Mum, 27, stuck in mouldy council flat with brown liquid running down the walls ‘fears for newborn baby’s health’

A Lambeth mum said she “fears for the health” of her eight week old baby because of the “horrible” conditions of her council flat.

The 27-year-old woman, who wishes to be known only as Jaye, has lived in her Streatham council flat since December 2020 with her partner.

Jaye claims the flat has a number of issues including mould and extensive repairs which have not been resolved despite multiple requests to the council.

READ MORE: Vulnerable mum and baby forced to live apart from dad stuck in council flat with ‘no heating or hot water for a month’

Two months ago, Jaye gave birth to her baby daughter and said she doesn’t feel her home is safe for her baby.

The excessive mould in Jaye’s flat has proved impossible to prevent during winter

Jaye told MyLondon: “With regards to the pregnancy and the birth of my child, I had a C-section so I haven’t been able to leave the house.

“That makes it a lot worse, knowing I’m in a house that has disrepair and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Jaye’s flat has extensive mould throughout which appears each winter.

“The risk associated with babies and mould is what I’m very worried about,” Jaye explained.

Jaye is growing increasingly concerned about her daughter’s safety in her council flat

“The building is not made from bricks, which means it’s very easy for water to penetrate the wood.

“No matter how much cleaning we do, even if we leave all the windows open (as the council suggests we do) the property will always have mould every winter.

“We tried to get this issue resolved last year but the council chose not to deal with the issue. Now, a year later, we have a newborn.”

Jaye’s flat is full of mould and a brown leak from a broken vent, among other outstanding repairs

Aside from dealing with extensive mould, Jaye explained that the bathroom vent is broken and is secreting a foul smelling brown liquid which she is forced to clean daily.

Jaye’s partner is also asthmatic and is at serious risk of an attack if his home is not properly aired out and ventilated.

“I’ve also called [the council] four times in October and explained that I now have a baby and I’m constantly having to clean the bathroom to mask the smell coming from the vent,” the new mum said.

“I explained that the excessive amount of cleaning products I have to use to hide the smell is not good for the baby.”

Jaye says the flat also has other repairs which have yet to be solved, including a broken bathroom light which has forced her to use extension cords to light the room, posing a hazard.

Jaye told MyLondon that her living conditions have had a huge effect on the health and wellbeing of her and her family.

“It’s just really horrible,” she said. “I’m having to factor in everyone’s health concerns […] I have other people to think about who are vulnerable.”

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A spokesperson from Lambeth Council said: “Ensuring our council homes are safe and well-maintained for all our tenants is a top priority for Lambeth Council and we have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in the drive to bring all of them up to the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS).

“We have also concentrated on making improvements to day-to-day repairs and maintenance, including assigning 10 new firms and a brand new in-house repairs team to the task since this summer.

“The repairs requested by [Jaye] have been assessed and scheduled and are in the process of being carried out. These include a new extractor fan and a mould wash in the bathroom and any other affected areas of the property. We’re sorry for any distress caused by the delay.

“Mould is a particular issue that has affected a number of our properties and we know the distress it can cause for residents when it appears. We’ve now formed a project group to review the way we tackle damp and mould – with a zero-tolerance approach to these problems.

“We are putting in place 16 key preventative actions – including a detailed condition survey of our homes to proactively prevent and resolve damp and mould issues early, making it easier for residents to report damp and mould and allocating dedicated staff to support residents through any remedial work.”

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