Dr. Adrian Chapman, president of the Page High Estate tenant association, Wood Green, said that closing the elevators forced people to use a stairwell where social distancing was “impossible”.
The failure of the intercom at Page High – a 1970s subdivision built above shops and a parking lot on Lymington Avenue – has left some residents worried about missing food and medicine deliveries, he said. he adds.
A spokesperson for the Sanctuary Housing Association apologized for the problems and said it was “not easy” to send contractors to the building during the pandemic.
Dr. Chapman said that if there had not been groups of volunteers helping the vulnerable, people would have been in a “terrible situation”.
He said: “For a week, the two elevators were not working and more than 200 people living in Page High were forced to use a set of one hundred steps – not allowing the possibility of social distancing.
“It was not only a drawback – it was also a significant public health problem.
“The tenant association tried to maintain a dialogue with Sanctuary throughout the crisis, but could not have constructive discussions while the elevators were out of action.”
Dr. Chapman said that Sanctuary sent a WhatsApp message to tenants that he was “in the process of obtaining the Loler certificate” to resolve the elevator problem.
According to the law, Loler inspections (Regulation on lifting operations and lifting equipment) must be carried out regularly to guarantee the safe use of elevators.
Dr. Chapman said it was difficult to speak to his regular contacts at the Sanctuary and that he could only communicate with a call center in Hull – where staff had limited knowledge of Page High.
It was only after intervention by MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West that things started to improve, he added.
“The deliveries were very difficult because for several weeks we have not had an intercom,” said Dr. Chapman. “At a time when people need purchases and medicines, they find themselves in a very difficult situation.
“An elderly neighbor asked for medicines, but they could not be delivered, and they were left downstairs with market traders.
“We have a lot of elderly and vulnerable people. They are struggling, confined to their homes, extremely anxious and very scared.
“Without the group of tenants and the volunteers who take care of people and do their shopping, people would be in a terrible situation.”
A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by the elevators and for understanding the frustrations of the residents. We also apologize to Dr. Chapman for the difficulties he encountered in contacting local staff while working remotely.
“During these unusual times, it was not easy to plan for site visits by elevator contractors and, therefore, for safety reasons, we made the difficult decision to temporarily shut down the elevators until ‘that Loler inspections can be carried out.
“We can confirm that the first elevator was inspected and restored last week, while the second elevator was inspected on Tuesday, June 2 after the repairs were completed and that it is back in service. We can also assure you that we are committed to repairing the intercom as soon as the necessary parts are available. “