New resources are available from the RentSafe team to help tenants and their doctors address mould problems in poorly maintained housing. Mould is among the top indoor environmental health concerns faced by tenants.
Mould grows when there is excess moisture from leaks in roofs, ceilings, or from faulty plumbing, old or poorly maintained windows, a lack of kitchen or bathroom ventilation, damp basements, etc.
Health problems from mould can include persistent coughing, worsening of asthma symptoms, and other respiratory problems. Children can be at particular risk.
New resources from the RentSafe team are centred upon a guide and sample letter template for use by busy physicians. The letter is available in Word format for physicians to easily revise to the needs of individual patients. A brief guide provides additional advice to physicians on how to use the letter along with helpful referrals. More detailed information for doctors is provided in a podcast (watch the RentSafe site– link will be available soon).
A complementary guide is also available for patients/tenants living with mould. It provides brief and helpful information about when to contact a doctor, effective record keeping, useful referrals (e.g., to community legal clinics, public health, and municipal property standards/building inspectors), and some common myths and truths about mould.
These resources will help tenants and doctors work together in addressing health concerns, cleaning up mould, and addressing underlying moisture issues. They also allow the RentSafe collaboration to help many people at once, efficiently increasing the help we already provide with one-to-one direct service.
Please download these resources from the RentSafe.ca website.
About RentSafe: CELA is a founding member of this innovative, inter-sectoral collaboration, led by the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment. RentSafe addresses unhealthy housing conditions affecting tenants living on low income in both urban and rural communities in Ontario. It includes the active involvement of public health units, legal aid clinics (both specialty and general service clinics), community health, social service, and other stakeholder agencies and organizations, as well as tenants and housing providers. RentSafe builds awareness and capacity in the health, legal, and social services sectors so that tenants, when faced with lead, mould, pests, pesticides, radon, and other indoor health threats, are better able to get the support they need to achieve healthier living conditions for themselves and their families.
Thanks to RentSafe-affiliated tenants, doctors, public health experts, and legal clinic staff for developing these resources.