Elderly in Finsbury Park face winter without any insulation

Joytera Bibi and Darren Hughs

Joytera Bibi and Darren Hughs - Credit: Archant

More than 100 elderly and disabled people have been left at the mercy of Jack Frost this winter after a £20million estate refurbishment failed to insulate their homes.

People living on the ground floor of the Six Acres Estate, off Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, are furious that every other property apart from theirs has been given new insulation as part of the work.

Islington Council claim they can’t do the work because the cladding would have to go on the outside of the homes and could be vandalised, but the 137 ground floor residents – almost all elderly and vulnerable – will now face sky-high heating bills or spend the winter freezing.

Paul Delappe, 54, who has a spinal injury that keeps him on the ground floor of his maisonette, said: “I can’t believe the council could spend all that money and not even insulate all the homes.

“For £26m – surely the most vulnerable people should be protected?

Not fair

“I have to live downstairs at the moment and the heating has to be on all the time.

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“We are heating the flats above us – it’s really not fair.

“It’s the old ones I feel sorry for. My neighbour’s wife has just had a heart attack so he’s on his own and he really feels the cold. It must cost a bomb to heat their house.

“One person upstairs said he would rather swap with one of the old people so they can have warmer homes in the winter.

“The council say this is meant to be the greenest estate in Islington and it can’t even sort the insulation.”

Joytera Bibi, a 94-year-old ground floor resident, said: “I need the heating on all the time. I have to put extra layers on in the morning to keep warm, it’s not good.”

Darren Hughs, 38, said: “Why wasn’t it done? Why spend all that money and not insulate us?

“The safety and health of residents hasn’t come into it. Whoever designed this refurbishment needs their head examined.”

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said “‘Cllr James Murray, Executive Member for Housing and Development said, “We’ve insulated the majority of homes on the Six Acres Estate to help keep homes warm and reduce energy bills for residents, as part of our work to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings across Islington.

“At ground-floor level the external cladding would have been vulnerable to vandalism and other damage, so it wasn’t suitable for some homes.

“Vulnerable people in ground floor homes, or anywhere else, who need help with energy bills and keeping warm can get free one-to-one help and advice from the council’s energy doctor or SHINE scheme.”