Elizabeth, 75, has had no heating in her Northampton housing association flat since October

Elizabeth Tipping (pictured with granddaughter Donella) was given a small floor heater as her boiler remained broken.
Elizabeth Tipping (pictured with granddaughter Donella) was given a small floor heater as her boiler remained broken.

An elderly woman's boiler has been out of action for seven weeks at her Northampton flat after broken promises from her housing association landlords.

Elizabeth Tipping, aged 75, has been living in temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius at her Monks Hall Road flat in Abington after her boiler broke on October 24.

A steady stream of gas engineers, plumbers and workmen have passed through her doors sent by East Midlands Housing Association, her landlords. But their promises to get to the bottom of the problem have proved hollow.

Elizabeth said: "I've been in tears at times. I'm not the kind of person to complain much but the housing association don't seem to care what I'm going through.

"I've lost count of the number of times they say someone will come out and they haven't turned up.My mum is 100 and lives nearby but I can't even leave the house to visit her in case I miss a workman."

The final insult came when East Midlands Housing Association sent a floor heater as a stopgap measure. The tiny device barely heats the area around itself, let alone the five-room flat.

"I've been so cold that for my birthday I had to ask for onesies off everyone," Elizabeth said.

Mrs Tipping's granddaughter Donella Leader said: "She's been at her wits' end but no-one at the housing association seems to understand. Some days she's had to stay in bed all day to keep warm.

"I've asked them how they would feel if this was their nan."

After being contacted by the Chron, East Midlands Housing association promised to take action immediately.

Adrian Cheetham, director of property services, said: "We have been looking into this situation and can say wholeheartedly that the standard of service experienced by Mrs Tipping has been unacceptable and for this we sincerely apologise."

The housing association said the replacement of the boiler became complicated due to a number of factors including a change in the gas contractor charged with replacing the boiler. "Unforeseen issues" found along the way also included faulty electrics and blocked waste pipes, it said.

Mr Cheetham added: "We are looking into our arrangements with our contractor to ensure that processes are improved and that this type of situation does not arise in future.

"We will do everything we can to rectify this situation immediately and will contact Ms Tipping to offer additional support and our apologies”