A 91-year-old gran suffering from cancer has been stuck on a hospital bed in a leaking London flat for months after council failures.
Winifred (Winnie) Wilson is living with her daughter, Sue Roberts, in a small, leaking flat in Fulham as they wait for their damp-riddled home to be fixed.
Sue, 67, is a full-time carer for mum, who is bed-bound and suffering with both dementia and cancer.
The two have been living in a one-bed council flat near the family home since November after Hammersmith and Fulham Council told them it would repair multiple leaks and cracked ceilings on the property.
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But Sue has been forced to move Winnie into the living room of the tiny flat after the bedroom at their temporary flat started to leak.
She said: “For mum it’s dreadful. When it rained recently, water was trickling down the wall.
“All the seals on the windows are broken so there’s constant condensation in the windows inside the double glazing.
“It just beggars belief. It’s just exhausting.”
Sue moved into a house owned by Hammersmith and Fulham Council with Winnie, her son, and three granddaughters in 2018.
While caring for her mum, Sue has spent years trying to get the council to fix damp and cracked ceilings at their family home.
Sue said the house was also infested with mice, meaning she had to fill the holes herself to stop them coming in.
The family of five have been living out of boxes for almost four years while waiting for repairs to the property.
She said: “I’m not scared of mice, which is a good job. They come in at night when you’re laid here and I can hear it rustling.”
The family are still waiting for the problems to be sorted with no idea when they can return home. Sue says this is causing a lot of stress.
She said: “It’s killing me. They have had nearly four years to get this right.
“The wall’s all coming away outside. We’ve never been able to settle and decorate and make it nice.”
She said Christmas this year in the small flat was difficult for the family, who are trying to make the most of their last years with Winnie.
She added: “We had to move her to a strange house, it was just horrendous.
“Every Christmas we have we think it might be our last with her.”
But it was just chaos trying to get everybody in. It was just a nightmare.”
Despite there being huge visible cracks on the inside and outside walls of her house, Sue said no one can tell her what has been causing the leaks.
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She claims contractors have put up scaffolding outside the house four times to get the issues sorted but nothing has been done to resolve them.
She added: “We have weeks and weeks where nothing’s done. I’m constantly emailing. And then you hear nothing.”
Last week, councilors apologised, after Hammersmith and Fulham was dubbed the worst housing provider for damp and mold in the country.
The council has pledged to invest £600 million in repairing and refurbishing its housing stock over the next 12 years.
A spokesperson for Hammersmith and Fulham Council said: “We are sorry it has taken so long for repairs to Ms Roberts’ home.
“The property has complex issues that unfortunately require major repair works and required them to move out while these are completed.
“Now that we’ve found temporary accommodation for Ms Roberts and her family, we should be able to complete these repairs and get them home as soon as possible.
“We are addressing any issues with her temporary accommodation to make sure she and her family are happy.”
If you’re having problems with leaks, damp, long waits for repairs or overcrowded housing, contact our reporter: [email protected]