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Plymouth mum says flat is so mouldy it is affecting her bonding with her 8-week-old baby

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: December 24, 2013

By SOPHIE TAYLOR, Health Reporter @sophiesjtaylor

  • Chloe in her lounge

  • Chloe holding Charlie's cot mattress

  • Chloe and Charlie with mould in the background

  • Some of the mould in Chloe's bedsit

Comments (36)

A young woman with a newborn baby has said the mould in her bedsit is so bad she is having to sleep on the floor of her lounge with her baby beside her in a Moses basket on the sofa.

Twenty-one-year-old Chloe Patricia Brown, lives in a bedsit in Lipson Court, Greenbank, with her eight-week-old son Charlie Jake Tyler.

She claims the damp and mould in her flat is so bad it is even affecting her bonding with Charlie.

But she claims that Plymouth Community Homes (PCH), who she rents the property from, will not move her, instead offering to remove the mould and redecorate affected areas.

“I had to move out of my bedroom into the lounge a couple of months ago - I’m sleeping on a mattress in the lounge with my baby having to sleep in a Moses basket on the sofa,” said new mum Chloe. “This is not how I imagined I would be living with my newborn baby - it’s disgusting, I shouldn’t be made to live like this.”

Chloe moved into the property in 2011 and said the problems with the damp and mould almost started right away.

“A couple months after I moved in I had to get an inspector out as there was mould on the walls,” she said.

“They painted over it but it keeps coming back. They’ve said they will repaint over it again this time. But I don’t want that. It just comes back again. I want to be out of here.

“The problem got really bad about a year ago - there was so much mould in the lounge it was black and you could see it really badly. It was also in my bedroom and bathroom.

“Throughout my pregnancy there has been mould in my flat - I can’t even leave my clothes out because it gets that damp.

“I’ve had the inspectors out three time previously - this is the fourth time. This is definitely the worst the problem has ever been though.

“Every time I wash my baby’s clothes, dry them and then put them away - they are covered in mould. They get so damp they get covered in mould. I’ve had to throw away a lot of vests and baby grows already. And since I’ve lived here I’ve probably thrown away about two bin bags full of my own clothes due to the mould. And I can’t afford many clothes.

“My baby keeps coughing all the time, and I’ve been coughing a lot too because of all the mould. I keep crying and getting depressed because of it.

“The problem is so bad my mother-in-law to be and my mum are having to have my baby a couple of times a week. And it shouldn’t be like that. It really upsets me - my baby should be with me every day, I should be bonding with him. And it has affected our bond.

“I’ve been told to leave my windows open and it gets so cold in here, especially throughout the winter. The situation doesn’t even improve by leaving the windows open. The smell is disgusting, my storage cupboard just stinks. And everything in it is ruined.

“I’m at the end of my tether - I’m crying on the phone to my mum every day. The cot mattress is covered in mould. I went to put Charlie in it one day and just saw it covered in damp and mould. So my mother-in-law to be bought me a second-hand Moses basket for my baby to sleep in.

“I just want to live somewhere warm, somewhere healthy, where I can put my baby in his own bedroom rather than having to go on the sofa.”

Andrew Withey, neighbourhood repairs manager for Plymouth Community Homes, said: “We are sorry to hear that Chloe is experiencing problems in her flat and understand the impact that damp and condensation can have on residents.

“We want to ensure that everyone in a PCH property has a great place to live this is why we will always offer advice and support to address the issues residents may raise. Someone has been round to see Chloe and we are happy to continue to work with her to find a suitable solution.”

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  • flowcur  |  December 24 2013, 7:34PM

    not her fault that society rewards young single mom's with free housing .........and perhaps spoils them.......

    Rate   7
  • JanTheJanner  |  December 24 2013, 7:23PM

    I had worse damp than that in my flat!! Good bit of bleach and a good scrub gets rid of it! Oh and the 'mould' on that mattress looks more like urine to me!

    Rate   8
  • JanTheJanner  |  December 24 2013, 5:12PM

    Doesn't look very mouldy from the picture. Doing anything to get a a bigger house. She says herself, U want my son to have his own room. PCH have offered to remove the mould and she has said no, so tough. Put up with it. Many people are on the streets in this freezing weather. You should be grateful you have a house. Our taxes are paying for your offspring and flat anyway!

    Rate   8
  • Urbandriver  |  December 24 2013, 2:45PM

    The father is probably away with another of his offspring

    Rate   3
  • Wyrdsister1  |  December 24 2013, 9:56AM

    There are some very naive and stupid comments being made today. So many judgements being made about this girl and her family despite their being NO INFORMATION given in the article. Only exceptionally dim people make judgements based on nothing. I feel sorry for the commenters who seem to want to deride this lady for what can only be the nasty personal chips on their own shoulders. Life hasn't treated most of you that well, evidently. How many of you negative commenters were planned babies? And how do you know Chloe's wasn't? All you know about Chloe is that she is housed by a housing association (like many working folk), she is a mum, she presumably pays her rent and yet her house is sub-standard. Black mould can cause respiratory illnesses that are incurable. The true scandal, the thing people should be cross about, is that a housing association is collecting rent from a young mum and not fulfilling their legal obligations in keeping the property dry and non-hazardous to health. Yet commenters here express no anger about this, they are merely bitter and twisted about the mere existence of a young mum living in a housing association flat and fail to see the actual CRIME committed by the housing association. This makes me think most of the nasty commenters here are so dense, they don't even realize how 'controlled' their minds and bodies are. I pity them all, immensely and hope Chloe and her baby are soon given a home that is not hazardous to their health.

    Rate   2
  • joiebloggs  |  December 24 2013, 8:55AM

    Try some super glue

    Rate   -4
  • Billy_Bonney  |  December 24 2013, 8:40AM

    come on people we are getting away from the fact her hair makes her look like a telly tubby !

    Rate   3
  • Potbelly1  |  December 24 2013, 12:04AM

    Could't this girls mother put her and baby up at her house? Once a mother always a mother! even if they had to sleep on the couch must be better than living in mould!

    Rate   11
  • anon41  |  December 23 2013, 7:43PM

    NFP~ normal for plymuff

    Rate   9
  • nick113  |  December 23 2013, 12:49PM

    Correction, Chloe is the mother, her son is Charlie. I wish them well, but still no mention of a father. I know it's Christmas but this is unlikely to have been a Virgin birth Come on Sophie, do your job and ask the important questions.

    Rate   6