Disabled Erith tower block resident hits out after lifts 'broken for five days'

News Shopper: Disabled former soldiers hits out at housing association after tower block lifts broken for five days Disabled former soldiers hits out at housing association after tower block lifts broken for five days

A disabled former soldier who lives in a tower block has hit out at Orbit South Housing Association after it took five days for a lift to get fixed.

Robert Godfrey, 42, who lives in Canterbury House in Erith and is dependent on a mobility scooter or wheelchair, says he and other residents get treated like "second class citizens" and was "trapped" inside the block because of the broken lift.

The father-of-three said the lifts are broken two to three times a week because of vandalism meaning he cannot leave the second floor flat he lives in with his partner and two young sons.

Mr Godfrey, who was an infantry soldier and served on the frontline in Northern Ireland with the RoyalAnglian Regiment from 1988 to 1997, told News Shopper: "When the lifts are broken I am house-bound.

"I have lived here for seven years and should not be living on the second floor because I am disabled.

"I can only stand for a few seconds and am dependent on wheelchair or scooter.

"This is an ongoing issue and I have had to cancel many hospital appointments when I am physically unable to get out.

"After quite a lot of work we managed to get Orbit to install a ramp at the front of the building so it was easier for me to get out.

Joseph Hughes, 47, who lives on the ninth floor, said they had got in touch with MP David Evennett to help fight the case.

He added: "It's just unbelievable that the lift can be left not working for that long when there are disabled people in the block."

A spokesman for MP David Evernett said: "We are happy to take up cases when residents get in touch.

"We have spoken to Orbit and they say the problem is fixed. If residents want to get in touch we are always happy to help."

James Connolly, head of maintenance services for Orbit South, said: "We are aware of the issue at Canterbury House and apologise to residents for any inconvenience it may have caused.

"One of the two lifts was reported not working on Monday, May 5, parts were required and these were fitted on 8 May.

"The second lift was reported not working on Wednesday, May 7 and our contractors attended the same day, unfortunately they were unable to fix it on that day but returned the following day and repaired both lifts.

"We have received reports that the lifts have been misused and would encourage anyone who is aware of the perpetrators to contact us.

"I’d also encourage residents who have difficulties when the lifts are out of service to contact us directly so that we can attempt to assist them during those periods.

"Our Neighbourhoods Team has been working with residents, partner agencies and the local police to combat issues of anti-social behaviour and vandalism in the area.

"Together, we looked closely at local issues and have made improvements in the community for everyone who lives there."

Comments (2)

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1:21pm Mon 12 May 14

Simon bald says...

lets hope this hero gets at the very least somewhere on the ground floor
lets hope this hero gets at the very least somewhere on the ground floor Simon bald
  • Score: 12

2:11pm Mon 12 May 14

Zafiraman says...

This is a common problem with Orbit's housing!
My girlfriend lives on the 3rd floor and her neighbour can spend weeks trapped in the flat because the either the lift is broken or one of the doors is broken, they just do not seem to care, something has to be done about them!!
This is a common problem with Orbit's housing! My girlfriend lives on the 3rd floor and her neighbour can spend weeks trapped in the flat because the either the lift is broken or one of the doors is broken, they just do not seem to care, something has to be done about them!! Zafiraman
  • Score: 8

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