A CANCER survivor plagued by dampness in his leaky home was ignored by River Clyde Homes for months — until the Greenock Telegraph stepped in.

John Crawford, 76 — who had to have his bowel and a lung removed — was repeatedly rebuffed by the housing association despite needing a new roof.

But within hours of the Tele taking bosses to task over the fiasco RCH officials finally contacted Mr Crawford and promised to put an 'action plan' in place.

Mr Crawford, of Greenock's Carrick Lane, said: "To be quite honest with you, I think their attitude is, 'Just give me your rent money and you can just sit there and rot away'.

"That's the feeling I've got about them."

His son, also John, contacted RCH last September over concerns for his poorly father as a result of dampness spreading throughout the house.

He told how housing association official Grant Little carried out an inspection in early October and concluded that the property needs to be re-roofed.

But he says that a series of follow-up phone calls to speak with Mr Little were met with 'fob-offs' from RCH, and a letter he sent detailing the inaction was 'completely ignored'.

Mr Crawford said: "John phoned them and all he got was, 'Mr Little's not in the office just now but we'll get him to phone you', and we waited and waited.

"Four times — in December and on three separate days in January — we got told the same thing.

"He never phoned us."

John jnr, 53 — who lives with his dad — said: "My father has a wet room to wash in because of his health problems and now we're getting dampness on the ceiling.

"We've got dampness in my father's bedroom and because of it I'm sleeping on the couch and my father is sleeping in my bed.

"The ceiling in the back bedroom is ready to cave in.

"We hired industrial heaters at our own expense to dry the ceiling off, and that was £400 for just a few days."

His ailing father told how he collapsed in the run-up to Christmas in 2017 and had to undergo two operations just a month apart last year to remove his organs following a double cancer diagnosis.

Mr Crawford — who has lived in the house for more than 20 years — said: "More roof tiles came loose with those high winds (Storm Erik) just last week and the rain water was getting in.

"River Clyde Homes are contributing to my health problems."

RCH has been besieged by complaints from irate tenants in recent months and concerned direct labour staff have threatened to strike over plans to restructure their operations under new terms of employment.

Only after the Tele contacted RCH about Mr Crawford did bosses mark his home down for remedial work and arrange for a survey of the property to be carried out yesterday.

They failed to explain why the housing association consistently ignored the pensioner.

A spokeswoman said: "An independent survey of the roof and external rendering will take place to ensure that the full scope of the works is known and to enable an action plan to be put in place.

"Mr Crawford has been contacted to advise of the visit.

"Mr Crawford's address has been added to the list of properties being considered as part of the investment programme."

Asked why RCH had ignored Mr Crawford previously, the spokeswoman replied: "An inspection was undertaken and we will arrange to meet with Mr Crawford and his son when the results of the survey are made available, which we expect to be sometime next week."

John jnr said: "All I can say to the Tele is, thanks a million.

"Nothing would be happening now without your help.

"Where would we and other tenants be without the Tele?"