Seniors feel trapped in apartment with broken elevator

Repairs delayed as residents with limited mobility endure second week without lift.

Repairs delayed as residents with limited mobility endure second week without lift

Ellen Tremblay said her doctor has advised her that the exertion of climbing stairs has aggravated a fracture and made her chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder worse. (CHEK News)

Residents of an apartment building in downtown Victoria say they feel trapped in their homes because the only elevator has been out of service for nearly two weeks.

At least 50 people, many with limited mobility, live at Ashlar Manor on Fisgard Street, a subsidized building operated by the Capital Region Housing Corporation for people 55 and older.

Fifth-floor resident Ellen Tremblay, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a spinal fracture, said navigating the stairs is painful and has aggravated her health problems.

"I was told by my doctor I can't do it any more," Tremblay said. "Walking up the stairs, because I've irritated my fracture and also my breathing has gotten worse since I've had to do this."

Tremblay said she now needs help to get to and from her apartment.

Some residents are also concerned about making medical appointments and what they will do if there is a fire.

The building is operated by the Capital Region Housing Corporation, which has pushed back the estimated repair date.

Repairs delayed

Last week, the housing corporation said in a statement to CBC it expected the elevator to be back in service by late Tuesday. Now the corporation says it will be functional on Friday. 

"The CRHC appreciates the importance of this situation for people living at Ashlar Manor and is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible," the statement from CHRC management said.

The corporation said on Dec. 2 the elevator was shut down because of an electrical problem, then electrical and elevator maintenance technicians discovered the motor was damaged and needed replacement.

Ashlar Manor residents were advised that CRHC staff and Medi-Van services are available to help if tenants are unable to access food and transportation on their own. 

Food hampers donated by Saint Vincent De Paul were also delivered to the tenants on Dec. 8, the statement said.

With files from CHEK News