28 April 2005


Young baby left out in the cold by Housing Executive

HE say they are doing everything to have the matter finally resolved

An seriously ill eight-month-old baby has been left without heat and hot water for the last three weeks after the Housing Executive turned the heating off citing "health and safety" concerns.

Shea Conway lives with his mother and grandmother in Turf Lodge. He has chronic lung disease and finds it difficult to breathe. Without oxygen cylinders he would be unable to breathe independently.

Three weeks ago an engineer from the Housing Executive came to their Norglen Road home on a routine inspection. Spotting the oxygen cylinders the engineer felt it necessary to turn off the gas supply.

"The fella turned off the heating supply and left us with a blow heater but that's no use for heating up the whole house or for heating water," said Shea's father, James Carlin.

"My son has lung disease and brain damage and his sickness means he is prone to catching bugs that are going round. The fact that he has been sitting with no heating is a disgrace and we can hardly get him washed as there is never any hot water.

“The Housing Executive told us they would sort out a new place to live, but we haven't got anywhere yet. Considering my son's condition this is ridiculous.

“How are people supposed to cope with no heat and water?
“It seems to me that the living conditions at the minute are a health and safety concern."

When contacted by the Andersonstown News the Housing Executive said Health and Safety Regulations prohibit the use of oxygen within the same room as a gas room heater.

“Under these regulations the engineer had no alternative but to disconnect the gas heating supply and provide the tenant with an alternative temporary heating source.

"As this property is not suitable for Ms Conway and her child the Housing Executive has been in daily contact with her to find alternative temporary accommodation suitable for the complex needs of her and her family and are doing everything possible to have this matter resolved urgently.”

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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