Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'

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Sky Joseph
Sky Joseph's mouldy flat in Greenwich, London (Image: Skye Joseph / SWNS)

A mum-of-three says mould in her housing association flat has cost her thousands of pounds and fears it could be harming her children.

The problem is so bad says Skye Joseph, who is pregnant, mushrooms have started growing in cracks in the wall.

The 31-year-old claims she's had to replace numerous items in her one bed property in Greenwich, London that have been damaged by mould.

She's also worries about her children's health, especially after the death of toddler Awaab Ishak.

Awaab died in December 2020 as a direct result of the mould in his family's home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, a coroner found.

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The mum-of-three said: "I heard the story about that little boy and sobbed. I'm bringing up three children in these conditions.

"It sets me back with my mental health. I don't think I ever used to suffer as much as I do now."

Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'Skye Joseph, who is pregnant, fears for her children's health (Skye Joseph / SWNS)
Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'One of Skye's kids playing in the mouldy living room (Skye Joseph / SWNS)

Skye, who is pregnant, says she discovered the one-bed flat was plagued with damp and mould problems soon after moving in in 2009.

And she claims that despite housing association L&Q sending contractors to 'bleach wash' the walls over the years, the problem has persisted and gotten worse.

Skye says the mould has ruined many of her personal items which she has then had to pay to replace.

She said: "It's literally costing me thousands to replace everything.

"Moses baskets, shoes, clothes, boots, sofas, bunk beds - even down to food in the food cupboards which goes mouldy before the sell-by date."

Skye says her three children - two of whom are diagnosed with autism and another with asthma - sleep in the one bedroom in the property. The stay-at-home mum sleeps on the sofa in the living room.

Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'A damp meter reading shows high levels of moisture in Skye's walls (Skye Joseph / SWNS)
Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'She's had to throw away toys and other items because they've been ruined by mould (Skye Joseph / SWNS)

Skye says she cleans the walls every two weeks but black marks reappear within days. And she claims issues with condensation are so bad, puddles of water form on the floor of the bedroom in the mornings.

Now, she says her mental health is suffering as a result of the poor living conditions, and worries about her children's health as a result of the damp and mouldy environment.

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Skye said: "It was probably here when I first moved in but it was all freshly painted over so I wouldn't have noticed.

"Within a month or two of moving it all started coming out - the walls started caving in and the door frames are coming away due to the damp.

"The worst part is the front room and the bedroom. It's covered from the skirting boards up to the ceiling, in the bedroom it's every single wall, the wardrobe and the chest of drawers.

"The old sofa had mould all up the back from being up against the wall, I threw out a black bag of toys that were all mouldy. I've thrown out everything of the kids and had to replace it all.

"You can smell it, it's really strong - we've even had mushrooms sprouting out of the cracks."

And she claimed: "I've been told it's my fault for having too many children. It makes me feel so rubbish because I always wanted a big family.

"It's horrible the way people think you plan to live in some horrible place and plan for your mental health to play up.

Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'Skye says there's been damp problems since she moved in in 2009 (Skye Joseph / SWNS)
Dangerous mould costing mum thousands as 'mushrooms sprouting out of the wall'L&Q housing association says they're in the process of finding a bigger home for the family (Skye Joseph / SWNS)

A spokesperson for L&Q said: "We are sorry for the problems Ms Joseph has been experiencing with her home.

"We are fully committed to providing safe and comfortable homes that are conducive to the good health of our residents, and we are working with Ms Joseph to ensure we put things right as quickly as possible.

"Ms Joseph's home has been assessed by our Healthy Homes programme, which focuses on tackling the root cause of mould and damp.

"As part of this process, our specialist contractors attended the property to carry out an inspection, treat the mould, and agree a number of measures to prevent the issue from reoccurring.

"Our contractors have since visited several times over the last year to carry out repairs but have not yet been given access.

"We have contacted Ms Joseph again today [December 2] to try and make progress on these outstanding works.

"Ms Joseph's family are eligible for a larger property, and we are now actively searching for suitable accommodation in the area.

"In the meantime, we'll offer her additional support and information to help better her understanding of the options available to her."

Josie Adnitt

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