Mold-ridden Bracknell apartments ‘make kids sick’

Apartments overrun with mold are making children sick, according to their parents who say they feel “helpless”.

The group of residents of Iveagh Court, Bracknell, who make up around 44% of the flats in the complex, have banded together to demand changes to their living conditions.

The group said the conditions they were subjected to had “triggering effects on the health” of residents, especially young children.

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According to the group, the affected children have asked doctors to attribute lung infections, bronchiolitis and severe asthma to untreated black mold which they say is found in more than 80% of the approximately 120 homes on the estate.

There are currently two five-month-old, two one-year-old, one three-year-old, two five-year-old, one seven-year-old and one 13-year-old children suffering from either severe asthma or other lung conditions.

There are also several adults with a long-term cough.

According to the group, doctors twice treated a one-year-old child for bronchiolitis and attributed the illness to mold growth.

The group also pointed out that this was only one of the problems.

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Housing association Silva Homes owns Iveagh Court and recently completed an £11.5million refurbishment. But the group said the works had done nothing to address “pre-existing” issues.

Some people were moved to another housing estate while working there and people started returning to their apartments earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Iveagh Court Residents Group said: “The renovation problem was triggered by a damp problem. It is starting to get worse and worse.

“There are only three of us who have shower stalls but none of them work. They repainted everywhere and added panels, repainted the common areas and that’s all they did.

“They haven’t solved any of the existing problems. People have to walk in puddles because they haven’t repaved the slopes. It’s a health hazard because it causes a pool of ice.

“The renovation was a failure and a waste of money.”

They also pointed out that residents feel “helpless” and “helpless” because they call the only body that can help and “they don’t get anything but a generic call.”

The spokesperson said: “We had someone to look at the humidity in my son’s room under his bed. He said ‘oh that’s the way buildings were built so you’ll have to put an exhaust fan in the bedroom”.

“I went to Silva’s and they said there was nothing you could do about it, you had to keep your window open, but it’s winter. I can’t have a three-year-old in cold conditions.”

They then explained that they had to leave the windows open when their son was in nursery to get the air out. When he gets home, the heating has to be put on, which means “the electricity bill has exploded”.

Some families also have to share bath water because there is not enough hot water and only some families have showers, but none of them are currently working.

Black mold in the building.
Black mold in the building.

One person was ordered to bathe his son “every other day or take him to a family member or friend”.

Dasos Christou, Executive Director (Client Relations) at Silva Homes, said: “Our clients have every right to expect us to provide them with good quality homes.

“We are working to provide this to 7,500 households and are concerned about case reports that do not meet the standards we have set ourselves and our customers expect of us.

“Iveagh Court has recently undergone an extensive regeneration project including structural improvements and a complete refurbishment of all 114 apartments.

“As with most large-scale construction work, there were a few issues after the work was completed, including water pressure issues, and we have been working hard to find solutions to these issues.

“We believe that some other issues raised in the letter from the residents group have already been resolved over the past few months, but we will investigate further and take action as our priority is to ensure that all residents feel safe. and happy with their homes.

“We recognize that we need to do more to improve the spaces where people live and keep customers informed about the issues that matter to them.

“We will be contacting every home at Iveagh Court in response to the letter we have received by the end of this week. If there are any issues that we have not yet resolved, we will work with customers to find solutions and solve them.

“I would encourage anyone wishing to contact us about this to contact us at [email protected]

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