One family in Sydney claims it is now practically homeless due to being forced from their property by government mould growth.
Marats Aminovs moved into Ermington, north-west Sydney five years ago with his wife Mila as well as their six-year old girl Alisa.
Aminovs stated after six months that he and his family began to fall ill.
He stated that it was the first recurring respiratory infection such as bronchitis, which they all had experienced multiple times.
“Then, my child and mine both developed asthma. I have had to use many oral medications for my daughter’s asthma. I have never had to deal with such difficulties in my life.
“On one occasion my spouse was very short on air. We had to call an ambulance as she couldn’t breathe. “We couldn’t comprehend the situation.”
According to Mr Aminovs the symptoms got worse over time.
My wife developed severe migraines and began having frequent headaches. She would have to lay down for days and take painkillers to relieve the pain.
The entire family was diagnosed by their doctor with Chronic Inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) earlier in the year. This is also known to be toxic mold syndrome.
The controversial condition was brought up during a bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into biotoxins-related diseases last year.
While the family was just now starting to see the serious effects of moldy homes on their health and well-being, they have been trying for many years to get the Department of Communities and Justice to address the problem, Mr Aminovs stated.
The walls and ceilings were stained with mold when the family hired a professional to inspect the house. He stated that the inspection was completed in 2016.
“He said that there was too much mold growth. It was evident. “All of our house was black at that time,” Mr Aminovs explained.
According to the building report, the subfloor was contaminated with Aspergillus. It took significant remediation to make the house habitable.
The Department of Justice and Communities provided two properties for the family to live in at first, but both were mould-damaged, according Mr Aminovs.
The family could not find a solution, so they decided to remove the mold themselves.
“We bleached all of the walls of the house. We discovered later that this was not the right way to go. We had to clean it. He stated that we had done a job of masking to make it appear clean.
“Now, when housing officials arrive, they look at it and say that they can only see small amounts of mold and can clean it. They say that they can only imagine the problem.
“But, there is still a subfloor that is saturated by aspergillus. The problem persists even if we clean the ceilings and walls inside.
Nine.com.au was informed by a spokesperson from the Department of Communities and Justice, that extensive repairs were made to the property in 2018.
“The Department of Communities and Justice made extensive repairs to this property to prevent and eliminate mould. According to the statement ventilation was installed under the floor, drainage problems were corrected and mold was cleaned.
The department also stated that two additional properties were offered to the family.
“We offered alternative accommodation to the client four times more.” These offers were rejected and the properties were accepted for use by other families,” stated the statement.
Mr Aminovs said that mold had also been found in the properties. He and his wife had taken photos of the area to show it.
Nine.com.au reviewed a June report from an architect who found that high levels of lead were still present in the home, despite all the 2018 work.
After the inspection, the home was declared uninhabitable.
Mark Donohoe wrote a July letter to the family, informing them that the house was in an unhabitable state and that mold had been a contributing factor to the family’s ongoing illness.
The letter warned the family that they could be subject to chronic illness and permanent respiratory damage if they continue to live in the house. They may not be able to recover.
According to Mr Aminovs his family moved out from their Ermington home in June, despite not having any new housing.
He stated that “We could not remain in this location because our health has been so damaged.”
According to Mr Aminovs he was sleeping on a friend’s couch while he stayed at his mother’s cramped aged care accommodation. His wife and daughter were staying with him.
“This has been so stressful. He stated, “We don’t have any other place to go.”
Mr Aminovs said that he felt compelled to share his story in order to highlight the harmful effects of mould and the inability for people with chronic conditions to find housing.