Misery as Brownhills flats left without hot water for weeks
A pipe leak has left tenants at a Brownhills tower block without heating and hot water for two weeks – and the issue may not be resolved for almost another month.
A fault in the pipework at the 17-storey Humphries House in Lindon Drive caused the heating system serving a number of the flats to fail on January 31, leaving residents, including the elderly, left in the cold.
And some of the residents could find their misery lasting another three weeks as engineers look to fix the problem.
Ward councillor Steve Wade and his Labour group colleague David Morgan said the issue had left people living there distressed.
Walsall Housing Group (WHG), which owns the property, has apologised to residents for the problems and said work is under way to replace pipes which had suffered from ‘excessive corrosion’.
While WHG hasn’t specified how many residents are still affected, it said most of the residents will have their heating restored before the predicted three week timetable.
Diane Poxton, 60, said the flats have been “absolutely freezing”.
The petrol station cashier, who lives with her husband Philip, said: “It’s absolutely freezing, they’ve given us a fan heater now.
"Luckily we’ve got an electric shower, but no baths or washing up with hot water. It could kill the older people off.”
Matthew Jones, 40, has lived on the 10th floor with his wife Victoria, 30, since September.
Mr Jones, a recovery driver, said it is “terrible”.
He added: “It’s not so much the heating, it’s the lack of hot water, it’s terrible to be fair. We’re going to see if we can get some compensation. I work and my wife works but there’s a lot of elderly people in the block.”
Councillor Wade said: “This is obviously very distressing for some residents having no heating or hot water.
“As soon as I became aware of it, I was in contact with WHG trying to find out the extent of the problems and any time scales for the work to be completed.
“I will be in constant contact with WHG regarding these issues so that we can ensure our residents are fully aware of what’s going on and that help is available if needed.”
Nigel Harris, director of home maintenance services for WHG, said: “We are sorry for the issues being experienced by some customers living in Humphries House.
“This has been caused by excessive corrosion of the pipework, leading to pinhole leaks within the system.
“We are working hard to restore the heating and hot water to those homes affected as soon as possible.
“Work started to replace the pipework affected by corrosion on Monday (February 11), and we anticipate it will be fully complete in three weeks, although the majority of customers will see their heating restored before then.
“The well-being of customers is our absolute priority and we have provided temporary heaters to all customers who have requested them, to ensure no one is left without heating.
“Each flat is also receiving £50 to cover any additional energy costs.
“There is a customer liaison officer on site while the works are being undertaken and the customers have been provided with a direct line number to address any concerns they may have.”
By Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter