Ely pensioner left ‘sleeping on sofa for weeks’ due to water flooding her bedroom

A pensioner from Ely has been forced to sleep on her sofa because water keeps flooding in through her bedroom wall.

Christine Mastafa, who is in her 70s, and lives in the council property in Cardiff, said the problem started in October 2023.

Her son, Rahim, described the situation as “outrageous” and told CJS News that although Cardiff Council has sent contractors to his mother’s house to fix the issue, water is still coming through the wall.

He said he is concerned about his mother’s and niece’s health as the wet wall could cause damp and mould in their home.

He said: “In the news, there’s all these things about mould, and my sister’s daughter, she lives there. She’s young, and got health issues.”

“It’s an obvious health hazard. She’s come home to a half-flooded living room, so she’s constantly mopping it.”

He said his mother is now sleeping on the sofa due to the “stinking” smell and damp from the water.

“She can’t sleep in that room now. She’s sleeping in the front room on the sofa, and you know, she’s in her seventies.”

He said the first time he posted on social media about the issue, contractors were sent over and a cover was put on the chimney, as the council believed this was the source of the water.

However, Rahim said the situation has got worse: “My mum said actually said that it’s since the initial contact that [the water] has spread.”

He claimed the subcontractors decided to remain outside during their second visit despite his mother inviting them inside to see the damage and investigate it further.

He said: “She said, ‘Do you want to come in and have a look a the other side?’, to look how bad it is, and they said, ‘Oh no, I don’t need to come in, you know, I saw it last time,” which is silly because all he had to do was go in and have a look.”

Rahim said he isn’t frustrated with the council, but claim the subcontractors’ took a “cowboy kind of attitude”.

He alleged they are doing the “bare minimum” and thinks the wall should be removed and the damage fully investigated.

He said: “The wall needs to be hacked off. It’s got cracks in it, and it needs to be repainted, and all the cavity needs to be properly checked to see if it’s actually dry because of the amount of water coming through.”

The contractors originally believed the water was rainwater, although, it’s continued to seep through on dry days.

Rahim said he will continue to use social media to raise awareness of the issue “until it’s sorted.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “We aim to resolve reports of repairs as quickly as possible but due to high demand, response times for completing works are taking longer than normal. 

“Our repairs team attended the property earlier this month to complete a temporary fix to the roof leak and install a chimney cowl. Permanent repairs to resolve the issue will be scheduled in shortly.

“We’re grateful to all tenants for bearing with us while we work to address the increased demand for repairs at this time.”