Single mum, 20, claims child became 'very ill' from mould in Arnold housing association flat

By Jake Brigstock

A single-mum-of-two claims she and her first child were left 'very ill' because of mould in their property provided by a housing association.

Alana Norman, 20, lived in a two bedroom flat on Bond Street in Arnold and was part of the Mother and Baby Unit. The accommodation was provided by Framework, and says she paid £1,200 per month for the property.

Framework have since said they addressed Ms Norman's concerns within two weeks of being notified and did not receive any further correspondence.

Ms Norman had moved into the flat in July 2018 after applying through Framework for accommodation as she was a single mother at 15 and still lived with her own mother and two siblings.

Ms Norman says she and her mother did not get on and that her and her first child were cramped together in one room, which is why they wanted to move.

And after being excited to get her own place, Alana said she had an 'awful experience' and 'within a month of living there, wanted to move out'.

Mould around one of the windows in Alana's old flat (Alana Norman)

She said: "The whole time I lived there, there was a lot of mould - I raised this on a number of occasions and some damp traps were brought round, and that was it.

"The mould made me and my first child very ill - I was pregnant and had my second child towards the end of living there too.

"My first daughter was one-and-a-half-years-old when we moved in, and some of the sentimental stuff has been ruined by the mould, I have nothing left of her being a baby.

"All the bedroom furniture had mould on it, so I got rid of it to be told I was in breach of tenancy as I was told the furniture could have gone somewhere else."

Alana's close friend Saskia King, 20, who also lived in the same block of Bond Street flats at the same time as Alana, said she saw Alana and her baby become ill due to the mould. However, Ms Norman did not seek medical advice from a doctor about the issue and has no certification about the illness she described.

Mould and damp on the underside of Alana's bed (Alana Norman)

Alana and her family moved out in March 2021 and now live in Carlton.

But while still living on Bond Street, Alana says she raised concerns of others in her block of flats.

She said: "I raised some issues of neglect multiple times - a child was left in the flat multiple times while her mother went out to smoke weed.

"You could hear the child screaming and nothing was done about it, one of my friends raised concerns too.

"I reported it multiple times and was reported for being malicious - I wrote it down every time it would happen and there are cameras all over the building."

Mould on the bed itself (Alana Norman)

Dave Newmarch, Framework's Corporate Services Director, said: "Alana made us aware of damp and mould in her bathroom early in January 2020.

"We responded, undertook treatment, and completed the work within a fortnight - well within our timescales for such work.

"We have no record of any further correspondence relating to this.

"We take all safeguarding reports seriously and are confident that any matter that was raised such as the one described would have been addressed at the time."

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