An elderly woman has been sleeping on her sofa for two years to escape a major mould infestation in the bedroom of her council flat.

Anne Hudgell has lived in her council flat in Oak Hill Court, Highams Park, for 15 years; for last four years she has been battling a mould infestation and feels the council has let her down.

The 64-year-old says she first reported the issue to Waltham Forest Council four years ago. However, she says she was only first visited by a council officer to survey the issue at the beginning of 2018.

She says the officer's response was to have a workman bleach and paint over the mould, which has since returned and worsened.

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Anne's bedroom is covered in mould. Photo: Lewis Berrill

Anne is at her wit’s end over the issue and cannot afford to take any more days off work – which she has to take as holiday – to deal with the mould and wants the council to treat the causes of the mould rather than paint over the symptoms.

“I don’t know what to do. Everything in my room is ruined and I have been sleeping on the sofa in my living room for two years”, she said.

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Her windows and walls are the worst affected areas. Photo: Lewis Berrill

“My back is hurting and I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m just totally tired.

“Sometimes, you just want to go into your bedroom, dry your hair, do your nails and just relax and watch your programmes in your own space but I can’t do that right now.”

Anne also believes the mould has been causing her health issues.

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The issue is causing wallpaper to rot. Photo: Lewis Berrill

Last year she had an operation to drain her sinuses and remove Nasal polyps, which can be caused by mould exposure.

Anne said: “My doctor says we might have to do the same operation again and that it may be linked to all this damp and mould.

“But the operation was just so dreadful, and I cannot bear to do it again.”

A Council spokesperson said: “When treating areas of mould on walls and ceilings our contractors always use an approved anti fungicidal solution before we repaint.  

"One of our surveyors will visit the resident again to investigate what further action we can take to deal with the mould and advise on how best to avoid any recurrence, with measures such as ensuring the room where the mould occurs is regularly ventilated.”

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Anne hopes the issue can be solved so she can return to her bedroom. Photo: Lewis Berrill

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