House riddled with ‘black furry mould’ makes Eastbourne mum’s life a nightmare

Emma Hall with her children Jackson and Brook outside their home (photo by Jon Rigby)
Emma Hall with her children Jackson and Brook outside their home (photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne mother says black furry mould and asbestos in her home have made her life a nightmare.

Emma Hall, of Hampden Park, says she has been waiting weeks for something to be done about the situation in her council home, which she shares with her partner and six children.

Black mould spreading in the children's room and an asbestos warning on family's front door

Black mould spreading in the children's room and an asbestos warning on family's front door

She said, “I had to remove my six-year-old daughter from her room into my older daughter’s room. Her walls and ceiling were turning black. Then it started forming in that room too. Flakes from the ceiling were falling down onto the children’s beds and moving around in the air.

“It then came to light that the asbestos in every room upstairs had been disturbed, making it dangerous.

“My two boys have been very poorly. Something’s triggered it and the only thing I can think of is that. It’s irreversible damage. It’s just been a nightmare.”

The mum, 34, said she alerted the council to the problem more than six weeks ago, but it was only last week they were put up in a hotel while the problem was dealt with.

Ms Hall said, “It took a lot of arguing to get it done. They said it was because we are drying washing indoors – which we don’t do. We were told to leave the windows open and heating on all night, but we can’t afford to do that.

“There’s no insulation in the attic. It’s so cold here. We have got children here that are vulnerable.

“It was very stressful, my little one is autistic, all the change upsets her. It’s been ongoing.

“The mould is black and furry. It’s just coming out the walls. It’s appalling, it’s like we didn’t matter.”

An Eastbourne council spokesperson said, “The council has acted quickly to address these issues. Firstly, we organised hotel accommodation for Ms Hall and her family while the repair work is carried out.

“To deal most effectively with the condensation and mould problems it was decided to remove the old ceilings and install new ones.

“We have replaced the ceilings on the first floor of the property and the walls will receive a treatment to remove the mould.

“Once all the new ceilings are in place, additional work to prevent condensation and mould re-forming will include repairing a vent, installing trickle ventilators to windows and evaluating the heating system. The loft insulation will also be topped up to improve heat retention in the property.

“Our contractor worked as quickly as possible to ensure the family made a quick return home.”