A struggling family are pleading with a housing association to fix a damp problem in their flat which is so bad their baby is forced to wear a breathing mask.
Steve Chester, 28, moved into the flat three years ago with partner Keely Bacon, and says damp and black mould have been a continuous problem ever since.
According to the couple, their ten-month-old son Archie has developed a bad cough because of the issue and has to use a breathing mask.
For the last six weeks, he has been prescribed a respiratory mask, called a Clenil Modulite Inhaler, similar to an asthma pump, which he has to use three times a day.
Steve said: “When you hear little Archie’s cough, you would be worried if it came from a fully-grown man, not a baby, it is really strong.
“Since we spoke to the doctor, I’ve realised how we have all been suffering for years from the damp. I’ve constantly had a cold, even through the summer, but didn’t think anything of it.
“Now I realise that it is due to the mould and it’s not right that our baby’s health is being left at risk.”
Since Archie developed breathing issues, Steve and Keely have tried painting over and covering the mould, but it keeps coming back.
The couple, who also live with their two other sons, have been pushing for Circle Housing Association to either fix the problem or find them alternative accommodation.
Steve added: “He has been on the pump for about six weeks and in that time the housing association have supposed to come to look at the issue several times.
“The first time the man who came wouldn’t go inside and the second time we had no notice and came home to find a note through the door saying we had missed him.
“Since Archie has been on the pump, he isn’t coughing quite so much and our doctor believes that it should clarify that the issue in his lungs is from the black mould.
“The housing association did change the windows in the property but that hasn’t stopped the build-up of condensation in the windows and it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it’s just constantly cold in the building.”
“We recently carried out work – which included providing better insulation and new windows – on Mr Chester’s home along with neighbouring properties to address the problem.
“We will shortly be carrying out a follow up visit with an environmental health officer to ensure the issue has been resolved.”