Council Mould campaign gathers pace with action plan
Date posted: 28-08-2012
THURROCK Council’s pilot scheme to tackle dampness and mould is now well underway.
The pilot scheme has brought together both housing and public health officials for the first time in the borough to look at the problems caused by damp in houses.
The pilot focuses on the Flowers Estate in South Ockendon and some specific areas in Belhus and cuts across all housing tenures aims to develop solutions to control the problem which will then be rolled out across the whole borough.
The bases of the pilot is to remove all signs of mould growth, treat any damp and service all heat recovery units in the pilot area before the end of September. This will then be followed up by a visit to every family in the pilot area from November onwards when damp and mould would have returned if the solutions and heat recovery units put in place are not working.
The council will carry out a full survey to see if the damp has returned and complete a comprehensive questionnaire which will look at any health issues such as asthma or allergies. The purpose of this questionnaire will be to investigate the whole living environment, and see if a range of factors as well as damp could be affecting the general health of residents.
The hope is that where the heat recovery system is working and tenants have been able to use them, dampness and all its associated problems will be reduced. However it is also clear that keeping homes dry and warm and in good condition is a complicated business and some structural problems are also emerging through these visits.
Cllr Val Morris-Cook, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Thurrock Council said “We are the first local authority to be running a pilot scheme to combat damp and mould, and already it is highly reassuring to see we are making some headway, thanks to the sterling effort of some of our residents. As this scheme progresses, I am sure we will continue to uncover more information that will help us find a way to understand and resolve this problem”
The council will be holding another drop-in event at the Flowers Estate on the 21 September 2012 and all residents are welcome to attend by contacting their local housing office in South Ockendon.
The Housing Private sector team will also be running a forum on 10 October 2012 for accredited private landlords to give them advice and information and offer them an incentive grant of up to £1000 towards the cost of installing a heat recovery system in one of their properties.