Public housing tenants left in the cold amid gas heater fears

Sitting alone in his flat, wrapped in blankets and his dressing gown on one of the coldest days of the year, Albert Rizk is despairing.

The chronically ill 67-year-old is unable to turn on his heater after a letter sent to him in March showed he was one of 6525 Victorian public housing tenants potentially at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty Vulcan and Pyrox Heritage gas heaters in their properties.

The letter from the housing department tells residents to not use the heaters until they undergo a safety inspection, and that they are eligible for a temporary heater.

further 47,000 public housing residents with different gas heaters have been sent precautionary letters telling them they’ll also receive a safety check.

Though the Department of Health and Human Services says it is working at “full capacity” to get to all affected properties, many residents like Mr Rizk are finding the wait too long.

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