ON SEPTEMBER 28 we reported on a mother and son who told how they faced a year living in a bedsit.

Within that story the mother said she had not had any hot water at the property for 12 days and said she had complained both to the council and the landlord.

The Argus contacted the council for a response at 4.30pm the day before the story was printed, which did not give the council enough time to investigate the tenant’s claims about the hot water and respond accordingly.

The council has asked us to report that this resulted in an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of the council’s housing services.

We are happy to point this out and to apologise for that.

A council spokesman said: “Contrary to the claims made in the article, neither the council nor its contractor who manages the building can find any records of the hot water and other repair issues in the flat being reported to us.

“Once we were made aware of the problem, the property’s caretaker was able to reset the boiler and resolve the problem quickly.

“A later issue with the hot water – reported in an article published in the Argus on October 9 – was only picked up and resolved when the caretaker checked on the tenant while on another call in the building.

“When households are placed into emergency accommodation, they are given clear instructions about how to report repairs and who can carry them out.

“If they are not attended to within set timescales, people are advised to raise the issue with our emergency placement team.

“Obviously, unless matters are raised, we cannot deal with them.”


A HOMELESS single mother and her ten-year-old son are having to share a bed in a flat that has had no hot water for 12 days.

Lisa Sullivan, was placed in the bedsit in a homeless shelter in South Coast Road, Peacehaven, with autistic son Thomas Ellis six weeks ago after her relationship with her partner broke down and she had nowhere to live.

She was told by Brighton and Hove City Council they would only have to stay there for four weeks – but has now been informed it could take up to a year to find somewhere else.

Ms Sullivan, from Brighton, is a care worker but says she has been unable to go to work as she has to care for Thomas who cannot attend school due to the lack of hot water to wash and clean their clothes.

Ms Sullivan, 33, who a few years ago appeared on TV dating show Take Me Out, said: “It is inhumane to be left living like this with my young boy.

“We were first told that it would only take us four weeks to find somewhere better to live. Now we are being told it could take up to a whole year.

“It gets quite stressful due to the lack of space I have to share with my son.

“For the first two weeks I had to sleep on the floor. Now the bed my son is meant to be using is broken with slats missing and it just collapses, so we are now sharing a bed.

“It has been 12 days we have gone without hot water and we have complained both to the council and the landlord but both just say it is not their problem and there is nothing they can do.

“I have had trouble getting him to school and would even struggle to supervise him while using a laundrette. There are safety issues with the windows and so many things in the room are broken.

“My son’s school is also getting involved and wants to help get the situation sorted.

“I am not homeless through my own fault so I don’t understand why we haven’t had any support.”

Ms Sullivan is still paying £20 a night for the room, which includes a small bathroom and kitchen area, despite the lack of hot water.

Apart from a few items she took to the shelter with her, most of her larger belongings and furniture are in a storage unit in Lindfield.

Ms Sullivan is unable to go there to collect her possessions because she does not have transport.

She said: “I just need somewhere that cares for basic human needs.

“Others in the block with young children have complained about their children being covered in fleas.

“When I was sleeping on the floor I was bitten badly.

“I haven’t worked in two months because of ongoing issues since moving in.”

The Argus contacted the city council for a comment but had not received a reply as we went to press.