A FAMILY say a hole in their roof is causing “disgusting” mould and putting their newborn’s life at risk.

Katrina Hampton and her partner, Darryl Murphy, of Limes Avenue, Chigwell, say rain water comes pouring into their bedroom and when it dries, it leaves thick black spores.

The 30-year-old, mum to Lacey, six and Rhys, four, and Sophie, 15 weeks, Mark, 10, and Angel, 9, fears for her children’s health.

Lacey has asthma but being inside the house has made her condition worse.

Despite repeated calls to Epping Forest District Council, she claims nothing has been done.

Mrs Hampton said: “Water just pours down our walls and creates more and more mould. The council have been very unhelpful. They keep trying to fob us off.

“Basically it’s disgusting. It’s a joke. How can they expect people to live in this with children? Obviously I didn’t want to go down this route, but they are not doing anything about it.

“The mould is spreading like wildfire. You can smell it as you are walking up my stairs. We have had to throw personal belongings out as the mould is ruining everything.

“It’s disgusting, you can smell the damp. It’s a musty type of smell. My four month old daughter’s wardrobe is mouldy and it has now started to spread across the floor.

“I am worried about my baby getting ill. I’ve heard this black mould can kill you.”

She claims she has called environmental health to come and assess the problem, but was told she was not a priority.

She added: “I’ve been going to the council constantly. I had environmental health around too.”

The authority have agreed to send a contractor to look at the problem, but told the Guardian her “family lifestyle” might be part of the problem.

The statement said: “We’re very sorry that the family are experiencing these problems and are doing our best to help. We’ve been aware of an ongoing damp problem in this property for some time.

“We have tried to establish the reason. It is possible that the tenants lifestyle may have been a contributory factor but we are not certain and we are also looking at other possible structural issues with the building. Our roofing inspector is due to carry out an inspection in the next few days which will hopefully clarify what the problem might be.”

Katrina, a housewife, disputed this. She said: “How can my lifestyle create mould? I do not think they should be able to get away with this. I’m fed up with it. They are trying to blame us.

“I am very angry and worried about my children’s health. They can either sort the problem or move us out.

“I am at the end of my tether now.”

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Article and photos from Guardian Series