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Finchley Central pensioner humiliated at 'having to wash in sink for four years' in Barnet Homes flats
A pensioner claims he has been forced to wash in a sink for four years because a housing association ripped out the communal bathrooms in his flats.
Ron Muller, 74, says he feels humiliated and that his life has become unbearable as a result of the inconvenience at his home in Rectory Close, Finchley Central.
Barnet Homes offered tenants self-contained showers in the flats, which previous shared five communal bathrooms, to bring the block into line with new legislation in 2008.
Former photographer Mr Muller declined, saying he felt “unsafe” standing up while he washes.
The South African-born man, who lives alone, claims Barnet Homes promised to leave in one regular bath after converting the remaining wash rooms into an extended flat.
However, the regular bathroom was ripped out to be used as a store room, leaving nothing but a disabled bath that Mr Muller says in uncomfortable and impractical.
Barnet Homes, however claims the bath is adequate and that Mr Muller can have a shower installed in his flat at any time.
He said: “At 74 years of age, I’m not prepared to change a lifelong habit for a bath which is not only uncomfortable but is a compromise to the way I usually bathe.
“It is beyond belief that people can be so uncaring. It is humiliating – they have done everything to make my life unbearable. I can’t arrange to go anywhere – it takes me about an hour to wash myself.”
Mr Muller currently uses the sink in his flat to wash abut says he wants Barnet Homes to re-install a regular bath.
He added: “How dare they deprive residents of the facilities of a regular bath. It is arrogance and indicative of the way they treat me with total disregard.
“Why did they take out a perfectly functioning bathroom? The answers fall into a few categories – some are laughable and the rest are complete rubbish. It is outrageous.”
In a statement, a Barnet Homes spokeswoman said: “Each flat at Rectory Close had a private en-suite shower room installed as part of a major modernisation project in 2009. At the time Mr Muller refused to have a private shower room installed in his flat.
“There is a communal bathroom, including a bath, at the scheme and Mr Muller is aware that he is welcome to use this at any time. Mr Muller can also have a private shower room fitted if he changes his mind at any time.”