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Hornchurch family left without heating for a week because of broken boiler

PUBLISHED: 15:13 07 December 2010

Melanie Thomas and her two teenagers left without heating and hot water for seven days

Melanie Thomas and her two teenagers left without heating and hot water for seven days

Archant

A WOMAN has slammed Homes In Havering after she and her two children were made to endure a week of freezing temperatures without any heating after the boiler broke down at their home.

Melanie Thomas and her children, Danielle, 16 and Ben, 14 from Plumpton Avenue, Hornchurch spent a whole seven days without any working hot water and heating from November 26 to Friday December 3.

Melanie said: “I have never felt so cold in my whole life.

“We were just forced to stay in just one room, but it was an experience I would not wish on my worse enemy.”

Melanie first realised that something was wrong with her boiler on Friday November 26 after she discovered that it could not be switched on.

After reporting it to Homes In Havering on Saturday November 27, an engineer came to investigate it but she was told that it could not be fixed straight away because the parts needed to be ordered from abroad.

She said: “Its ridiculous because if those type of boilers are fitted into Homes In Havering properties then they need to make sure that all the parts are readily available.”

Melanie claims that she was given two small electric heaters by Homes In Havering but could not afford to keep them running because they were so expensive to use.

She says that the family were forced to spend the days huddled together in their living room with blankets before it was finally fixed last Friday December 3.

Melanie also claims that Ben who suffers from Asperger Syndrome and Tourette Syndrome found it hard to understand the situation and became very frustrated.

She said: “I was in a very hard situation because I was trying to explain to him but he just couldn’t understand and he just keep asking me every day.

“They did give us small electric heaters but I didn’t know what to do because we needed to keep warm but it was taking up all my money.

“To be honest it was the coldest thing I had ever experienced and I don’t think that an elderly person would be able to put up with that for so long.”

A Homes In Havering spokesman said: “Homes in Havering sympathises with Miss Thomas’s plight. Whilst we have fulfilled our duty to provide her with an alternative means of heating her home, unfortunately we cannot offer tenants financial help in these circumstances.

“After Miss Thomas contacted us on 27 November, our contractor attended the property on the same day, diagnosed the problem, and advised her that a spare part needed to be ordered in to fix the boiler. Miss Thomas refused our offer to provide her with temporary electric heaters while her boiler was out of action as she said she was staying at another property.

“Two days later, on 29 November, Miss Thomas again contacted us, requesting electric heaters for her home and they were provided to her on the same day. Following the arrival of the required part, our contractor attended the property on 3 December and repaired the boiler.”

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