Broken elevator leaves Manitoba Housing tenants feeling trapped, repair to take weeks

Some residents of a Manitoba housing building on Higgins Avenue say an elevator issue has left them feeling frustrated, stuck and trapped.

Gerald Delaronde lives on the fourth floor.

He went to use the elevator on New Year’s Eve and noticed it wasn’t working.

“It’s got some kind of leak in there, so they’re worried it’s going to drop right down so they shut it down,” said Delaronde.

The elevator remains out of service.

Delaronde says he can use the stairs, but he worries about seniors in the building and some of his neighbours living with mobility issues.

“There’s people here in wheelchairs, now they’re stuck in their floor,” said Delaronde.

One of those tenants stuck in their apartment is Tina Hildebrand’s niece.

“She’s depressed, she’s lonely, she likes to get out, and she’s unable to so I came to break up her day,” said Hildebrand.

Hildebrand’s niece does not want her identity revealed. Her aunt says she feels trapped after ten days without the elevator.

“She goes out for volunteer work twice a week, three times a week and she’s not able to do that right now, so we’d like some answers.”

That’s another frustration, say these tenants, not knowing when repairs are expected.

“They don’t give us no answers just that ‘oh they’re working on it,’ that’s it,” said Delaronde.

CTV News did get an answer. A spokesperson for Manitoba Housing says the elevator had a hydraulic component failure and will take some time to repair.

“We now have the specifications of what needs to be done and have learned that it will take several weeks to have the custom pieces specially manufactured,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson says housing coordinators have been going door to door checking on tenants since the elevator went out of service and if a tenant has to be out of the building on a regular basis, alternate housing arrangements will be made.

“They can’t go anywhere, they can’t do nothing, I think they’re getting a little stir crazy getting stuck in one place,” said Gerald Delaronde.

Manitoba Housing says information on timelines will be posted in the building.

The building has 58 single bedroom suites.