The Newlon Housing Trust has apologised to disabled poet Kass Hammami after leaving for “nearly a month” without hot water as the poet fought to have Newlon replace his broken boiler.

Kass, who lives with multiple sclerosis, reported that the boiler in his property in Islington had broken on January 7, and claims Newlon failed to show up to “numerous” appointments to fix it, and with the weather taking a turn for the worse, he has been forced to venture out into public spaces like libraries in order to get a heat.

He told the Islington Gazette: “It has radically affected my health. I have been trying to find coping mechanisms but it’s hard to do that.

“Obviously a home should be somewhere to relax but for me going home is like going back into the streets, so I’m going to places like libraries just to enjoy the warmth. It’s really cold.

“I’m a wheelchair user and I’ve been put in a vulnerable position by Newlon.”

Kass, who has lived in the property for nine years, has been forced to wash himself using his kettle, which he calls “so uncomfortable,” and says is simply “warming up his body.” The situation has affected his mental health, and required him to visit his GP for help with the suicidal thoughts he is facing as a result of the predicament.

Newlon Housing Trust has previously come under fire for its maintenance of the Barnsbury Estate, in which it was accused of “ignoring people’s suffering”, and of leaving the estate to rot.

In a statement to the Gazette, a Newlon Housing Trust spokesperson said: “We have been in contact with the resident today and the repairs will be carried out tomorrow morning.

“We have clearly failed to deal with the problems with Mr Hammami’s heating and hot water as we should have done. This has been caused by poor communication between Newlon and our specialist heating repairs contractor and in turn with Mr Hammami.

“We apologise unreservedly to Mr Hammami and will be contacting him to offer compensation.

“We will also make sure that we take on board the learning points from this situation.”

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Source: Islington Gazette
Image: Kass Hammami/Facebook

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