Tips for Dealing with Damp and Mould

What is mould?

Mould is a type of fungus that grows in damp places. If you’ve got mould at home, you’ll probably notice fuzzy black, white or green patches on the walls, ceilings or tiles. It might smell damp and musty.

Mould is more common in homes which need repairs like window frames fixed, or leaks sorted out. You might notice it’s more damp and mouldy in bathrooms or kitchens because of condensation from washing and cooking.

Why damp and mould are a problem for asthma

Living in a damp, mouldy home is not good for asthma. Babies, small children, older people, and people with allergies are more likely to be affected.

Mould produces spores which can be breathed in. If you’re allergic to mould spores you might have symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sneezing or watery eyes. And it could trigger your asthma symptoms.

Damp and mouldy housing can put you more at risk of other things that can make asthma worse like chest infections, colds and flu, and rhinitis.

What to do if you’ve got damp and mould at home

If you think your home is damp, or you’ve noticed mould, it’s best to act quickly to sort out the problem before it gets worse.

You need to:

  • Deal with the damp – find out what’s causing the damp, such as leaks, or condensation from cooking, showering or drying clothes indoors.
  • Deal with the mould – don’t try and get rid of any mould by yourself if it triggers asthma – ask a friend to help. And always get a mould removal specialist or builder in if the mould covers more than a square metre, or if it’s caused by problems with the building itself, or sewage.
  • Report any repairs or leaks, or problems with mould to your landlord

5 Top tips to prevent damp and mould at home

1.  Open windows and doors so air can move around.

2. Try to avoid drying clothes indoors. If you have nowhere else to dry them, open a window if you can.

3. Use extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom or open a window when cooking or after a shower.

4. Close the door of the room you’re in if you’re cooking or showering – to prevent condensation in other rooms

5. Try to keep your home at a good background temperature so it never gets too cold – at least 15 degrees in all rooms.

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Heat Well Angus – Fuel Vouchers still available

In partnership with SCARF we recently launched the Heat Well Angus Fuel Voucher Scheme, and there are still vouchers available to help with the cost of rising fuel prices.

With the recent rise in fuel prices and increased costs of living, many of us face a real financial challenge to maintain an acceptable level of affordable warmth in our homes.

SCARF– in partnership with Angus Council – has secured Scottish Welfare Fund backing to provide fuel vouchers to Angus residents whose household income has been adversely affected by Covid-19.

Access to vouchers is strictly subject to eligibility criteria and assessment. A limited number of vouchers will be made available until all funding has been distributed.

For further details, visit the SCARF website and to apply for Fuel Voucher, complete the Heat Well Angus online form.

Please be aware that you will be asked to provide details about yourself, your household, your property and your energy supplier, so you will need to have these readily available for application.

Please note that if your application is successful, you will be notified by email. Please check your spam/junk inbox as there may be instances where it lands there. Once you have received notification of a successful application it may take up to 10 days for the payment to reach your energy supplier account.

To find out about other financial support that may be available to you, please call Home Energy Scotland at SCARF on freephone 0808 808 2282

Mediation and Conflict Resolution Service

Not getting on with your parents, partner, or family members? Then, our family Mediation and Conflict Resolution service may be able to help.

The service is a partnership between us and Relationships Scotland, who can provide a range of support to people to prevent a relationship breaking down. Even if leaving the family home isn’t preventable, the service can help support a planned move to other accommodation. The service can also work with people to help to rebuild relationships with family members, which may help them to return home.

The service will work with you and your family, to make practical, workable arrangements for the future, which everyone can agree. It will treat you with respect, go at your pace, and keep things confidential. They’ll take into account the views, needs and feelings of everyone involved; including you.

Whether it’s you or someone you care about who’s struggling with conflict in their family, please get in touch. People can self-refer using the Mediation and Conflict Resolution service website.

The service can support anyone in Angus, regardless of whether you live in an Angus Council tenancy or not.

Who Cares? Scotland Helpline

The Who Cares? Scotland Helpline is open to all Care Experienced people across Scotland, of any age – whether currently in care or having left care.

 The line (0330 107 7540) is open Monday to Friday from 12-4pm, and they can also be contacted by email on help@whocaresscotland.org.

 They can provide a range of support to care experienced people, including:

• Support and signposting around finances, benefits, housing, health, employment, education, and rights

• Lifelong advocacy

• A listening ear

• Referral route into local advocacy if the caller is a young person

Working with Families to Stop Homelessness

Today we launched a new Mediation & Conflict Resolution Service in partnership with Relationships Scotland.

One of the five strategic priorities agreed for our Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan is to increase the focus on prevention to stop homelessness in the first place. Relationship breakdown continues to be the most common reason for homeless applications in Angus, supporting the need for an introduction of mediation or conflict resolution intervention.

