Eastbourne woman fed up with ‘disgraceful’ service from her housing provider

A woman from Eastbourne said she has now been without heating and hot water on five separate occasions in the last five months.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 15th January 2021, 11:22 am

Tara Nicholson is 32 weeks pregnant and lives at a property with her 20 month-old son and disabled parents. She is a full-time carer for her father who has emphysema - a lung condition that causes shortness of breath.

Tara said she has been living without hot water and heating on five occasions since moving in last August due to a recurring boiler problem.

On the morning of January 10 Tara said she called the emergency line for Orbit Housing due to an issue with the boiler leaving them without heating or hot water, she said it was minus two degrees at that point.

Tara said nothing happened that day and when she called again the following day she said she was told that Orbit Housing had only seen the issue flagged that morning - 24 hours after the initial call was made.

She said she was then told there would be someone out within 48 hours to fix the problem and when she asked about emergency heating she said she was told it would be a 24 hour wait.

Tara said, “I told them my parents are vulnerable but they didn’t care. There is no way for me to wash my son other than baby wipes.”

She said this isn’t the first time this has happened either. When they moved in on August 31 she said there was no heating or hot water when they arrived and it took four days for someone to come and fix the issue.

Tara said, “It’s disgraceful, they’re not treating us how they should be. My dad is shielding and this is not healthy for him. It’s not acceptable and we never get an apology.”

On January 12 Tara said someone from Orbit Housing came to fix the most recent problem. However, she said like all previous occasions, they have just done a ‘quick fix’ so she thinks the boiler will break again soon.

She said, “I can’t believe that this is the fifth time it’s happened in five months.”

In response to this, Robert Page, the head of heating and electricals for Orbit Housing, said, “We are currently working with the customer to resolve the problem with their boiler now that we have been able to diagnose the cause.

“We have arranged an appointment with the heating specialist this week and as with previous visits will ensure that the customer is left with heating

and hot water.”