Housing group ‘sorry’ after dozens of elderly residents left without hot water for more than two weeks

Millbrook House in Soham

Millbrook House in Soham - Credit: Archant

A company which runs a sheltered housing complex in Soham has apologised after two boilers broke down over the festive period, leaving people without hot water and heating for two weeks.

Sanctuary Group said it was “very sorry for the disruption” and promised to have the boilers at Millbrook House, in Lode Close, fixed by Tuesday.

Residents and families said that the boilers broke down on Christmas Eve and have been out of action for a fortnight with residents forced to boil kettles in order to have warm water for a wash.

Some have been without a shower for two weeks and it is understood both the hairdresser and shop have closed while the problem is fixed.

Some residents were offered the chance to stay in nearby hotels while others were told they could take a taxi to another Sanctuary-owned home in Ely to use shower facilities there.

Mark Shelton, whose 86-year-old mother has been affected by the breakdown, said: “My mother needs a wheeled walking frame to get about and she has been reduced to boiling a kettle in the kitchen and balancing it on her walker to take to the bathroom for a wash, which is dangerous.

“She has not had a shower now for two weeks and there is only cold water to wash hands after the toilet which is not at all hygienic. There are residents who are older and more infirm than my mother and I don’t know how they are coping.

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“My mother pays quite a substantial service charge to Sanctuary Housing each month for all the facilities within the Lode Close complex and it is an unacceptable state of affairs that a housing association like this does not have a suitable engineer who can fix the water boiler.”

Millbrook House was officially opened in 2013 and is home to 92 apartments.

A spokesman for Sanctuary Group said: “There have been issues with the hot water supply at Millbrook House, however heating has been available.

“Although we offered to pay for residents to move into temporary accommodation while repairs were being carried out no one chose to do so.

“Workmen are due on site to complete repairs to the system on Tuesday, January 6, and we are very sorry for the disruption.”