Family of 11 left without heating
A HOUSING association has vowed to make good after a family of 11 in Staindrop were left without hot water or heating for more than seven weeks.
Laura Henderson, her partner Ross Drummond and their nine children aged between seven months and 22, lost the services when an engineer declared the home’s heating system unsafe.
Despite several visits by Home Group contractors the heating system, which uses solid fuel, had still not been repaired last week.
However, the housing association had installed an electric shower and added an element to the home’s boiler to provide warm water to taps in the house.
Before the installation, Ms Henderson described how difficult it had been to do any washing in the home.
She said: “I haven’t been able to wash myself. We have to boil the kettle to wash the dishes.”
She added that washing clothes and bedding in cold water was a particular problem because one of her children is severely autistic and needs regular fresh sheets.
Last week a number of officers and contractors met at the family’s home on Winston Road to come up with solutions.
Paul Graham, lead maintenance and contract manager at Home Group, said: “I’m really sorry to hear about the issues our customer has faced and can only apologise and reiterate that we are working hard to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.
“Home Group have a robust servicing and inspection programme and take customer safety extremely seriously.
“The fireplace required a new part but unfortunately, due to a supplier issue, this has taken longer than expected to acquire.
“We have worked with the customer to find the best solution, including offering an alternative and more sustainable heating option, and ensured they have access to hot water through an electric shower. We will be completing the works as a priority and I can assure our customer that any additional costs they have incurred during this process will be compensated.”