June 18 2013 Latest news:
By Craig Robinson
Saturday, March 23, 2013
A SHELTERED housing tenant claims it has been like “living in an ice box” after being left without central heating for six months.
Florence Wood, 92, said the central heating in her flat at Fison House in Melton, near Woodbridge, which is run by Flagship Housing, broke down in September.
It has still not been repaired and she is forced to use hot water bottles and go to bed early to keep warm, she says.
Mrs Wood, who suffers from arthritis and has had a hip replacement, said bosses told tenants the heating will not be fixed until the summer.
Flagship’s Don Evans said repairs would be carried out “as and when” they are reported until a full upgrade can be carried out.
Mrs Wood, who has been at Fison House for 23 years, said: “It’s like being in an ice box. It’s not just me, there are others who are affected as well. One gentleman has just come back from hospital and he has to go to bed to keep warm. But you can’t do that all day.
“I have to keep myself warm using a hot water bottle and a blanket. It’s important I keep my knees covered up to manage the arthritis, otherwise I’m in agony.
“We had a meeting with management and they told us no repairs were planned until the summer. But by then it’s too late. Especially as the weather has now turned colder again. It’s just not good enough.
“Heating costs are included in our rent but there’s been no mention of getting anything back. It’s awful.”
Her son Peter Stephenson said: “This is a disgraceful situation and a serious detriment to the health of elderly and frail people.”
Mr Evans, director for housing at Flagship, said: “Where elderly and vulnerable customers are involved, Flagship would normally carry out this type of upgrade during the warmer months to minimise impact on residents. In the meantime, our contractors will continue to carry out repairs as and when they are reported until such time the full heating system upgrade is carried out.”