Vulnerable pensioners bailing water out of Lewisham home after two years of leaks ripped ceiling

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A vulnerable elderly couple who were forced out of their Clarion Housing home in southeast London because of serious water damage say they have been complaining about the leaks for two years.

Video footage shows the Lewisham flat where 66-year-old Eleopha Bramble lives with her husband Ronald, 77, flooded with rapidly pouring water from their ceiling and walls.

When the flooding caused a power outage they say they were forced to cook and wash in darkness for five months.

Mr Bramble, who is recovering from bowel cancer surgery, was forced to get up during the night to bail out water.

It was only when the pensioners were visited by fire services fitting smoke alarms that their property was deemed a safety risk because of the risk of water in the electrics.

Since then they have been living out of suitcases in a hotel in Greenwich while their son, who is their carer, has been put up in temporary accommodation miles away from them in Sidcup.

That's been the case for seven weeks while Clarion says it is fixing a "complex repair".

The housing group admitted that the couple had suffered repeated leaks which its says it contractors kept fixing before the severe flooding to the home.

"We are deeply sorry for the disruption Mr and Mrs Bramble have experienced in their home," a Clarion Housing Group spokesperson said.

"Our repairs contractors repeatedly attended the property and fixed intermittent leaks," the spokesperson said. "This has not been a persistent leak, but when the situation recently deteriorated, we moved the family into a hotel.

"We are speaking to the family daily and working urgently to find a permanent housing option that meets their needs."

Clarion, Britain's biggest social landlord, was put on notice in May by then-home secretary Michael Gove after the Housing Ombudsman found the landlord guilty of "severe maladministration" in two separate cases, finding "serious problems with leaks, damp, mould and pest control" as well as complaints handling.

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