Sunday, June 25, 2006
What it means when the lifts go off
Friday, June 23, 2006
Lift in 65 off today and yesterday.
The housing officer at first didn't know what I was talking about, but then phoned me back to say that it was because GHA contractors and put the lift off deliberately while they were doing "environmental clearout". Apprently it was for our safety so that we wouldn't get into the lift with them. The lift has been left in a really dirty state, there's old carpets and a large metal plate left in the foyer and a large wheelie bin just outside the door so it loks like they were clearing out a flat. My guess is that they just wanted uninterrupted use of the lift so they could move all the stuff out and so locked it so they had it on priority.
I said that they should put signs up on all the landings when the lifts are off. I think it shows distain for the residents that they think its fine to just monopolise our lifts, which are the access to our homes, and not even let us know, and then to leave the place in such a tip. At least if a sign is up you don't have to stand pushing the button for 5 minutes and not know whether its just taking its time as normal, or whether to risk the backstairs.
We are not treated as if we are valued in our own homes, but that it doesn't matter if we are inconvenienced. I think that this stems from a culture from before GHA took over but they need to change it. Its fine for them to put up expensive billboards and adverts on the TV and radio about how happy all their tenants are with their new kitchens and bathrooms (and when are we going to get them?) but if there was actually a culture that residents mattered and have a right to know what is going on in our own homes they wouldn't need to waste our rent money telling us how happy we are with them because it would actually be true!
Monday, June 12, 2006
Broken lifts are making our lives a misery
TENANTS in three city tower blocks are demanding urgent action to stop their ageing lifts breaking down.
People living in the 22-storey flats in Maryhill say they are trapped in their homes every time the 20-year-old lifts pack in.
They claim one lift was out of action for four-and-a-half months.
Now, after another breakdown last week, they are calling for landlord Glasgow Housing Association to replace the faulty lifts in Cedar Street, part of St George's Estate.
Last Wednesday the lift at
No 65 broke down for a day, and many pensioners, disabled tenants and mums with prams were unable to make the lengthy journey down the fire escape stairs.
Volunteer Graham McGunnagle, 20, lives on the fifth floor and can use the stairs when the lift is broken. But his 66-year-old gran on the 17th floor has to stay at home.
Graham, who is a member of Cedar Tenants' Association, said: "My gran can't do stairs so it would have been too much for her to walk down 17 flights.
"She was stuck at home all day. We've complained numerous times but are given no explanations as to why it's happening."
Disabled nursing home volunteer Mark Rooney, 37, who stays on the 20th floor of No 104 says he is at the end of his tether.
Mark, who is registered blind, said: "Going up and down stairs is an absolute nightmare for me. This happens regularly.
"The lifts should have been replaced years ago. I'm angry, disappointed and downhearted."
Mum Natasha McKay, 22, struggled up and down 20 flights with her son Daniel Nixon, 2.
Natasha said: "When I took Daniel to nursery I had to bump him all the way down 20 flights in the buggy. I had to struggle back up with the buggy while carrying him. It's terrible."
In a previous breakdown, lifts in No 65 were out of action for four-and-a-half months and on at least four occasions since, lifts have jammed at No 104. The third tower block, No 9, has also been affected.
A GHA spokeswoman said the breakdown last week was due to a burst water pipe which damaged the lift's electrical supply.
Last year's repairs were held up because the GHA was waiting for a part to be delivered.
The spokeswoman added: "We do understand the tenants' frustrations and can assure them our staff dealt with the isolated lift breakdowns as quickly as physically possible.
"GHA is spending £1million every two days on improving tenants' homes across the city."
Last week, GHA announced the city's 80,000 tenants are to be given more control over housing decision-making and will be able to choose how much cash is allocated to specific projects.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Tenants in Maryhill take action!
Angry and bemused tenants in Cedar Court who woke up to find both their lifts off, fire escape lighting broken and water not running, hung banners from their verandas in protest. The lifts are over 20 years old and are regularly not working. Last year Cedar Tenants Association was formed after a lift in the middle block remained out-of-order for four and half months, leaving half the tenants with compromised access to their own homes.
"This is scandalous! We weren't told what happened. We weren't told when it was getting fixed. The intercoms were out as well so couldn't buzz to find out what was happening either," said Graham, a tenant in the block.
The breakdown of both lifts simultaneously, the water supply cut off, and the lighting black out in the fire escape came just two weeks after Cedar Tenants Association published an electrical engineers report which listed a catalogue of repairs and sent into the housing association landlord. The report alleges the "entire site presents an appearance of dereliction of duty and would seem to be without properly organised maintenance. Urgent work is required to render the site fit for purpose and put in place the mechanisms to efficaciously manage maintenance issues in the future." GHA is yet to make any response to the report.
"The landlord is legally required to ensure that tenants are living in accommodation that is windproof and water tight and otherwise in a habitable condition" (From Statute)
The lifts were finally fixed at 4 o'clock, after being off all day, but residents are concerned about when they will break down next. GHA have refused to give any compensation or rent rebates for any of the times that the lifts have been off. Nor will they give a definite timetable for their replacement.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Cedar Tenants Take Action!
Today Cedar tenants were faced with yet another disgraceful example of neglect as tenants, who let's not forget include mothers with prams and the elderly, in block 104 are at this moment being forced to walk up and down up to 22 flights of stairs in the fire escape. Both lifts have broken down and are out of action, and people are reporting that their water supply is not working. The backstairs fire escape is also shrouded in darkness as all the lights in all the corridors are now off, making conditions dangerous for many.
Tenants felt enough was enough, and banners will now stay up until the lift situation is resolved while we consider further action. Enough is enough! No more running this scheme into the ground!