High Street home is a dampener for Rachael

One-year-old Jayden Aitken is oblivious to the problem that mum Rachel Cameron spends most of her week trying to wash away.

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An Oban mum has come to the end of her tether and fears the damp problem in her High Street flat is beginning to threaten the health of her one-year-old son.

Mould and damp around the windows at the High Street residence.

Rachael Cameron has lived in the two-bedroom West Highland Housing Association property for just over a year and claims that in that time her life has been blighted by mould and damp caused by poor insulation and rotten window frames.

She says that her bedroom, the living room and the kitchen of the property are the worst, while son Jayden’s room is only habitable due to a continuous cleaning regime and constant heating which she can barely afford.

‘It has been an absolute nightmare,’ said the part-time care worker.

‘It’s not just me, the whole block and surrounding flats are affected. I’m constantly having to clean and spend around £100 per week on heating which still doesn’t solve the problem.

‘Jayden is forever coming down with viral infections and has a continuous cough. I even went to get him tested for Covid, just in case, but it wasn’t that. I’m convinced the damp in the house is causing it.’

Rachael says she has contacted the housing association six times over the last year but despite having had a visit from a housing officer has been offered no solution to the problem.

‘I have now cut my washing to once or twice a week and use a dryer, so they can’t blame the damp and mould on me. Doing this adds to an electricity bill that is already sky high because I have to have every heater in the house on, with most of the heat escaping through poor windows with rotten wooden frames,’ she added.

Rachael’s mouldy jacket.

‘I had a bag and a jacket in the wardrobe that got mouldy due to the damp and I was told that it would wash.

‘Everyone in our block is having similar problems with damp and I, for one, am at the end of my tether. I just want out of here now.’

West Highland Housing Association Chief Executive Lesley McInnes told the Oban Times that she had discussed the issues with her team and that they were open to discussions with tenants who are waiting on work to be carried out.

‘We very much appreciate that our tenants have had difficulties with the property, particularly around the window area,’ she said.

‘We have plans to replace windows over the next year which will make a difference and improve the overall energy efficiency of the property.

‘There has been some delay due to the restrictions. However we appreciate that our tenants have waited some time and we will discuss with them around what we can do to help whilst they are awaiting the work.’