Vulnerable man sick after sewage gets through pipes of West Belfast home

A vulnerable man has been left sick after plumbing issues at his West Belfast home that resulted in sewage leaking into the property.

The man's flat in the Lenadoon Avenue area experienced the issues for a number of weeks, which has impacted his mental and physical health. Additionally, he has had no access to toilet or washing facilities.

The Housing Executive has now confirmed they are beginning repairs to resolve the issue. Local councillor Paul Doherty intervened on the man's behalf to resolve the plumbing issues, adding that he believes the Housing Executive should have acted sooner.

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Speaking to Belfast Live, Councillor Doherty said: "This is a very vulnerable man living on his own in a flat and he was left there in a way that was unacceptable. He almost felt as though he was suffocating in his own home due to the real issue of sewage coming up through the system into his bath.

"What made it worse was he couldn't use the toilet or washing facilities, and his mental health and physical health suffered as a result of this. Nobody should be left living in these conditions and it’s clear that this property was unfit for human habitation."

He is calling on the Housing Executive to be more proactive in terms of ensuring properties are up to standard for tenants to make sure such issues don't arise in the future. Paul said in this case, the response felt like "too little, too late."

Cllr Doherty added: "This man has suffered as a result of this and what we want to see now is him being able to live in an environment where he can breathe and feel safe, and not fall into sickness.

"The Housing Executive have now confirmed to me that they will be carrying out the necessary repairs on this property. I am very concerned at the Housing Executive’s failure to respond to these issues until contacted by myself.

"They should have acted much sooner and I would urge them to learn lessons from this situation so that nobody has to go through a similar experience in future. This issue went on for weeks before this man's brother reached out to me.

"How many people are living in homes like that currently, who maybe can't pick up the phone to get support and advice? There could be many more people suffering right across the city and beyond in really inadequate housing conditions."

A Housing Executive spokesperson said; “We received a report of a blockage in a pipe at this location and we engaged the services of a contractor to investigate and commence repairs.

“We’ve also liaised with a local representative in order to gain access to both the internal and external areas of the property to make assessments. We have now gained access to the property and work has commenced – we hope to have this issue resolved as soon as possible."

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