A Launceston mother says she has no choice but to move into a suspected mould-infested public housing property in the northern suburbs with her young child after spending over a year on the housing priority list.
Azra Beach lived in a caravan park in Hadspen for three months earlier this year and feared she would be left homeless unless emergency accommodation could be found.
She was offered a house in the northern suburbs last week, but mould was apparent on exposed wooden floorboards near a hot water unit, on kitchen fittings, on windowsills, near the corner of lino in the laundry and on the underside of an external ceiling.
Despite the apparent damage, Ms Beach moved into the house this week.
While grateful to have somewhere to live, she said she feared for the health of her young child and believed it was irresponsible for public housing to be left in this state for tenants.
"I accept that there are public housing tenants that leave properties in a poor state, but if the people leasing out these properties don't treat the houses with respect, then how can they expect the tenants to?" Ms Beach said.
"I raised concerns about the mould and I was assured the property - while having an issue with mould - had been treated and the outside had also been recently pressure cleaned.
"You can clearly see that, no, the property has not been pressure cleaned, so how can I believe that the property has even been treated?
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"Just because we're desperate it doesn't mean we deserve to live in a property that didn't even get cleaned properly."
Ms Beach attempted to clean the house while it was vacant, but found the mould impossible to remove. The walls throughout the house appeared to be freshly painted.
The Examiner spoke to other residents in the street, including a mother in a private rental who said her house also had mould issues, and she was told to open a window and clean it with a cloth. An elderly woman was also living in a public housing property affected by mould.
Black mould is widely known to cause respiratory problems, particularly young children and the elderly.
Community Housing manages the property on behalf of Housing Tasmania.
Community Housing Tasmanian state manager Oscar Norton said mould had developed in the property due to previous tenants' "cleanliness and hoarding" and they had only moved out two weeks earlier.
He said the property was offered because Ms Beach required urgent accommodation, and he believed the property was "safe, clean and habitable".
"The mould indicated in the photos supplied suggests surface mould only and does not suggest any such of an infestation. However our contractor is currently assessing the issue and will remedy as required," Mr Norton said.
A contractor will visit the property within 36 hours for "prompt mediation works".