Broken lift leaves high rise tenants prisoners’

PUBLISHED: 11:07 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:37 25 August 2010

FURIOUS: Residents of Norvic House.

FURIOUS: Residents of Norvic House.

RESIDENTS in a 15-storey tower block have been left without a lift for more than two months after urine corroded the metal.

RESIDENTS in a 15-storey tower block have been left without a lift for more than two months after urine corroded the metal.

The tenants of Norvic House in Waterhead Road, Erith, have been using just one working lift since December 5, but this regularly breaks down meaning sick and elderly residents are unable to leave their homes.

They are furious with housing association bosses at Orbit South, who have known about the broken lift since December but have still not fixed it.

Gemma Burrows, 23, who lives on the seventh floor, with her two-year-old daughter, said: "A lot of people have to walk down the stairs. My friend who lives on the 15th floor is now on medication for depression because she feels like a prisoner in her own home. She has two children and one is a toddler, and as you can imagine its hard getting down 15 flights of stairs without children let alone with them.

"I am utterly upset as I don't drive and my dad lives far away. He is waiting for an operation on his legs as he cannot walk far and with the lifts out he can never come up to my flat. I have to meet him down stairs and sit in the car.

"My elderly next door neighbour has a heart condition so cannot go out at all when the lifts are broken, which is also putting a strain on her mental health.

"We as residents have made numerous complaints but feel we are getting fobbed off all the time. What if somebody needs emergency medical help? It will take a long time to get the paramedics up 15 flights of stairs or get a patient down.

"We are at the end of our tether."

After the Times got in contact with Orbit, tenants received letters saying the lift will not be ready to use until the middle of March.

A spokesperson for Orbit said urine had caused the corrosion. They added: "Due to the extent of the damage we are in the process of commissioning a new lift car.

"Work will entail a full survey, leading to the old lift being removed and the new lift being fabricated.

"We are currently, and have been for six months, carrying out a viability assessment on the potential regeneration of the estate, with the help of local residents.

"This is no way affects how we maintain the estate, lifts or other services for our residents.

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