Housing Trust acknowledges 'insufficient follow up' after inaction over mould at Cheddington home

A property in Cheddington has become so overwhelmed with mould that the residents describe it as 'unsuitable to live in'.

Tuesday, 10th March 2020, 11:47 am

John Verrill lives at the housing association property in Barkham Close with his wife and her four young children. Mr Verrill's wife suffers from auto-immune disease and has to have injections at the hospital each week, whilst one of the children has autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).

Mr Verrill contacted The Bucks Herald last week to tell us that he and his wife have been complaining to the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust (VAHT) about the mould for approximately two years but no action has ever been taken.

Mr Verrill told us: "It's been going on for the last two years. It started in the bathroom. We cleaned it off but it comes back even worse and now it's all around the house.

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Mould at the property in Cheddington

“My wife phones them up and says there's mould all around the house but no one turns up.

"We don't know what way to turn anymore."

We contacted VAHT about the situation at Barkham Close. Initially they appeared to suggest that last week was the first they had heard of the mould problem but we asked them to double-check their records.

VAHT subsequently provided the following statement: “Following a damp survey at the end of 2018, we scheduled remedial works via a specialist contractor to address mould at Barkham Close. These should have been complete by May 2019.

The house in Barkham Close has mould all around it

“However, on investigating the property, the contractor was concerned that the specified works would not remedy the problems. The structure of the property means it is susceptible to mould where there is insufficient insulation, ventilation, or lacks room for air movement between the walls and contents.

“At this point, we hold our hands up to insufficient follow up. A mould wash should have been arranged and the resident advised on adjustments to prevent a recurrence.

“However, we have since had numerous contacts with our resident for a number of reasons, and they have not mentioned that the mould was getting worse. Residents can always raise concerns with any employee, even if they are meeting about something else.

“Repairs and servicing have been carried out in the property as recently as the end of January. We have a process for employees with concerns about the condition residents are living in to refer them for help. In this particular instance, no issues have been raised and we are investigating why this process was not triggered. Remedial works to address the immediate problem will be expedited.

More mould at Barkham Close where residents say it's 'unsuitable to live in.'

“We appreciate the Bucks Herald raising this issue with us and hope going forward we can work with the resident more readily to keep the property mould-free.”

Four children live at the property in Cheddington that is full of mould