Noorullah Hashmi who lives with his young family in an Aster housing association flat in Great Bedwyn has said urgent repairs need to be done as delays are affecting his children’s health. Despite 27 visits from workmen no one has been able to stop the extensive damp and mould which is spreading. He said there was standing water in the sitting room, as well as mouldy walls and ceilings. In the two years since the family have lived there the children aged two and 18-months-old, have been ill with multiple chest infections.
Hashmi, originally from Afghanistan, told Karen Gardner from BBC Wiltshire news, “It’s just delay and delay… my kids are ill from sleeping in a mouldy and damp house.” The family have video and photographs that show the floors soaked with water and mould growing up the walls in all the rooms and on the ceilings. Condensation runs down the windows and clothes, soft toys, furniture and mattresses were damaged by mould and have had to be thrown away, Hashmi said.
The family’s GP, Dr Angela Paddon from Great Bedwyn’s Old School Surgery, has written to Aster to say the children have suffered multiple respiratory infections and that it is known mouldy and damp homes can make babies and children ill. A recent inquest in Manchester heard the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak was directly linked to his exposure to mould in a flat.
Linda Orchard, who lives near the Hashmi family told Karen Gardner she was “very concerned” about the two young children and was trying to support the family to get help.
She said she had witnessed multiple visits by maintenance staff and contractors from Aster but that there had been no actual work done in the flat.
In a statement, Aster Group said: “We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously, and we’re sorry to hear of our customer’s problems.
“One of our surveyors visited the home last week (3 November) and organised for several repairs to take place urgently in the home.
“When our surveyor visited… he went through the work that was being booked with Hashmi, someone from the local surgery and a neighbour who were all present.
“We’ll be in touch again directly with the customer to book in the work within the next two weeks.
“We’ll visit the home shortly after the repairs have happened to reassess the situation and take any further action needed.”