People housed in temporary accommodation by Lewisham Council have again protested against mouldy and damp living conditions, with heating and security issues also concerns.

About 15 residents took to the street outside Eros House in Catford with placards, asking the council to improve living condition in the block – which is also home to private renters.

Residents protested the living conditions in Eros House in April – after which some “basic repairs” were made, Michael Deas, project coordinator at the London Renters Union said.

Eros House is not a council-owned building, but is used as temporary accommodation for Lewisham residents and is managed by District Homes.

But there are still issues with the building including chronic damp and mould, pipe leaks and floods, poor security and issues with electrical wiring.

A woman who lives in the accommodation with her three asthmatic sons aged eight, 14 and 16, said her youngest son’s asthma had become much worse since they moved in two years ago.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said she was initially told she would only be there for four to six weeks.

She said her children sometimes missed school because their asthma was so severe, with her youngest son visiting the A&E department when he had an attack recently.

“There is nothing I can do,” she said.

“There is mould everywhere. It is making their asthma worse. I have come here [to Lewisham Council] many times to report it. They don’t do anything at all,” she said. 

“The bills are high – you have to pay your council tax, you have to pay your rent and they are not doing the work.

“When you call the agency they say you are not allowed to fix it. The council say you have to go to the agency and then you get bounced around and then you give up.

“There is nothing we can do, and nowhere we can go. When you say to them you don’t want the temporary accommodation they say you make yourself homeless.”

Another mother-of-three, who did not want to be named, said she had lived in Eros House since last June.

She said the flat was fine at first but soon became mouldy, with mould appearing in every room, wardrobe and drawers, and water leaks in the bathroom and kitchen for the past three months.

She said it was difficult to heat the house, and her 21-year-old twins were constantly sick with blocked noses.

“It is very stressful, it’s hard to sleep at times.

“Everything is mouldy. It doesn’t matter how many heaters we turn on, it’s always cold,” she said.

Cllr Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing, said he wanted to hear from residents about the ongoing problems in Eros House and had offered to do a walk-around on the site “to cross-reference what we are being told by the agent and what the reality is on the ground.”

“We are working to enable a private renters’ union, as there is a lot of very poor practice creating misery for private renters. We are committed to doing whatever we can to support tenants and good landlords,” he said.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said the owners of Eros House had made a commitment to address the problems “both by carrying out remedial works and fixing the underlying cause in the roof of the building.”

They said this work would be monitored.

District Homes has also assured the council every home was fitted with health and safety-compliant heaters, and would install mechanical ventilation where necessary.