Cold snap misery: hundreds of Hackney residents left with no heating

The cold snap is causing misery for hundreds of Hackney residents who have been left without heating, including a severely asthmatic man whose condition is aggravated by the cold.

As the snow began falling amid sub-zero temperatures, over 160 tenants in the Wisteria Appartments, a Family Mosaic Housing Association building in Chatham Place, Homerton were left without heating and hot water on Saturday for the second time in three weeks.

The charity’s website states lack of heating and hot water is considered an urgent repair they will fix within 24 hours, but tenants who include a mum with baby twins and a severely disabled young man, have been told it could be Saturday before it is fixed.

“It broke for 3 weeks two years ago, but going through it with children is so much more stressful,” said mum of four-month old twin girls, Tanya Augustin.

“It’s important to keep babies warm and they both have a bad cold at the moment, it’s a worry that this is making them worse.

“On top of that, it’s not easy to go to a friend’s house with two babies for a shower and lug in the double buggy.

“It doesn’t feel as thought these little fan heaters are warming up the room, and a couple of them have already broken,” she added.

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“Each winter for the last two years the heating has broken down and it’s frustrating a more long term solution hasn’t been found.”

A spokeswoman for family Mosaic said the boiler needed new parts ordering, hence the delay.

Meanwhile, Eddie Connor who lives in Kinver House on the Woodberry Down estate complained that his landlord Hackney Homes did not see fit to treat his broken boiler as an emergency.

“The cold air stops me from breathing properly, most asthmatics don’t have a nebuliser as it’s not bad enough, but my asthma has nearly killed me in the past, I told them and they did not care a jot,” said the 38-year old actor.

“The cold makes me feel as though someone has wrapped cling film around my face and I am struggling for breath, it’s that bad, I see stars.”

He had to wait four days until his boiler was finally fixed on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Hackney Homes said the severe weather conditions at the weekend saw an unprecedented number of calls, which were prioritised based on the known vulnerability of our residents.