‘Temporary’ home is a mouldy misery for Croydon family

By Harrison Galliven, Local Democracy Reporter

A Croydon father has said his family feels ‘forgotten’ by the council after being left in mouldy temporary accommodation for the past three years.

Musa Turay said he and his family are suffering from chesty coughs due to pervasive mould in his flat in Cromwell House – an ageing Croydon tower block off Old Town Road.

He says the mould, which is at its most prevalent in the ceiling above his children’s bed, keeps coming back, despite him ‘trying everything’ to get rid of it.

He said: “The water runs down the walls and starts dripping on us when we sleep. I have tried to clean it myself but it just keeps coming back.

“I have spent so much money on this place, fixing it myself. I have had to put up silver cladding in my room to cover the mould because it was so horrible.

“I’ve had loads of hats and caps that I have had to throw away because all of them got ruined by the mould. The same had happened to the children’s clothes. I’m just fed up with this whole thing.”

Alongside the mould concerns, Mr Turay and his family have also had to fight against a growing mouse infestation that has affected the top floor of the building.

The scale of the mould problem is evident in this image from a bedroom shared by siblings in Cromwell House (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)

Mr Turay, his wife Fatmata and their three children moved into the flat in 2021 from Concord House in Broad Green, Croydon. However, he felt that their previous accommodation was in much better condition than their current flat on the top floor of the late 1950s block

Mr Turay, a mobile technician for Virgin Media, who is a long-suffering asthmatic, said this had led to them developing persistent coughs and near-constant use of cough linctus.

He said: “All you smell is damp. I have to leave the flat to get fresh air. When I go out I will open the window wider to let the smell out but when you lock the window at night you just keep inhaling the damp.

“They push you inside and they forget about you, and they say it’s temporary accommodation but they have had people that have lived here for 15, 20 years.”

A Croydon council spokesman said: “Along with other London councils, we are facing increased demands for affordable accommodation which unfortunately means that there aren’t always permanent homes available for families as soon as we’d like.

“We have been engaging with our resident and have visited the property to treat mould. We will return to improve the ventilation and airflow around the property and investigate for pests. Our temporary accommodation team will also be speaking with the household to explore housing options.”

Pictured top: Musa and Fatmata Turay, with their sons Bannister and Hashrik (Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga)

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