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Bristol woman living in damp and mould for two months

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Claire Kelly
Image caption,
"There is loads of water contained in the ceiling and it smells damp," said Ms Kelly

A woman in Bristol says her housing association has left her living in damp and mould for two months after her home was flooded.

Claire Kelly, who lives in Whitchurch, said a major leak happened during a boiler replacement, and is one of a string of problems she has experienced since moving there four years ago.

"I don't think they've done what they should be doing," said Ms Kelly.

The housing Association, Habinteg, has since apologised.

Image source, Claire Kelly
Image caption,
Habinteg has promised to fix the problems in Ms Kelly's house

There have been two major leaks in Ms Kelly's upstairs bathroom since April, causing water to pour through the living room ceiling.

One of leaks happened when the boiler was replaced, leaving Ms Kelly and her five-year-old daughter without hot water for 16 days.

After complaining, she was given a voucher to shower at the council swimming pool and £200 in compensation.

But she said that did not cover the cost of damage to her furniture and flooring.

Image caption,
Ms Kelly said not enough has been done to repair the problems in her home

"The longer they leave this ceiling the worse the smell's going to get," she said, adding that rot could set in.

"Sort these problems out, so that I can continue living the life that I can live, in a home where rent's being paid and a child's being brought up," she added.

The home has also had problems with mice, which were entering the home through holes around the pipework, but Ms Kelly was told it was her responsibility to get rid of them.

She was catching mice "about three times a day" and said, "it got to the point where I thought, I can't live like this".

The mother-of-one ended up paying for private pest control at a cost of £280, but the mice have since returned.

Image source, Claire Kelly
Image caption,
Habinteg put guards over the ventilation holes in outside walls but other houses in the terrace also have mice

Nic Bungay, Habinteg's director of housing and assets, said they had learned from their mistakes.

"We did offer Ms Kelly compensation and we did offer vouchers for her to use and we have since apologised."

He added that Ms Kelly did identify "several failings around communication", which was something the housing association was "committed to resolving".

Habinteg has promised to carry out repairs to Ms Kelly's home.

The housing association said it would hold a meeting for the 83 households on the Whitchurch estate soon, where the mice problem will be discussed.

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