Mum and disabled daughter 'forced to scrape off' black mould growing on bedroom walls

A mum-of-three claims her family is plagued with black mould that she has to scrape from her disabled daughter’s room weekly.

Rosalba, her husband Cesar and their three children have lived in their two-bed flat in Pelican House,Peckham,for the last six years.

Her eldest child Iris, 12, lives with Kabuki syndrome, a rare congenital disorder that affects the physical growth and intellectual development of a child.

Iris, who has fallen ill with pneumonia in the past, has been warned by doctors that sleeping in a mould-infested room with damp problems will worsen her breathing.

Rosalba has told My London that the family did not have problems with damp and the leaking boiler until four years ago.

However, she said the issue has significantly worsened since then.

She says she has complained to housing association Optivo on multiple occasions, - though the company said she approached them only once, back in 2020.

Iris shares a room with her two younger brothers, nine-year-old Genesis and Jadiel, aged six, all three children find it difficult to sleep at night and Rosalba believes her daughter has developedasthmaas a result of mould and damp issues inside the property.

Rosalba has to scrub the mould off of her children's wall every eight days as it grows back so quickly.

She claims it has destroyed her children's wardrobe and bedding in the past.

Rosalba who is a cleaner says the mould grows back and spreads to other areas of the bedroom walls, if she doesn't clean it frequently.

She leaves her children's window open every morning to air out the damp, but has to close it when they return from school because they complain about it being too cold.

Cesar has also painted over the children's ceiling to try and eliminate the smell of dampness.

The family's living room window is broken and cannot open and causes heavy amounts of condensation to form overnight which drips so loudly at night, her children wake up from their sleep.

She has to attend to the condensation every morning and clear up any large puddles formed by the window.

Mum and disabled daughter 'forced to scrape off' black mould growing on bedroom walls

Elsewhere, the family's boiler pipes are also rotten and old, which causes them to leak and has damaged her boiler cupboard.

Rosalba says she has complained to Optivo about all of the disrepair issues but says they are "very rude" and don't listen to her.

She added: "I don't know what else to do, they [Optivo] always say they are going to come and fix it. I report a problem but they never do anything about it."

Rosalba says she wants to move into a larger property that could accommodate her disabled daughter and does not affect her children's health.

In response to Rosalba's claims, Optivo says they have not heard of any mould and damp issues from the family since November 2020 and that they completed a mould wash treatment on the affected areas by January 2021 - something that Rosalba denies as she says the mould grew back within three months.

They added that they would contact Rosalba to arrange an inspection on the issues in her property.

Optivo's full statement to MyLondon: "Our residents' needs are extremely important to us, and we always want to ensure the homes we provide are suitable for the families who live in them.

"We’re keen to support Ms Vargas with the issues she’s having in her home. She’s not reported any issues of mould and damp to us since November 2020.

"As a result of the November 2020 report, we attended her home in January 2021 and completed a mould wash treatment of affected areas.

"This treatment is designed to kill and inhibit the growth of mould, fungi and mildew. Since then, no further reports have been made to us by Ms Vargas about this issue.

"We’re here to support our residents and will do everything we can to ensure their homes are comfortable.

"We’ll contact Ms Vargas to arrange an inspection and address any issues we come across.

"We’ve ensured our teams are on standby so this can be booked in at a time convenient to her.

"We can complete any necessary repairs and cleaning to tackle issues of mould and damp.

"If Ms Vargas doesn’t feel her current home is suitable for her family, we can support her with housing options.

"If she would like to contact us, we can arrange a meeting with our Tenancy Sustainment and Lettings Teams."

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