Disabled residents living on the even numbered floors in a Ramsgate tower block have been stranded in their homes for a week because the lift is out of action.
Staner Court in Manston Road has 15 floors and 90 flats. There are two lifts that service the block, one for even floors and one for odd.
But the even floor lift broke on Wednesday last week (February 6), was mended the next day but stopped working again on the Friday (February 8).
Sheralee James is one of the residents who have no way of getting out of the building without the lift.
The mum-of-four lives on the tenth floor and uses sticks and sometimes a wheelchair. She has been at the block since September 17 and said initially there were no problems but recently the lift is often out of action.
The 52-year-old suffers a range of mobility problems and had to move to a friend’s flat in the block after being struck down with an ecoli infection which left her too weak to care for herself.
She said: “On Wednesday night I was a couple of floors down visiting a friend when the lift broke and I couldn’t get back upstairs. After several hours it was fixed and it was working the next day but on Friday it broke again and has been like it ever since.
“I called Mears and was told it would be fixed in 48 hours but it is still broken and now they are saying they have to order a part for it.
“It means I can’t get out as I can’t just go down the stairs. I am literally trapped on the tenth floor.
“I have a range of mobility issues and after the ecoli infection in May 2017 I couldn’t do anything. I had just finished training as a special needs assistant, had my DBS certificate and was due to start a job when I ended up in hospital.”
Sheralee is bidding for a new home and says she is hopeful of a move to a more suitable property.
In a letter to residents East Kent Housing say they are “looking into further improvement works on these lifts in the near future to stop reoccurring breakdowns.”
Mears say following the unsuccessful repair to the lift further checks are being carried out and that the firm recognises “there have been increased reports of breakdowns to the lifts,” and repairs will be carried out “as soon as possible.”
This is terrible. I have just written to the TDC Director of Housing to request that this situation is fixed and an apology and explanation provided. I’m so sorry our residents are inconvenienced.
Thank you. Its been 12 days now and im still stuck in my flat and I know other disabled people in the building are struggling too. They put a letter through everyones door last week but we haven’t heard anything since!
What concerns me is that disabled people are being housed in flats that they are dependent on lifts for….what is going to happen should there be a fire and you aren’t allowed to use the lifts?
Very bad. I’m disabled and recently I was about to be homeless & TDC tried to force me to take private rent in a building with a lift. The lift was not fully working when they took me to see it & the agent told me that no guarantee on how long repairs would take in even of breakdown. So I refused the flat (also no parking!) TDC tried to force me to accept by saying they had discharged their duty by finding me “suitable” accommodation so had no more liability to me! Thankfully I wasn’t intimidated and told them it was NOT suitable but I’m sure that there are some who are in vulnerable situations and would think they have no choice ( because that’s what they are told!) This practice of housing disabled in buildings that are not suitable has to stop. Lives could be lost in worst case scenario.
This is not a suitable fix for all those who are disabled, especially those in a wheelchair, but if walking down one flight of stairs can be done it is possible to take the other lift that is working to the next floor up then come down the stairs to the correct floor. I agree though that disabled should not be housed in high rise flats for their own safety. We need more suitable housing.
This will not be suitable for all disabled residents, especially those using a wheelchair but if they are able to walk down one flight of stairs they could get the lift that is working to the floor above then come down the stairs to the correct floor. This is not an answer for the problem of housing disabled in high rise blocks though. It should not happen, for their own safety.
If at all possible, take the lift that is working to the next floor up above the one you need then walk down one flight of stairs.
Disabled people should not be housed in unsuitable accommodation like high rise flats though, even with lifts. The council should be looking to invest in more single storey homes.
Why do the lifts serve different floors?
I was delivering there on Friday, I stupidly left my handset on the boxes whilst waiting for the lift and some “residents” tried to steal it.
The lift for the odd floor wasn’t working so had to use the other one which someone had used as a toilet then carry the delivery down the stairs to get to the right floor.
I have been stuck in here 12 days now, valentines day ruined and a hospital appointment missed! I appreciate everyone’s support but should add that I wasn’t put here by the council, I gave up a 1st floor flat and moved in here voluntarily a Yr and half ago with a friend as although I was more mobile at the time(on crutches)after spending time in hospital I was too ill to look after myself.
Many thanks for all your support especially Kathy bailles. The lift is now working finally… Hooray
That’s good news
I wrote to Bob Porter overvthe weekend. He responded yesterday am to say Dear Karen
I also saw a report on line about this, and assume we are referring to the same issue. I have contacted EKH to ask for an explanation of what is happening and will let you know.
Shouldn’t have been blocked in. I will ask for clarity on the contract. Sorry for the trouble this has caused.
Ain’t that great, 2 weeks after they finally fixed it its broken down again!!! Last time I missed out on a hospital appt a nurses appt and valentines day, today is my birthday and if its not fixed today il miss out on that too! Wish council would hurry up and rehouse me it’s so frustrating! As disabled as I am I try so hard to lead a “normal” life but this is draining me so much!