Elderly and disabled left stranded as lifts break in THREE Islington and Finsbury Park blocks run by same firm

PUBLISHED: 11:09 27 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:45 02 November 2017

Disabled and elderly residents in sheltered housing at Belmore House, pictured last year. Left to right: Terry Oyston, Edward Scales, Lynne Hunt and Carlton Benoit. Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Disabled and elderly residents in sheltered housing at Belmore House, pictured last year. Left to right: Terry Oyston, Edward Scales, Lynne Hunt and Carlton Benoit. Picture: Ellie Hoskins


Elderly and disabled people in three sheltered housing blocks are stuck inside their homes because of broken lifts – with one told it couldn’t be fixed until mid-November.

The only alternative to stairs in Washington Court, Liverpool Road, has been broken since October 18. In Belmore House, Camden Road, it hasn’t worked since October 11. Just over the Hackney border in Queen’s Drive, Finsbury Park, they’ve been without a lift since October 23.

They are all managed by Circle Housing and it is fair to say the housing association is not popular in any of the buildings at the moment, with residents wondering what their service charge is for.

Iris Luxford, 85, lives in Washington Court, where everyone received a letter on Friday saying the lift would be out of service for four weeks while engineers wait for replacement parts.

“We’re all pensioners,” she told the Gazette. “So if they have to take someone in an ambulance – it happened yesterday – then they have to carry people down the stairs.

“I’m 85 and I’m having to bang my trolley down the stairs. They will have to start sending out the food parcels soon.

“I’ll tell you, when I phoned up yesterday I said: ‘There’s not been one person been round to see how we are coping.’ Not one. They’ve just left us in limbo.”

The people in Belmore House have not been told when their lift will be fixed.

One woman who lives there told the Gazette: “There’s three floors here and we have not been able to go out for two weeks because the lift hasn’t been working. Nobody can get to hospital appointments or to the shops.

“There’s 24 flats and one lift. There’s a woman here with Parkinson’s, another with heart problems and the person next to him only has one leg. There’s a deaf lady next to him and further along there’s two ladies in their 70s or 80s. We all feel like we are stuck in here.

“I haven’t been anywhere. I’m not joking – it’s now beginning to become a nightmare. Every day I could scream – I’m fed up of looking at the TV.

“Luckily the Ocado man said he could bring his trolley up the stairs so I could get some shopping.”

A spokesman for Circle vowed to get the problem sorted out sooner than residents had been told. “We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience and distress caused to our residents,” he said.

“We are looking into these issues along with the lift contractor as a matter of urgency, although these problems do not appear to be linked.

“We have instructed the contractor to attend the sites again today and on Monday to resolve the situation. We will do everything we can to support our residents and will keep them updated on the situation.”

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