A family has spoken of their health fears of living in ‘mould-stricken’ council flat in Reading amid their plea to move out of the ‘overcrowded’ home.

Dorcas Boateng, 38, and Dan Boateng, 37, live in a two-bedroom home in Newcastle Road with their four sons and a daughter.

The couple have lived in Reading for 12 years, yet their attempts to move into bigger accommodation has reportedly so far failed.

At the moment, the married couple sleep in one room with their 10-month-old daughter. The boys aged  13, 12, 10 and six all share the other bedroom.

Furthermore, the rooms the boys sleep in is allegedly ‘stricken with mould’, as can be seen in photos shared by Mr Boateng.

Mrs Boateng said: “Four of them are sleeping in the room, it’s making it a dump.

“I’ve complained to Reading Borough Council for a very long time but nothing has been done.

“They said keep on bidding and nothing happened.”

The couple fear for the health of their sons, particularly after it emerged living with black mould can have fatal consequences.

Last year, an inquest found little boy Awaab Ishak died in 2020, eight days after his second birthday, as a direct result of black mould in the flat he lived at in Rochdale.

Mrs Boateng said: “When I heard about the child dying I got worried. It’s a health hazard.”

She continued: “We’ve been here for 12 years, when we arrived we only had two children.

“We’ve been waiting to move since we had our fourth child, that was seven years ago.

“The room is not big enough. If it were a double room it may be big enough but it’s a single.

“The room the boys are sleeping in has no space in there.

“I hope that we can get a place to move, that’s my dream, that’s all I’m hoping for.

“I don’t mind a three-bedroom, that would be much better than what we have now.”

Councillor David McElroy (Green, Redlands) has been working with the Boateng family to raise the issue with the council.

Cllr McElroy said: “This breaks my heart. How can we let this sort of thing keep happening? I thought we were meant to be a rich country. We cannot keep voting for tax avoidance, economic incompetence and sleaze. The rampant inequality is crushing us.

“The family has to stay in a two-bedroom flat because a three-bedroom property is considered too small is just weird and depressing.  RBC needs to sort itself out. And at least stick to their pathetically-low affordable housing targets instead of abandoning local families in favour of developer profits.”

Confronted with the comments, a Reading Borough Council spokesperson said: “The mould issue raised by the tenant has been referred to our damp and mould team who have been in touch with the tenant and visited on Friday, January 6, to provide advice regarding heating and ventilation, appropriate cleaning options and order any remedial action where required.

“With regard to the overcrowding, we are aware of the family’s need and they are on our housing register for a four-bedroom property. However demand for larger family sized homes outstrips supply which leads to a significant delay for many families that are overcrowded.

“Therefore we have recommended to the family that they apply through www.homeswapper.co.uk to register for an exchange, which often sees other tenants looking to downsize from a larger property and through this mutual exchange method they would be able to apply for a three of four bedroom property.

“Private rented accommodation is a further option to all our applicants, providing an easily accessible option that often enables residents to meet their housing need much quicker than via the Housing Register. Households may be eligible for our Rent Guarantee Scheme and we advise residents to contact the Housing Advice team on 01189372165.”