A PETITION has been launched calling on the government to take action over mouldy homes in Burnley.

Hundreds of residents have signed up to the campaign urging the Department for Communities and Local Government to force housing association Calico to check all social tenants' homes in Burnley for mould and damp.

The petition, which is at www.change.org, was started by Martina Baker, 37, who lives in Lincolnshire, who was shocked to see pictures of mouldy Calico properties posted on Facebook by residents.

She said: “I was very upset to see that people are living in these conditions and being blamed for the damp, cold , water coming in to their properties.

“I started the e-petiton as the government needs to know what is happening with local contractors, people who live in that area are living in Victorian conditions, which is not great for the year 2014.”

Anthony Duerden, Calico's Director of Customer Services, said: “We sympathise with anybody who is experiencing problems with damp or mould. If a customer is experiencing structural damp, it is dealt with as a priority as soon as it is reported to us. Unfortunately, significant structural works may take longer than customers initially expect."

One Calico tenant who has signed the petition is Mick Smithson, 38, who lives with his wife Lynn, and children Nicole, 15, and CJ, six, in Morse Street.

Mr Smithson said he had been experiencing problems with damp in his home for three years.

He said: “We’ve spent so much money on the property doing it up, we love the area, it’s great for the schools, but it’s depressing living in this house.

“If we hadn’t spent so much money on it we would have moved. We’ve spent thousands so far and we don’t have money now to do stuff that families normally would be able to do."

In response to Mr Smithson's case, Mr Duerden said: “Over recent months, we’ve carried out a number of significant repairs to Mr Smithson’s property involving cavity clearance and damp works. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during this period, as these were significant works.“These have now been completed, and we are actively monitoring the situation. We have also arranged to fix a roof leak by removing his chimney stack, which is an unrelated issue, but one which we are dealing with as a priority.”