VULNERABLE elderly residents were left without hot water or heating for five days after the boiler in their living complex broke.

Lucille Knight, who has lived at Chignal House for the past ten years, has been unable to shower since the trouble started on Friday.

All 34 flats at the sheltered housing block on Tendring Avenue in Rayleigh were impacted.

Ms Knight says this is the second boiler that has broken since February.

The 69-year-old said: “We’ve been left in the freezing cold, there are lots of residents living here in their nineties.

“We’ve got two boilers, one went down in February and was never fixed, then this one went. I only realised when I thought it’s getting a bit cold, checked the radiator and it had gone off.

“They delivered tiny little heaters, but you’d get more heat out of a hairdryer. How can you warm up a whole two bedroom flat with that?

“It’s so frustrating, there are two of us without electric showers - myself and another resident who is very vulnerable, on oxygen 24/7.”

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Bosses at Sanctuary Housing say they are “extremely sorry” and the situation would be resolved this morning.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Housing said: “Plans were already in place to permanently replace the current boiler early this summer, and we expect this work to be completed in August.

“On being alerted to the issue with the heating and hot water on Friday, we immediately provided portable heating for residents at the scheme to use temporarily and more are being delivered – we will fully cover the cost of any extra energy used.

“In addition, staff were on site into the evening to offer residents support and those who do not have an electric shower in their home were given the option of moving into alternative accommodation until the situation was resolved.

“Whilst the residents decided to remain in their homes, we encouraged them to contact us immediately if they changed their minds.

“Our staff will continue to be in regular contact with residents to offer additional support and further regular updates will be provide.”