A Devonport family claims black mould that builders found spread in three rooms of their house could have been prevented if Housing Tasmania had responded to repeated calls for repairs over six years.
The mould had spread to such an extent under carpet, lino and behind walls that builders have been unable to carry out repairs without putting a tent over the property and using protective clothing and masks.
One of the family's children suffers chronic asthma with bronchial coughs, sneezing fits and regular nose bleeds, while a second child has started demonstrating similar symptoms.
Mother Emma Randall said they reported a hole in the bathroom lino to Housing Tasmania six years ago, but it was not attended to until last month despite repeated calls.
When builders inspected the problem they found black mould behind the shower, lino and plaster board throughout several rooms, including a child's bedroom.
Ms Randall said it could have been prevented if Housing Tasmania had taken their concerns seriously.
"We have been living in it like this for six years because they didn't maintain the property," she said.
"Builders have told me that they aren't even allowed on the site.
"When they started pulling it apart, they basically said the entire house had to be pulled down."
They were offered temporary accommodation at a motel in Devonport, but with six children from ages four to 17 and her partner it was not considered a realistic option, so the family was still living in the three bedroom house.
"They rang me at 4.30 yesterday and said they can put us in (a motel) - my partner and six kids - temporarily for us to have showers," Ms Randall said.
"So we are stuck in a Housing house that's full of mould, that's a health risk and danger to my children with no bathroom until I don't know when."
The Department of Health and Human Services website states mould can cause coughs and sneezing, and allergic reactions in asthma and hayfever sufferers.
A department spokesperson disputed the Randalls' claim, and stated the bathroom repairs "were first reported on 4 February, 2019", and work scheduled for two weeks later was postponed due to a "communication breakdown".
The spokesperson said work could not begin until the family had relocated, and they would "continue to negotiate" a suitable relocation. They described the motel offer as "suitable alternative accommodation" which had been refused by the family.
Speaker Sue Hickey has called for a parliamentary inquiry into public housing in Tasmania.
Do you have serious maintenance issues with a public housing property in Tasmania? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org