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‘My message as broken lift traps me in my flat’

Sixth-floor tenant in her 70s was carried down stairs to get to hospital appointment after lift broke down 'for at least the 10th time in the last two years'

28 April, 2017 — By Alex Green

Indra Omah-Maharajh and Barry Edwards with the card. ‘Hyde have not covered themselves in glory,’ he said

A LIFT on a housing estate in Holloway has been given a “Get well soon” card by disgruntled residents protesting at a housing association’s failure to maintain their block.

The lift serving seven-storey Tealby Court broke down on April 11 – at least the 10th time in the last two years, according to residents.

Former Mayor of Islington Barry Edwards and Indra Omah-Maharajh, who lives on the sixth floor of the Ringcross estate block, came up with the card idea to put pressure on Hyde housing association, which owns and maintains the buildings, to improve its repair service. It took over the estate from Islington Council in 2005.

“I am unable to climb the stairs to my flat at the top of the block so I am trapped in my home,” said Ms Omah-Maharajh, who is in her 70s. “And it always takes a long time before the lift is repaired, often as long as three weeks.”

Mr Edwards, a former Labour councillor who lives nearby, said: “There are people who are reliant on this lift to get them in and out the block.

“When the lift has not been working, the only time Ms Omah-Maharajh was able to get out of her flat was when she has had a hospital appointment. The hospital transport people have had to come along and carry her down the stairs. Hyde have not covered themselves in glory.”

He added: “If they cannot manage to provide a decent service to residents they should consider handing it back to Islington Council. Many residents I have spoken to say they regret the day Hyde took over the estate.”

Hyde aims to complete repairs within 20 days but it has been the subject of persistent complaints by residents across three estates it runs in Islington.

Town Hall housing chief Councillor Diarmaid Ward said: “I can appreciate the frustration some residents might feel. It’s about time that Hyde started acting like responsible social landlords.

“Repairs need to be done on time, especially when you’ve got residents with mobility issues.”

Hyde head of group compliance Morley Young said last week: “The lift at Tealby Court is in full working order following repair. We have arranged for a specialist consultant to carry out a condition test and are doing everything possible to ensure it remains in good working order.

“Feedback from residents shows we consistently achieve high levels of satisfaction with repairs and we work hard to ensure we’re continually improving on this.”

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