'Prisoners in our own homes': Hornchurch residents left without lifts

Alexandra Clubb

Alexandra Clubb was one of the residents left without a lift at Haynes Park Court, Hornchurch - Credit: Alexandra Clubb

A housing company has apologised for broken lifts in one of its blocks which forced Hornchurch residents to climb up to 11 floors to reach their flats.

Property developer L&Q said it was sorry that residents in one of the Haynes Park Court blocks were left without a "properly working lift" last week.

A spokesperson for the housing association confirmed one of the broken lifts was fixed last Wednesday (July 28), three days after it was reported.

They said when the lifts were out of action, caretakers helped residents up the stairs.

"The safety and welfare of residents is our number one priority, and we are pleased to say that the lift has now been fixed," they added.

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A second lift has reportedly been out of service in the Hornchurch block for two years and the L&Q spokesperson said it was due to be fixed this year.

lift broken

Both lifts in the 11-storey block were out of service last week - Credit: Alexandra Clubb

They added: "Unfortunately, this was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and the section 20 process, during which work or services that are recharged to leaseholders require a consultation before they’re carried out."

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Resident Alexandra Clubb lives on the seventh floor of the building and said she was forced to climb 14 flights of stairs with her two young children.

She told this paper: "We're like prisoners in our own homes.

"We've got buggies, children, there are people with disabilities."

The 11-storey block holds eight properties per floor.

Disabled resident Emma Taylor, who lives on the third floor, said she had injured herself multiple times whilst using the stairs.

Emma said: "Enough is enough now, it's just not on.

"They just don't seem to care."

broken lift

Residents were forced to climb stairs for up to 11 floors. - Credit: Alexandra Clubb

Residents claim the lifts are just one of many problems in the building, including the security panel on the front door breaking down.

The L&Q spokesperson confirmed that after an incident of vandalism two weeks ago, the panel on the front door which allows residents to let visitors up is temporarily out of use.

They said the building’s front door is "secure" and contractors will fix the panel as soon as the required part arrives.

They added: “We appreciate this is frustrating for residents and will continue to provide regular updates.”

However, Alexandra worried that in the case of an emergency, residents would be unable to get to safety.

She explained: "If we needed an ambulance, we wouldn't be able to let paramedics into the block because the door is broken.

"It's not good enough."

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