Single dad and kids living on takeaways as dirty water runs into kitchen
A single dad-of-five and his children were forced to live on takeaways due to the amount of dirty water pouring into their kitchen.
Tony Mckenzie told the ECHO about the shocking conditions at his home in Everton, which he and his four daughters, aged between four and 23, have had to endure for the last 15 months. It all started back in February last year when water started leaking from the family's bathroom upstairs into their kitchen - and Mr Mckenzie, 47, said the leak has now got so bad that water is pouring directly onto the family's oven.
The house is the responsibility of social housing provider Torus, who Mr Mckenzie said he has contacted countless times over the issues, which have left him unable to cook in his own home.
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After being contacted by the ECHO, Torus apologised that "standards have fallen lower than what we expect at Torus" and said workers had now been sent to the family's home to "discuss the situation" and "deal with the immediate priority of stopping the leak in the bathroom".
Mr Mckenzie, who works as a manager for Morrisons, told the ECHO: "This has been the way it is now for one year, three months. When we want to shower we have to wait six or seven hours before we start cooking because if we shower we can't cook.
"We don't cook when the water is going down - there's no way, you couldn't cook, water is going onto the cooker. We buy takeaways, sometimes I bring takeaways home from work.
"Sometimes the kids go and shower at their sister's house - that's how much we have to do to avoid the water coming down."
Mr Mckenzie said Torus initially sent an engineer out to his home to assess the leak and a hole was cut out of his ceiling to release the water that had gathered there. Since then, workers have put plastic wrap over the bathroom tiles and removed lightbulbs that had filled with water to prevent the family from being electrocuted.
In a letter sent to Mr Mckenzie, and seen by the ECHO, on April 1, Torus apologised for the delays in carrying out the works, which were described as "non-emergency repairs". A photo taken by Mr Mckenzie this morning (Thursday, May 12) shows a section of the kitchen ceiling has collapsed.
Other photos show several buckets the family have had to put around the kitchen to catch the dirty water coming from upstairs. Mr Mckenzie said the leak has now also spread to the hall and has become a slip hazard.
Mr Mckenzie said: "We feel depressed. We really, really feel depressed. We are paying a lot of money in rent, £520 a month. My six-year-old daughter, she fell in front of [the workers] - she was passing through them and water was everywhere.
"The engineer was removing lights, the water is getting into the lights now, and when she was trying to walk past in the kitchen she just fell."
A spokesperson for Torus said: "We sincerely apologise to the customer; on this occasion, standards have fallen lower than what we expect at Torus. On Wednesday, our Assets Team visited the customer to discuss the situation, whilst our plumber attended to deal with the immediate priority of stopping the leak in the bathroom.
"The customer’s Neighbourhood Officer also has visited to provide additional support if needed and to be a single point of contact. Our team have also been out on site to investigate a permanent solution, carrying out a survey of works needed and are working with the customer to agree a resolution.
"We can assure the customer that action will be taken quickly to resolve and put any damage right."