Hundreds of East End homes without heating

HUNDREDS of residents have lost their heating as the freezing weather takes grip – while housing chiefs see callout demands double.

Tower Hamlets Homes, which manages 22,000 tenants on behalf of the council, has been getting 200 calls each day since the end of November from residents whose heating or hot water has broken.

Based on last year’s figures, they expected half that amount.

Their contractors have employed five more gas engineers to cope with the extra workload.

As the temperatures dropped into the minus teens last week, residents across the borough have been feeling the brunt.

Last Friday, 47 homes in Burcham Street, Poplar, lost heating due to a problem with a central boiler.

Poplar HARCA, which runs the homes, said it sent out engineers immediately and delivered electric heaters to homes.

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The housing association also vowed to reimburse tenants for extra electricity costs.

Nicola Little, of Navemby Walk, Bow, called Poplar HARCA when her heating broke on November 26.

She said: “My kids have been wearing coats indoors. It’s been unbearable. I’m worried the problems will carry on until Christmas.”

Brian Flinch, 27, was without heating on and off for 16 days due to a faulty boiler.

The dad, of Barnes Street, Limehouse, said: “My eight-year-old daughter has been at home with a viral infection. We have a couple of electrical heaters but we can’t afford to use them.”

THH said after fixing the boiler several times it decided not to wait for the necessary part, which was delayed due to transport issues, and instead installed a new system for Mr Flinch.

The housing association said it aims to repair faulty heating and hot water within 24 hours in the winter months between October and March.

A spokeswoman for THH said it is identifying residents who are “most at risk” and “prioritising these people”.

Advice includes keep curtains drawn and doors closed to block out draughts, have regular hot drinks, wear several light layers of warm clothes and stay active.