AN ANDOVER mum is pleading for a more suitable flat after her premature baby son was airlifted to hospital due to worsening mould.

Amy O’Neil lives with her daughters, aged nine and two, and four-month-old son in a council-arranged flat owned by housing association Abri on Woodcutters Court, off Junction Road in Andover.

The 28-year-old has lived in the property for the past seven years and says she began to notice the mould more than a year ago, starting in her daughters’ bedroom and spreading throughout the flat, and reported it via her housing officer at the council.

She says she was told on several occasions that someone would visit to assess the situation, but after waiting in for them to arrive, was met with no shows.

After the Advertiser made enquiries this morning (Tuesday, September 28), Abri arranged for someone to visit the property and told this newspaper it had “agreed a plan of action”. However, Amy said the issue “has not been sorted in any way, shape or form”.

“It’s going down the door frame and light switches so my daughters are able to touch it, and I am really worried about the kids because it’s getting to them a bit too much,” she said.

“I have to keep all the windows open to help ventilate, and we are having to clean it and use more chemicals than usual as well.”

Amy’s three children, who were all born prematurely, have suffered with various respiratory conditions including asthma, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and bronchitis, which led to her baby son being airlifted to hospital and spending two weeks in intensive care, and her toddler daughter also being admitted to hospital.

“I asked all the nurses and they have all said that it’s down to these mould spores that they are breathing in,” said Amy.

“My health visitor came round too and wrote to the council to make a complaint, and still nothing has been done.”

Amy is now calling on the company to move her and her family to a different flat.

“It’s frustrating,” she said. “You would think that keeping tenants safe and well and happy would be a main priority, and it’s under the health act as well.

“I would like them to recognise that they are completely in the wrong and they need to move me.

“I can’t risk being in this flat any longer. I’m scared of bringing my children home here.”

A TVBC spokesperson told the Advertiser that as the property is owned by housing association Abri, it is for them as landlord to resolve any issues.

An Abri spokesperson added: “We have been aware of the mould issue in the bathroom at the property, we are sorry that we couldn’t find a solution more quickly. We have accessed the property today (28 September), undertaken mould treatment and we have agreed a plan of action with our customer to put things right.

“This property was built in 2013 and is served by a specialist mechanical ventilation system. We have made attempts, including earlier this year to check it’s working effectively. As part of our plan of action agreed with the customer, we have instructed specialist engineers to carry out a full inspection and service of this system. We have also instructed specialist surveyors who will work with us and our customer to ensure we provide a long-term solution.

“We are pleased to hear that the family are home, safe and well and we're very sorry for the inconvenience and upset this has clearly caused the family.”

However, speaking after the visit Amy said the response was not reflective of the current situation.

“Yes, they have come out. Thank you so much to the Advertiser team for getting things moving so much quicker than it has been before,” she said.

However, Amy explained that, although the member of staff who visited agreed that the flat was “not fit” for the family to live in, the contractor sent to clean the mould was not informed of the fact that there were children or asthma sufferers living there, and was therefore unable to complete their work due to the types of chemicals used.

“We don’t want to live here anymore. We are scared to bring our baby boy home in case he ends up in hospital again.”

The contractors will now report back, promising to help the family find a solution.

“Once again, it’s a waiting game.”