Single mother of three pleads to A Current Affair for The Department of Public Housing to fix the black mould issue with her home

27 August 2020
Lauren Golman - A Current Affair
Single mum Anesia thought she hit the jackpot when public housing gave her this three-bedroom home but it's been nothing but a nightmare since she moved there.

Single mother of three pleads to A Current Affair for The Department of Public Housing to fix the black mould issue with her home.

What does this mean? Not only would this make the public lose its trust in The Department of Land and Housing. But they also run the risk of legal action taken against them as well.  

If this case was taken to court The Department of Land and Housing would have to provide documents proving they were not negligent, and that the property was well maintained. They would also need to provide evidence that proves they followed and kept up to date with work health and safety legislation.

As you can see in the video, ACA bring in their own experts to assess the risks and integrity of the house, which builds a better case for the occupier if it were to go to court.

This could have been avoided had The Department of Land and Housing brought in their own experts, conducted work health and safety checks, and effectively placed control measures to meet legal responsibilities of property agent laws and before anyone was able to move into the home.

Transcript below

Lauren Golman Reporting – A Current Affair

Single mum Anesia was so happy to finally get the perfect family home, but little did she know that it had a dangerous mould problem.

"It had a heck of a lot of bacteria" - Vince Neil

"Nothing but a nightmare since I moved here" - Anesia

"As you can see there is a lot of water damage and it's cracking some of the ply(wood)" -Bret Rab's plumbing

Single mum Anesia thought she hit the jackpot when public housing gave her this three-bedroom home. It meant she and her young daughters Anina and Yasmina no longer had to share a bedroom.

"And I thought well, what a good place! too good to be true." -Anesia

And it was

"(it's) spreading everywhere, black mould there but the real problem starts upstairs in the bathroom" -Anesia

“Anesia walking up the stairs, I can smell the mould " -Lauren Golman

"you can actually, this smell is everyday" -Anesia

Peel back the carpet and you will find mushrooms, mould and bacteria growing under this forever damp carpet, which leads to the children’s bedrooms.

"You actually have to supervise the girls when they are in the shower because it's so dangerous" -Lauren Golman

"Yes, she started picking the mushrooms and playing with them and she had all these rashes on her body and I took her to the doctors they said that’s from touching mushrooms and all that black fungus there" -Anesia

And Anesia says the department hasn't fixed the problem.

"girls don't touch this it's actually really bad for you" -Anesia

"ok mum" - Anina and Yasmina

"They say I get this beautiful shower head here and then I’m squirting apparently water onto my carpets. Give it three days it'll (Mushrooms) start growing again so I'm picking (Mushrooms) it with gloves and I'm cleaning all the mould all with the black stuff going everywhere" -Anesia

Anesia has now hit breaking point.

"My daughters keep saying, why can't we get this place fixed? why mum? why? why can't it be a normal home for us? -Anesia

Anesia and her daughters moved into this home over a year and a half ago, a month after moving in Anesia noticed that water was coming through the ceiling, she called the department for help, four months later she says they finally agreed to fix the issue. But it seems that repairs weren’t enough.

We called in our friends at Rab's plumbing for advice.

"I think it's a waterproofing issue, as you can see it's actually coming through from the shower and it's making it through to the carpet area" -Bret Rab's plumbing

Bret's been a plumber for 18 years and says this is some of the worst damage he's ever seen.

"It hasn't been a proper job, technically if someone has come into do this job it should have been done right in the first place and you wouldn’t have this problem and (the carpet) it is actually quite wet" -Bret Rab's plumbing

"what do I do? what’s next? what can I do? who can help me?" -Anesia

"were actually looking to see how much moisture went down into the floor hence I have a prob going all the way through, We also found that we while had moisture in front of the bathroom there the particle board had started to break down it was very easy to get the probe into which means it's lost its structural integrity" -Vince Neil

Vince Neil is a forensic microbial investigator he says the damage can detrimental to the family’s health.

"Chemicals produced by the mould and bacteria are effecting the girls" -Vince Neil

"Would you live here?" - Lauren Golman

"It would be a heck of a lot of bacteria, bacteria is actually more toxic than mould so no I probably wouldn’t live here" -Vince Neil

"They left me with no choice! but to ask for you(se) guys for help and this is what I'm doing" -Anesia

The Department of Land and Housing had agreed to send a maintenance officer to the property we will let you know the outcome. -A Current Affair