Housing NSW has maintenance issues

IMAGINE being profoundly deaf, 94 years of age and with mobility issues that render you virtually housebound.

Now imagine having no television because the maintenance contractors for Housing NSW can’t get organised enough to fix your aerial.

The combination of factors has made life close to unbearable for one woman in Sawtell for the past six days.

She doesn’t want to be identified but other tenants of the Palm Grove Housing NSW complex in Gillibri Crescent are angry not only on her behalf but because many of them have endured a similarly frustrating TV-free week.

“It has been like a jail sentence for that poor woman,” Margo Leonard said.

“She relies on the captions on her TV to fill in her day and to keep her up to date with the news. She can’t listen to radio, she can’t call anyone and has problems reading, so it has been a very long six days,” she said.

“I might be 80 but at least I still have my sight and hearing.”

Mrs Leonard is one of seven mostly elderly Palm Grove residents who have been without television since last Saturday evening.

“There was this loud bang and then the TV went blank. I think the aerial that feeds all seven units must have died,” she said.

All seven residents have tried to get the situation rectified and between them claim to have made more than 15 calls to the Housing NSW maintenance hotline.

“There is no point calling the Department of Housing in Coffs Harbour because they just tell you to call Sydney,” another resident who did not want to be identified, said.

In a written statement a Housing NSW spokesman attributed the delay in fixing the shared aerial to confusion about earlier repairs to another aerial at the same complex.

While the residents of Palm Grove will hopefully be able to enjoy a weekend in front of the box, the fact remains there are clearly problems with the outsourced maintenance contract being used by Housing NSW.

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