Vulnerable people living in a 14-storey block of flats in Acton are regularly ‘trapped’ in their homes because of faulty lifts.
Tenants and property owners claim housing association A2Dominion is failing to deal with the long-term problem at Ebbett Court and are demanding immediate action. An online petition reveals the depth of frustration and anger shared by those living in the 191-apartment block, in Victoria Road. A2Dominion has apologised and asked residents to be patient.
Abhi Patil lives on the 13th floor with his wife and parents. He set up the online petition, which has so far been signed by 182 people. The 32-year-old said: “One lift has been permanently broken and beyond repair for over a year. The other keeps breaking down for two or three days. Then it gets fixed, and a short while later breaks down again. Last time it was broken for 10 days before being fixed.”
As a result elderly or ill people and parents of young children have been struggling. “My father is 67 and has heart disease. He had to stay at home, he couldn’t climb the 13 floors,” Mr Patil added: “Some people who are disabled can’t go out, they’re trapped. Parents struggle to take their strollers up and down the stairs with their children.”
Some people have been unable to take their rubbish downstairs for collection, and are forced to let it build up until the lift is fixed. Mr Patil set up the petition after his wife, Chandan, and neighbour, Rebecca Farquhar, knocked on doors in Ebbett Court to gauge other people’s views.
Mr Patil said: “I don’t know when we last had two working lifts. Our main aim is to get the lifts replaced as soon as possible as they’re not fit for purpose.”
Hannah Driscoll, 34, teaches English and literature at Brentside High, in Hanwell, and lives on the 13th floor with her husband and 14-month-old son Hugo.
“It’s just hideous,” she said. “One day my husband had left for work and I didn’t leave the flat at all. I couldn’t carry the pushchair and baby down all those stairs. I was just stuck in my flat. It's terrible, you can’t live your life properly.”
Steve Michauz, A2Dominion’s director of leaseholder services, said: “The lift that is out of order cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced. This is a major undertaking that requires us to go out to tender and may take a number of weeks to compete. We understand the frustration this is causing for residents and would like to reassure them that we are doing everything we can to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”