THURROCK’S housing portfolio holder says the council is leading the country in tackling damp and mould in its homes, targeting £2 million at the issue.
Cllr Val Morris-Cook said: “There’s been a long-standing neglect of council homes – not just in Thurrock, but across the country – but we’re the first council to actually grasp the nettle and act.
“Because we have said we want to rid all of our homes of damp and mould and because we are investing millions over five years to ensure every one of the council’s houses and flats is top quality, we have raised expectations among our tenants.
“We expect better and they expect better – and so they tell us it shows we’re doing something.
“I’d particularly like to thank Deirdrie Lodge. Her campaigning has highlighted this issue and how prevalent the problem is in the council’s homes.”
Cllr Morris-Cook said 979 tenants had reported either a damp, a mould, or a damp and mould issue in the current financial year, just under ten per cent of the total housing stock, with the most affected homes in Tilbury, South Ockendon and Grays.
She said: “We have dedicated £2 million to tackling damp and mould and so far this year we’ve spent £305,000 of that money, including full remedial works to 56 homes.
“But there are many causes of damp and mould – ranging from structural issues and defects to poor ventilation – and each needs a different solution.
“This means work has to be done to identify the problem before remedial work can even start and we have already carried out around 200 damp surveys and more are on the way.”