Oxford mum fears for baby’s health in ‘mouldy soaking wet’ flat after three trips to hospital

A woman from Oxford says she’s worried for her baby’s health – because of mould in her council flat.

Kimberley Green’s 9-month-old daughter Arabella has been given an inhaler and hospitalised a number of times for breathing problems.

Her GP has written a letter to say mould could be a contributing factor.

Oxford City Council has taken measures to remove the mould, but Kimberley says it just keeps coming back. She claims it has been a problem since she moved into the property in 2004, and the ceiling had to be re-plastered.

Kimberley says the mould is even in the plug sockets. Credit: ITV Meridian

“The mould is on all the walls apart from one and it’s even gone into plug sockets”, Kimberley said.

“It’s just pure black – you can’t deny it’s mould.

“No matter how many times I wipe it down, it’s not going to go. I’ve had it treated, I’ve bought special paint and it just doesn’t work.

“The council come out to deal with it, but all they do is wipe it and seal it, and then it comes back within two to four weeks.

“When I wake up in the morning, my walls are soaking wet. I had to take my carpet up just before Christmas as the floor is soaking wet.”

“It’s not good for me as I suffer with COPD and asthma so it’s not good for me, but I’m more worried about my baby’s health.

“When she wakes up in the morning her cot is wet, so I have to change her sheets every day and dry her mattress in the airing cupboard.

“And she is breathing all that in and her lungs.

“I’m at the stage where I would prefer to make myself homeless and live in a tent, than stay in here with her.

“I feel like you when you’re outside you expect cold and harsh conditions. But you don’t expect those conditions when you’re paying rent on a flat.”

Kimberley Green’s nine-month-old daughter Arabella, has developed respiratory problems. Credit: ITV Meridian

An Oxford City Council spokesperson said: “Oxford City Council takes reports of mould in its properties extremely seriously. If mould is reported, we take urgent action to treat the immediate issue and solve any long-term problems with the property.

“The tenant of this property reported a mould problem in December 2020.

“The council subsequently took action that involved chemically treating the mould, fitting a new ventilation system (Positive Input Ventilation), and offering advice on the importance of good ventilation and adequate heating.

“We understand these pictures were taken in October 2022. On 10 October, the City Council visited the property again.

“We chemically treated the mould, reminded the tenant of the importance of good ventilation and adequate heating and, later that month, also installed a new bathroom extractor fan.

The walls of Kimberley Green’s bedroom affected by mould and damp. Credit: ITV Meridian

“The City Council then contracted a specialist damp and mould firm to visit the property, which took place on 23 November. Their report found the house was water tight and there were ‘no signs of rising/penetrating dampness at time of survey’.

“The report added: ‘On close inspection of all the wall areas throughout, the only minor remnants of mould due to condensation of atmospheric moisture were found around the windows and doors.’

“The City Council visited the property again on 8 December and was due to visit on 16 December to fit a humidity monitor, but the tenant cancelled.

“The City Council is confident that if the tenant continues to use the ventilation system, the bathroom extractor and follows the advice given, the problem will not recur.

“The City Council will revisit the tenant as often as is necessary and will take all action necessary to ensure the mould does not return.

“The City Council takes every report of damp and mould from its tenants extremely seriously and we have set up a specialist team to deal with the issue. If you are an Oxford City Council tenant and have any damp or mould problems, please contact us today on 01865 249811.”