Concerns after no heating for elderly in Fairstead flats

GV pictures of Windmill Court King's Lynn ANL-160511-173603009
GV pictures of Windmill Court King's Lynn ANL-160511-173603009

After elderly residents of a sheltered housing complex were left without heating or hot water, fears have been raised of it happening again.

Occupants of flats at Windmill Court in Lynn’s Fairstead estate went nearly two weeks without the facilities, but were provided with temporary heating resources while boilers were fixed.

But family members of those who were affected have worries that, as winter approaches, this could happen again and have a detrimental impact on residents’ health.

Adrienne Dickens, whose mum is a Windmill Court resident, said: “The building is now 30 years old, and so are the boilers. If all of the boilers went out, then how long will it be before it happens again?

“The majority of residents at Windmill Court are aged between 70 and 80, and some are not in the best health, so it’s concerning. My mum is 85 and she’s quite sprightly for her age, but she was starting to worry about the other people in the building.

“I spoke to one lady who was in a right mess because she didn’t have hot water and wasn’t sure how she was going to be able to wash herself.”

Mrs Dickens said that while the heating was not working, the residents’ social lives were also affected.

She added: “They were secluded in their own flats, as they couldn’t use the common room for bingo like they normally do because it was too cold, and they didn’t want to leave their flats because they wanted to try and keep warm.”

Windmill Court has 49 flats, some of which are single and some double, and was built in 1986.

Mrs Dickens said that she believed the boilers had taken nearly two weeks to fix because the replacement parts are hard to find, as they have been there since the 80s.

But officials from Hyde Housing, which owns the complex, said they are taking steps to ensure this will not happen again.

Anne Johnson, regional head of housing, said: “We understand residents’ concerns following the recent breakdown of boilers at Windmill Court and apologise for the inconvenience caused.

“We moved swiftly to complete repairs, providing temporary heating and restoring the hot water supply to homes in the interim.

“We’re now working with specialist contractors to make sure that the heating and hot water system at Windmill Court is robust and reliable going forward.

“We remain readily available to all residents and would urge anyone with further concerns to speak to us.”