Mum and children claim accommodation ‘unsuitable’ after mould forces them from home

Natalie Archer and her children, aged one, four and seven, have been living in a two-bedroom flat in Wickham Bishops, which has become uninhabitable due to serious issues with dampness and mould. 

Since 2019 she has been looking for another place to live or get Moat housing association to address the issue. 

The family’s flat has had persistent problems with mould, giving her and her children respiratory issues. 

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Mrs Archer, who also suffers from epilepsy, said: “My son Henry has suffered chest infections continuously and coughs frequently due to the damp issues at the flat.

“My four-year-old son is now on two asthma pumps to help with his breathing – it’s only a matter of time before we are all on the same medication.” 

After complaining to Moat, there have been temporary fixes, mainly by painting over the affected areas but the mould returns within a few weeks. 

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

The flat’s water heater also broke twice, leaving the family no choice but to leave their home. 

Moat has arranged for the Archers to stay at a hotel but without a moving back date. 

The move has created further issues for her family, as Mrs Archer’s disabled and autistic son is not eating properly because he feels distressed and unsettled. 

Mrs Archer said: “I want to feel safe and protected in the house me and my children live in and under the people who I rent with. I don’t want Moat to do this to me any longer and I’m just asking for some help.” 

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Moat has now apologised to the family.

Mark Warner, director of property services, said: “We have apologised to our customer and her family for letting them down and missing opportunities to put things right sooner.

“We are looking for alternative accommodation that better suits the family’s needs whilst we work on a permanent solution to fix the damp and mould.

“We have also apologised for the miscommunication around accessing their home. We should have obtained their clear consent beforehand, and we have implemented new procedures to prevent this from happening again. 

“We continue to be in regular contact with the family to keep them informed of the progress we are making.”