A housing group has been criticised for failing to act quickly to fix a lift in a block of flats.

Some tenants living at Riverside Place in St John’s Avenue, Braintree, have had limited access to the outside world because of the broken lift, which has been left out of action for two weeks.

The issue was first reported to Home Group, which manages the 30 properties in the building, in October.

However, engineers allegedly refused to look at the lift until concerns over hygiene were addressed.

A delay in addressing those concerns means the lift remains out of action and forced disabled residents to use the stairs, or worse, remain stranded at home.

One resident in his fifties, who did not wish to be named, said: “We are not very happy. I have to use a mobility scooter to get around and am lucky I have good people around me to come and help.

“I’ve only been able to get out twice since October 31 and that was only because I have good friends and people around me who have helped me get up and down the stairs.

“I find it difficult to walk and it really isn’t easy using the stairs, let alone trying to get a scooter up and down.

“There are young mothers with pushchairs who have also been really struggling.”

He added: “This happens quite regularly and the amount of times it has happened is ridiculous to be honest.

“Home Group are normally quite good at coming to look at it but I was told engineers wouldn’t come out to fix the lift because it has faeces in it.

“I fully understand why they would say that. It’s up to Home Group to sort that out so it is frustrating it’s taken so long.”

Kevin Stoker, a maintenance surveyor at Home Group, says contractors are yet to fix the lift but insists those involved are working hard to ensure the matter is resolved.

He said: “We were alerted to an issue with a lift on October 31. The contractor attended the next day and informed us replacement parts were needed due to damage which had been caused to the controls.

“For health and safety reasons the contractor was not allowed to replace the parts until the lift had been environmentally cleaned.

“That has now happened.

“Unfortunately, there is a slight delay with the parts but the contractor is pushing hard to get them here as soon as possible.”