Douglas councillor Devon Watson says that social housing needs more public investment following the amount of cases of black mould reported to the council.

Mr Watson said: ‘Black mould is a very serious issue and needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

‘We need massive public investment to get houses and properties up to spec. It is absolutely unacceptable in the 21st century that anyone is living with a respiratory disease caused by mould.’

He also pointed out that the age of some of the properties and the current economic situation could be contributing factors to the issues that tenants are facing.

Mr Watson said: ‘It costs a lot to heat homes at the moment.

‘A lot of these homes were built in a time when they had a lot of fires that would heat the homes and push air out and they had a lot of ventilation.’

‘Huge public investment is needed to bring homes up to modern standards, to reduce heating bills for tenants and also make sure that mould is dealt with.’

He explained that the council has recently made a number of steps to improve residents’ living conditions in the Manx capital.

Mr Watson said: ‘Every single case that is raised with us has received a call back as far as I am aware.

‘Obviously there is a limit in the range of budgets but every one gets addressed and seen to after a while.’

‘The last residents in sub-standard housing in Lord Street have been moved out and put into brand new apartments in places like Peel Road.’

The council have also installed positive input ventilation in ‘a number of homes’ and external rendering has been carried out in ‘a number of housing estates’ to help start to fix social housing.

However, Mr Watson thinks that there is a lot more work to be done to rectify the problems that Douglas residents are currently experiencing.

He said: ‘It’s a long program that does need to be sped up and we definitely need a lot more investment from the public sector to get houses back up to standard.

‘It is also expected that out of 2,500 properties, some stretching back to 1880, that you will occasionally get reports of mould or poor conditions and getting those dealt with as soon as possible is a core priority.’