Housing Department in hot water

BASIL and Doreen Griffin reckon they were lucky to have been brought up tough in the bush.

They’ve needed all the steel and stamina they could muster as they’ve endured a week without hot water in their Department of Housing unit at the Jetty.

“We lost our hot water on Tuesday and I was straight on to the Department (Housing NSW) first thing on Wednesday morning,” Mr Griffin said.

“But the people in the Coffs Harbour office said I had to make a complaint to Sydney, so I’ve spent ages on the phone and gotten absolutely nowhere.

“I was on hold for over 30 minutes on Friday and most times I just got a recorded message. I even got the people in the Coffs office to call Sydney but they couldn't get through.

“Six days later and we still don't have hot water and quite frankly we're both fed up with it.”

Both Basil and Doreen grew up in the New England area and remember boiling water in kerosene tins so they could take a bath. Now in the eighties and with serious health and mobility issues the pair is doing something very similar.

“When one of us wants to have a shower, the other one brings in jugs of boiling water from the kitchen which we pour into a bucket. We then soak a towel in the hot water and wash ourselves,” Mrs Griffin said.

“We've been married for a very long time but the situation is starting to wear very thin.”

Mr Griffin said a staff member at the local Housing NSW office had sent a plumber to their unit, even though he had told them an electrical fault was more than likely the cause of the problem.

“When the plumber got here, he admitted there was nothing he could do; so in effect, taxpayers' money has been wasted and we're still without hot water,” he said.

"It is just so frustrating. Electricity supply and hot water are supposed to be on the Department's emergency service list, so how is it that we've endured almost a week with only cold water?  We used to have local contractors that would come straight around and fix things but not any more.”

Yesterday, a team leader with Housing NSW in Coffs Harbour promised to investigate why the Griffin's hot water issues hadn't been addressed. He also promised to have the situation fixed by the end of the day.

Housing NSW issued an apology for any inconvenience due to delays in fixing their hot water.

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