Outrage as Muswell Hill pensioners left without heating in sheltered housing

Winifred Wilson has spent most evenings in bed. Photo: Jonathan Goldberg

Winifred Wilson has spent most evenings in bed. Photo: Jonathan Goldberg - Credit: Archant

A frail 90-year-old has been left shivering in bed at her sheltered accommodation in Muswell Hill after the central heating broke down during an unseasonably icy Spring.

Winifred Wilson, who is blind, is among 34 senior residents at the Jubilee Court supported living complex in Muswell Hill who have mental, physical or social support needs.

They were left without central heating for two weeks and will finally be provided with a temporary boiler tomorrow (Friday) by their landlords, London and Quadrant Housing Trust.

Following a meeting last week, all residents were finally given three portable heaters for their rooms.

The pensioner said: “I have been here 22 years and I have never felt so cold in all my life.

“Normally we have heating in all the corridors and in each single flat.”

“I’m sitting here and I have my dressing gown on and I have a blanket around me.

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“We’re trying to get some explanation.”

While Winifred had a portable heater, she found it hard to leave her flat and enter into the communal areas.

Val Wilson, Winifred Wilson’s niece, has been besides herself with worry for her frail aunt and her friends.

“It would not surprise me if someone died because of this,” she said.

As a manager at jliving, a community housing association in Hemmel Hampstead, Val says she is “outraged” on a personal and professional level.

“I’m speaking professionally as well as for my aunty,” she said.

“I’m just absolutely appalled and think it should be highlighted.

“There has been no compensation.”

Val Wilson was not informed by the housing management that there was a problem and only found out when she rung her aunt to check up on her a couple of weeks ago, finding her shivering in bed.

The Jubilee Court warden was off with flu last week, although support managers Metropolitan said they provided replacement cover.

A spokesman with London and Quadrant Housing Trust said: “Our dedicated contractors have been working hard to repair the boiler at Jubilee Court and in the meantime a temporary boiler house will be installed on May 6, which will restore the communal heating.

“We have provided each resident’s home with three portable heaters as well as a few in the communal lounge and will cover any additional heating costs.”