Fed-up council tenants on a Bermondsey estate have been left without consistent heating for a shocking four months – even over Christmas.
Residents of the Rouel Road estate have been experiencing difficulty with their heating since October 1, forcing them to shiver in the cold inside their own homes.
Some have resorted to wearing their winter coats indoors in an effort to stay warm.
Others, who have been given fan heaters to make up for their non-functioning radiators, have racked up high electric bills from having the expensive devices running constantly.
Residents first sounded the alarm to the News months ago – and when we contacted the council, officials promised that the heating situation was all in hand.
But months later, and despite several enquiries from this paper, residents in Woolstaplers, Amina and Cadbury Way are still left out in the cold.
Terry, 72, has lived on the estate for nearly 40 years; this has been the longest the estate’s heating has gone off.
“It’s freezing,” he said. “I’ve just had enough of it. They keep palming you off, the council, but you get nowhere.
“You ring them up but there’s no-one in the office, and they say they’ll get back to you, but they never do.
“I’ve got a little fan heater, but it’s not having much of an effect. It’s just a joke.” The pensioner has been forced to sit in his coat and dressing gown to keep warm, even over the Christmas period, he told the News.
“It’s not just me, there’s loads of us,” he said. “Even people in wheelchairs.”
While outages are affecting the whole estate, some have got their heating back temporarily, while still fearing it going off.
Mum Charlotte, who lives on Amina Way, said she got some heating back the week before Christmas, but hadn’t had any for three months beforehand.
But now she faces a battle to be refunded the extra cost of expensive electric fan heaters she was forced to use.
“It’s a lot of money,” she said. “I’ve had to pay it on top of the heating that I wasn’t receiving. That’s the next fight on my hands, to get it back.
“But they just don’t seem to care. It’s been four months, they kept on saying it’s been sorted, but it’s just not true.
“There’s so many vulnerable tenants and people with needs as well, this shouldn’t be happening.
“They don’t see the tenants, they don’t see the impacts this has. They need to do everything they can to fix this.”
The News has contacted the council three times about the issue of heating on the Rouel Road estate.
In November, we were told that the issue had been sorted.
But residents told us this was not the case. Subsequent requests for comment went unanswered.