Disabled Portsmouth woman is ‘a prisoner in her own home’ as housing association fails to fix broken front door

A PORTSMOUTH woman says she has been kept ‘a prisoner in her own home’ as her housing association has failed to fix her front door.

By Emily Jessica Turner
Friday, 13th August 2021, 12:25 pm
Rachel Gray feels imprisoned in her own Portsea home and alleges that Guiness Homes won't repair her front door, behind her Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 120821-22)

Severely disabled Rachel Gray has nine different conditions, and cannot leave her house due to the broken door frame, which makes the door too difficult for her to open on her own.

She has rented her Queen Street flat from Guinness housing association for the last three years.

Read More

Read More
‘Determined’ Horndean Technology College students overcame Covid difficulties fo...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Rachel Gray Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 120821-20)

Rachel, 49, said: ‘I feel Guinness has kept me a prisoner in my own home since October 2020 as I cannot get out of my front door because the door is so stiff.

‘Before I moved into the property, the police had to break in as an old gentleman had died in the house. This caused a big split in my front door frame.’

The crack worsened and in October, Rachel called Guinness repairs and was told she would have a new door and frame fitted.

She said: ‘I needed this repair done as soon as possible as I have been accepted for a disability grant to have my door made electric.’

However, the work was never done and Rachel cannot open the door to get outside.

She calls Guinness every other day and has even handwritten a letter to the CEO - which went unanswered.

She said: ‘I’ve been stuck all through the summer heat, and my property gets extremely hot.

‘I and my housing officer have been calling and calling and just come up against a brick wall.’

A spokesperson from The Guinness Partnership said that they had been notified that a crack in the doorframe had worsened.

They said: ‘At the time, the door was secure and functioning so the repair was not classed as an emergency.

‘We inspected the door again on August 10 and the door remains secure and can still be opened and closed.

‘We acknowledge that our resident would benefit from some additional assistance in using the door and so we will be arranging to replace the door and frame and will also install an electronic opener and closer as soon as possible.’

Rachel has a new disability scooter which she has not been able to use.

She added: ‘I’m still paying for my scooter, and it’s made me a lot more sick than I already am.

‘I cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, for 27p a day.