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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amy Walters & Ryan Merrifield

Mum 'crammed' into mouldy two-bedroom home with four kids 'struggling to breathe'

A mum-of-four has shared her devastating living situation which has left her kids “crammed” into one bedroom – and claims worsening mould is making them sick.

When Kayleigh Templeton moved into her first home with her son, Trey, now 10, in August 2013, she felt like life was starting to fall into place.

At first, the two-bed flat provided everything they needed, until she gave birth to her three other children, Kayden, nine, Makayla, six and Evelynn, three.

Quickly, the space became crowded and the mum, aged 29, hoped to find another form of accommodation quickly to tend to their needs.

However, with the cost of living crisis sweeping across the UK, social housing has become increasingly limited and now, the family-of-five are struggling to cope within the small space.

The family of five have outgrown their home (Jam Press)

Kayleigh claimed their situation has since worsened, as mould started to spread across their home – and while they've recently received a mould wash, it's quickly returning and is affecting her children’s health.

“My kids are breathing in the mould daily and it's causing difficulties with their breathing,” the mum, from Kingston, southwest London, said.

“I’m concerned about their lungs and the long-term effects this is going to have on them.

“I’ve already had to take two of them to the doctors for a persistent cough.

Kayleigh said she has pleaded with the housing service to put her on a priority list (Jam Press)

“I’m also worried about their emotional well-being because of the stress of being on top of each other in this tiny space.

“I have to try and keep it all together in front of my children so that they’re happy and safe – but it’s becoming unbearable.”

Kayleigh claimed that as her children are getting older and are in desperate need for their own privacy, fighting and arguing happens daily out of frustration.

Currently, all four of her children are sharing one bedroom and the upset has caused her son, Kayden, who has autism, to lash out and punch holes in the wall.

She said: “It’s made me feel very frustrated, isolated and alone.

Mould damaged flooring in Kayleigh's home (Jam Press)

“I’m scared he will seriously hurt himself or others around him – it would be a tragic situation if this was to happen.

“He’s started to wet the bed again and I think this has a lot to do with the stress of our living setup.

“I can’t work anymore due to his needs and I know that if he had space to run around in, this would help him and I’d be able to get back to work.”

Kayleigh claims she initially contacted the housing association, PA Housing, in October 2020 for new accommodation and hoped to be placed on the priority list.

Kayleigh's autistic son punched a hole in the wall during a fit of anger (Jam Press)

But she’s allegedly been repeatedly told her only option is to continue bidding on other available properties for the foreseeable – suitable or not.

Now, she’s sharing her ordeal in a bid to raise awareness and says the situation is affecting her parenting.

Kayleigh added: “I can’t take the frustration away from my children and I feel like such a failure.

“I can’t fix the situation we’re in and it makes me feel sad knowing the only option we have causes my son to hurt himself to release the stress.

Kayleigh is scared the mould is having an impact on her children's health (Jam Press)

“It’s been so difficult for me to be a good mum and my family needs a healthy space, where they don’t have to breathe in mould.

“They need privacy and the room to relax after school without being on top of each other.

“My children shouldn’t all be crammed into a bedroom with two sets of bunk beds, especially my older sons with their sisters.

“It’s left us feeling isolated and like no one cares about us.”

The mould is spreading across the home, including the bath (Jam Press)

Ian Watts, Executive Director of Customer Services at PA Housing, said: “We’re sorry that Kayleigh and her family are living in a home that is now too small for them and that they have had issues with damp and mould.

“Our first priority is to treat any mould as quickly as possible. Our contractor completed this treatment earlier in March.

“We apologise that it wasn’t done more quickly.

“Our surveyor has also carried out an inspection and further work to improve ventilation has been completed to help eliminate the mould.

Kayleigh's home has had work done to get rid of the mould, but it's quickly returning (Jam Press)

“A new extractor fan was fitted to Kayleigh’s bathroom and the kitchen fan was also overhauled.

“We had hoped these measures would improve the family’s situation, but are contacting Kayleigh to see what else we can do to help.

“In addition, we are also working with the family to support a move to a larger more suitable home.

“They are on PA Housing’s transfer register, but very few larger family homes become available in Kingston upon Thames.

“We understand how frustrating this must be and so our home moves team have also provided information on alternative options including mutual exchange."

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