Relationships Scotland (Family Mediation Tayside & Fife) will deliver the mediation and conflict resolution service in Angus. The key anticipated outcomes of the service are:

Families, young people and individuals will resolve conflict to allow the family to remain together in the family home, where it is safe and agreed to do so.

Where a move is agreed, the family or individual will improve communication and enhance relationships with family members to ensure that the move can be completed in a planned and supported way. Individuals/family members will have increased access to further support from other services in Angus, both in house and externally to further minimise the risk of homelessness.

The family mediation and conflict resolution service will be able to accept referrals from a wide range of agencies and also accept self-referrals. If you feel that you and your family would benefit from the mediation and conflict resolution service, then please get in touch using this form.

After referral, Relationships Scotland will contact the family, couple or individual who has been referred and will arrange to start the mediation process.

Mediators main roles will be:

  • Being responsible for the assessment and provision of an impartial mediation service to help people avoid irretrievable family breakdown by working with family members to resolve difficult issues and to establish mutually agreed courses of action.
  • To make use of a range of approaches including individual and family group work, to assist families to communicate better with one another and to manage the conflict that can cause distress in the family.
  • To work with people who may be already homeless, to find solutions for re-establishing positive contact with their families.

As well as providing a mediation service, Relationships Scotland will also have a Family Support Worker working in the project. The support worker will actively engage with each referred family to explore any additional support needed. Ongoing meetings will be arranged as appropriate to the family’s circumstances.

The Support Worker will also support the family outside of mediation and will follow up matters after the mediation has finished.

For more information, download the project flyer below.

Have Your Say on our Domestic Abuse Policy

We are taking action to support people experiencing domestic abuse and would like to hear your views on the new policy we plan to introduce.

The policy has been drafted based on the recommendations from research completed by Women’s Aid, the CIH Domestic Abuse Guidance for Social Landlords and following discussions with key stakeholders.

You can view the draft policy here.

Have Your Say

Have your say on the policy by:

  • Completing our online survey
  • Emailing us at HousingPP@angus.gov.uk

The consultation will close on 17 August 2020.

For more details visit the Domestic Abuse Policy Consultation website.

Letter to social housing tenants from the Minister for Local Government Housing and Planning

Scotland’s Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, Kevin Stewart, has written an open letter to social housing residents to provide information and advice on Scotland’s Route Map for moving out of the coronavirus crisis.

If you are our tenant, or the tenant of a housing association or housing co-operative, please take a moment to read the letter from the Minister.

Housing Repairs – update

In our post on Wednesday 24 June, we said we were looking at how we can deliver a full repairs service within the appropriate COVID-19 guidance. We intend to restart all types of repairs from Monday 20 July 2020. Until this time we will continue to do emergency repairs only.

As a result of the lockdown, there is a backlog of repairs so initially no calls will be taken for new repairs. A full service accepting new repair calls will start on Monday 10 August 2020.

If you currently have an incomplete repair logged your housing officer will contact you within the next week to review the status of this.

As your safety continues to be our priority, we are developing a tenant-specific Health and Safety risk assessment for any works to be carried out in your home.

If you have registered to take part in tenant participation consultations, we will contact you and give you the opportunity to engage in this exercise. There will be more information on this in next week’s post.

Our Housing Spokesperson, Councillor Craig Fotheringham said:

We want to thank everyone for their continued support and understanding. We will continue to provide weekly updates on the repairs restart and  we hope that our customers can work with us  to help us deliver a safe and efficient service.

Housing Repairs – COVID 19 Update

National restrictions and guidelines introduced as part of the necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we could only carry out emergency repairs inside tenants’ homes. We also suspended the Right to Repair.

This was to ensure the safety of tenants, staff, contractors and the wider public. We know it has been a difficult time for all and would like to thank everyone for their patience.

Scottish Government announced the move to Phase 2 of their Route Map out of lockdown on the 18 June, signalling the start of restrictions easing.

We want to restart the repairs service as soon as we possibly can and will advise when we are able to do this. For now, we continue to do emergency repairs only.

We are looking at how we can deliver routine external repairs within current guidance and hope to start these shortly. You may see our staff carrying out Estate inspections as part of this process.

We are also considering which routine repairs can be delivered safely in tenants’ homes as we move through Phase 2 and into Phase 3 of the Government’s routemap.

For this to be possible, we must consider the views of our contractors. We will also listen to tenant views about whether they would be happy for maintenance activities to be carried out. If tenants report repairs to us, we will assume we have permission for our contractor to carry it out, if they can.

Thank you for your understanding while we review the repairs service. We will post weekly updates here and on our News website.

      Please be assured that tenant safety remains our priority.