A South London mum, her partner and two kids are stuck in a mouldy one-bed flat and may have to wait 10 years for a better home.

Councillor Ross Garrod visited Bushey Court on Friday (January 13) in Raynes Park with representatives from Clarion, the housing association which owns the social homes on the estate.

Wimbledon Times: Ross GarrodRoss Garrod

The BBC Local Democracy Reporting Service also attended the visit

Many that answered the door to Cllr Garrod said they had no complaints and liked living on the Raynes Park estate.

But on the final door knock of the day, the group met Lili Castro, who has lived there since 2007.

“I have many concerns” said the 41-year-old as she opened the door.

The one-bedroom flat is plagued by mould in the bedroom she shares with her partner and two children, aged five and seven.

Wimbledon Times: The mould at the flatThe mould at the flat

It gets so bad she has to clean and repaint the walls every three months.

On the day we visit, there are signs of the mould returning, despite the mum redecorating just a month ago.

Pictures from before the redecoration show black mould and beads of water collecting on the walls of the flat.

The medical secretary said: “They always say they are going to do things but they don’t.

"The mould comes halfway up the wall but I remove it and paint it every three or four months.”

In 2021 she opened a legal disrepair case against Clarion and claims she then started getting responses from the housing association,

Lili said: “The legal case has given me more responses. I don’t care about compensation as long as the wall gets fixed. 

"When I received the letter about the leader coming I thought this is my opportunity for at least someone to hear me out.”

The mum-of-two worries about the health of her children and was shaken by the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, who died from a respiratory condition caused by exposure to mould at his Rochdale home, an inquest found last month.

She said both of her children are up at night coughing and regularly get ill.

Lili claimed: “I’ve been living like this for so long. I am very grateful that we haven’t developed anything sinister.

“My little one always with a running nose no matter how much I give him medicine, I think it could be the damp.

“I actually got a visit from Clarion and a surveyor told me it was my fault, told me I cook here and dry my clothes.”

On the day, Clarion staff promised Lili they would check on the progress of the case and be in touch the following week.

Cllr Garrod said he decided to do weekly estate visits after shocking conditions were exposed at the Eastfields Estate in Mitcham, also run by Clarion.

He said: “Because we saw the issues around Eastfields Estate, I wanted to be out and visible on the ground to have information coming back from different channels rather than just data.”

He added there are a number of residents who feel frustrated that there are recurring issues.

He said in the wake of Awaab Ishak’s inquest, the council has written to all housing associations in the borough to ask what their plans are to address mould and damp.

On the visit to Bushey Court, the leader heard one resident complain about items, including a fridge freezer and a tv communal storage area blocking fire exits, despite Clarion saying it would remove them four months ago.

A Clarion spokesperson said: “Ms Castro’s household desperately needs to move to a larger property and we are working with the local authority to support her with this.

"In the meantime, we are carrying out some preventative work in the home to stop the mould reoccurring and have already carried out a number of interim measures in an attempt to alleviate the issue, including a mould wash and a survey to facilitate the upcoming installation of new fans.

“We take every case of condensation, damp and mould in our homes very seriously and have recently announced our action plan, including hiring 100 additional new staff, to help tackle the problem.”