Northern Ireland

Rathcoole pensioner John Lundy left without heat since December

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Media captionJohn Lundy's boiler broke down in December, leaving him without heat for almost two months

The Housing Executive has said it will replace the heating system in a Newtownabbey pensioner's flat as a "matter of urgency".

Rathcoole man John Lundy, 72, has been without heat in his home since December.

The Housing Executive has been to his home seven times in the last two months, but have been unable to resolve the problem with his boiler.

A community worker has described Mr Lundy's situation as "outrageous".

The Housing Executive has said it will now replace the boiler in Mr Lundy's home.

On Tuesday, Mr Lundy told BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme he was "absolutely freezing".

"When I come home I've a thermal vest on, thermal long johns, I have nylon socks on and then thermal ones over them, I've a T-shirt on, I've got my pyjamas on, a onesie on and then my house coat and I'm still freezing," he said.

He said his bedroom was "like a fridge".

Of the Housing Executive, Mr Lundy said: "They're going home to their well-heated houses, I'm sitting here freezing, so what am I supposed to do?"

Mr Lundy's daughter Louise said it was ridiculous that her father had been without heating for so long.

"I'm very concerned about his health. He's got a heart condition he's got diabetes and over the weekend he started to come down with a chest infection," she said.

"They've (the executive) provided two very small blow heaters that to get any heat out of them them you'd have to practically sit on top of them."

Image copyright Phil Hamilton
Image caption John Lundy, 72, wrapped in a duvet in an attempt to keep warm

Fingers and toes 'like ice'

Community worker Phil Hamilton said he was "absolutely shocked" that a 72-year-old man in his community had to live in a home with no heating.

"He's a very, very proud man and I had to ask myself today, is this 1915 or 2015?" he said.

"Serious questions need to be asked to the Housing Executive and I was thinking I'm sure this problem is not just a Rathcoole problem, how many more people across Northern Ireland - pensioners, our most vulnerable - are sitting with the same problem. It's outrageous.

"Would these people like their fathers, mothers, sitting with no heat. We've been in the house now for 10 or 15 minutes and my fingers and toes are like ice."

Gerry Flynn, director of landlord services with the Housing Executive, said Mr Lundy's situation was "unacceptable" and his heating would be replaced as "a matter of urgency".

Image copyright Phil Hamilton
Image caption John Lundy said his bedroom was like a fridge

"I would be appalled to think that there are other cases of this nature and in the length of time that I've been here a few cases have come up, but nothing like this where an individual has been left for two or three months, particularly a pensioner over the winter period," Mr Flynn said.

"I have asked for our heating contractor to attend the property today to give my officers a full brief of what is required with a view to getting replacement heating installed as a matter of urgency.

"I will be giving this my utmost attention to make sure it is done immediately."

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