Housing association apologises after elderly residents are left without heating for seven days in Romford
PUBLISHED: 12:59 18 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 18 September 2019
Elderly and disabled residents in Romford are frustrated after being left with no hot water and heating for a week.
Residents at Brook Lodge have been living with a broken boiler since Wednesday, September 11.
Christopher Koumi, 50, lives at the sheltered accommodation in Medora Road.
He told the Recorder that this is the third time the residents have been left without heating for four days or more.
"They told us that if we need water we can get it from the kitchen and they put little urns out for us to fill up," said Chris.
"But if you're disabled, like I am and have to walk with crutches, then you can't carry an urn with hot water up the stairs.
"I have a wound from back surgery that I need to keep clean. It's very dangerous."
Hayley Ellis' mum also lives at Brook Lodge.
"My [mum] is in her 70s and has arthritis," said the 34-year-old from Chelmsford.
"Around this time last year the residents were without heating and hot water for almost two weeks and the issues were only addressed once MPs and local charities became involved.
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"The answer is to give them access to showers in Gidea Park and put hot water urns in communal areas encouraging the old and infirm to carry boiling hot water in the corridors back to their flats.
"These urns are the type that provide tea and coffee in a meeting.
"Last year these residents were treated without much dignity and this year it seems to be the same with no goodwill being shown."
L&Q has assured residents that issue will be fixed this afternoon, Wednesday, September 18.
A spokeswoman from the housing association said: "We would like to apologise to all those have been inconvenienced at Brook Lodge.
"We first learned of problems with the hot water on September 14, 2018 - which were fixed by September 20, 2018."
During an inspection on September 11 this year, L&Q discovered that the issues had returned and a contractor was brought in.
The housing association claims that the heating was up and running by 4pm on the same day.
"Some additional repairs were needed to provide a long term solution to the hot water issues, and we expect to have these completed by [Wednesday]," said the spokeswoman.
"In the meantime, we made hot water available to residents in the building as a temporary measure by providing portable water sources.
"We take the wellbeing of our residents very seriously, and will be reviewing our processes to make sure that all residents in the block feel fully supported if there are issues in the future."