Retired couple forced to live in Holiday Inn after water main bursts under council home
PUBLISHED: 07:57 14 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:31 14 January 2020
A retired couple has been left to spend more than a month living in a Holiday Inn - because repairs to their council house are yet to be completed.
At the beginning of September, Trevor and Pauline Goss began to suffer a litany of problems with their home in Tuckswood, near Norwich.
Cracks were appearing in the walls, pictures were falling and at times, they say, it appeared as though the house was shaking.
After weeks of trying to ascertain what the problem was - and who was responsible for fixing it - it was discovered that the issues had been caused by a burst water main beneath their home on Kirklees.
Once Norwich City Council had agreed to repair the damages the couple sought the advice of a structural engineer, who told them the property was uninhabitable and could be at risk of a collapse.
As a result, City Hall moved the couple into temporary emergency accommodation while the problem could be solved - the Holiday Inn on Ipswich Road.
Mr and Mrs Goss, 78 and 74, moved in on December 6, expecting only to be the a short time. However, as of five weeks later they are still at the hotel and no closer to moving back into their property.
Mrs Goss said: "I'm fed up. It has not been very comfortable living in a Holiday Inn.
"We've had to move everything into storage and we were offered a temporary home that was unfurnished, but I just can't physically or emotionally face having to move everything twice."
Norwich City Council has offered six properties but they have not fitted the couples' needs.
Karen Collison, the couple's daughter, said: "Because my father is disabled and my mother had life-saving surgery last year they have a very complex set of needs for a home - they need to be on a ground floor with a walk-in shower and rails - so it is incredibly hard to find somewhere suitable.
"It felt like it took a long time to establish what the problem was and whose job it was to sort it out. Had it been sorted sooner we would not be in this mess."
Mrs Collison lives in a one-bedroom property, so cannot offer to put up her parents herself - but the council has now said it is too expensive for them to continue staying in the Holiday Inn.
A spokesman for Norwich City Council said: "Due to the long term nature of the repairs required at Mr and Mrs Goss' home, we have agreed it would be better for them to move into a different council property as a permanent solution, rather than living in further temporary accommodation.
"As they have not accepted any of the properties we have offered so far, we will continue to work with them to consider all options available."