08 2014, 10:27AM

    If they opened the windows, cleaned the walls down, and use a dehumidifier, if they can afford it. Mould is a result of non ventilation, not neglect by the landlord. Get real people and open the windows, help yourselves instead of blaming others!!!! It is your fault not the landlords or the building.Yet another non newsworthy story by the Cornish Guardian.

    |   2
  • Restart  |  March 07 2014, 10:40AM

    Perhaps if they opened the windows they might not have such a problem. Sick of seeing articles like these, as the problem is usually down to the tenants rather than the building.

    |   16

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