A London estate in a neighbourhood where homes cost £1.5m leaks so badly stairs are soaked and water comes through the ceiling. Tenants at a housing block in Pimlico, Westminster have been suffering from countless leaks inside the building for years as they wait for help from Peabody Housing Association.
The average property in Pimlico costs £1.5 million, while a studio flat costs £400,000, according to real estate agents Foxtons. A shocking video taken inside Malcolmson House shows water raining through the ceiling and soaking the steps of an indoor stairway after it rained on Tuesday, May 24.
A 62-year-old gran, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the block often floods when it rains and she fears one day someone will slip and hurt themselves. The woman, who has lived at the estate for decades, said her daughter came to visit her and struggled to get to her flat as water streamed through the building.
She added: “It was just pouring everywhere, it was absolutely ludicrous. My daughter was sweeping up the water.”
The gran said she has reported the issues to Peabody multiple times, believing it could be caused by squirrels and pigeons nesting in the drainpipes. She said she can’t reach the drains herself to fix them and she also pays Peabody a service charge for them to maintain the building.
The woman, who suffers from mobility issues, said the rain causes the lifts to stop working, which means disabled residents and families with prams can’t get in and out of their flats. She added: “They’re just not doing anything. They won’t fix any of the drainpipes.”
Peabody now manages 104,000 homes across London and the Home Counties after a recent merger with Catalyst Housing in April. A statement on the company’s website says: “Our new purpose is helping people flourish. We do this by providing great homes and services, by making a positive difference to the communities we serve and by providing an inclusive and inspiring place to work.”
There are currently 4,000 people waiting for council housing in Westminster. The leader of the newly-elected Labour council Adam Hug has promised to tackle the borough’s housing crisis and issues with families living in overcrowded and mouldy homes.
A Peabody spokesperson said: “We’re sorry for the disruption caused to residents by the flooding in the stairwells at Malcolmson House. The open layout of the stairwells can cause them to flood during extreme weather conditions, which meant the lifts were out of action for a short while.
“We apologise to anyone that was inconvenienced because of this. We’re working to fix the issue as soon as possible, and our teams will be visiting the estate shortly to check and clear the drains.”