The finger is being pointed at the government over families being forced to live in a unit block with leaking sewerage and filthy mould infestations.
One family living in the government-owned accommodation in Sydney had no option but to unplug a light in their bathroom and shower with a torch for three years due to the severity of their mould problem, Nine News reported.
Another family in the unit block had exacerbated health conditions in their children, one suffering terrible asthma and another experiencing vomiting and nose bleeds.
A mother told the news program there were no other symptoms other than having showered that brought on her child’s sudden illness.
She said she had spent $500 on dehumidifiers and charcoal pouches in an effort to reduce the effect the mould was having, but couldn’t put up with it anymore.
“I just can’t live like this and being sick all the time,” the woman said.
Sewage had also been spilling onto the footpath outside the home for years - an issue the housing department website says should be fixed within a day.
According to NSW tenancy rights, landlords - in this case the state government - are “obliged” to fix problems relating to mould.
Mark Byrne from the Department of Housing conceded the system had failed in this particular circumstance.
“This matter will obviously come under review to see where these standard operating procedures have failed us,” he said.
Dr Danielle McMullen, Australian Medical Association vice president, said it was “certainly dangerous” to be living in a home with a heavy mould infestation.
State government representatives and workers reportedly visited the problem unit block on Wednesday to address the mould issue and set about having it fixed.
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