Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran has called on the Housing Trust to provide alternative accommodation and round-the-clock assistance to residents stuck in their unit complex after the building's only lift broke down.
Cr Curran said the elderly residents deserved to be placed in emergency rentals until the faulty lift was fixed after many voiced concerns about being virtually stranded in their apartments.
The lift to the seven-storey Housing Trust block at 34 Market Street broke down on Sunday, forcing residents in the rear 28 units to use the fire stairs.
Trust operations manager Chris Lacey said a Kone Elevators technician had determined the lift's break-down was due to a fault with the motor but now needed to source parts to fix it.
Mr Lacey said if the parts could be ordered from an Australian supplier, the lift was likely to be up and running early next week.
However, residents could be stuck until late next week if the parts have to travel from overseas.
Cr Curran yesterday called for the Housing Trust to consider employing a "runner" to deliver tenants' meals, ferry them to medical appointments and provide them with 24-hour on-call assistance.
Cr Curran, a former Housing Trust worker, said she was willing to act as a voice for disgruntled residents who wanted to apply for rent abatement or make a complaint to the tenancy tribunal.
"A lot of these residents do have English as a second language and they wouldn't know how to approach the Housing Trust; they'd fear they'd be picked on for making a complaint," she said.
"These people deserve to be offered a rent abatement.
Mr Lacey said the trust had not considered moving any residents at this stage but would talk to them about alternative accommodation if the lift was out of action for an extended period.
"We'd have to look at it on a case-by-case basis," he said.
"Some residents are able to manage the stairs and there are others we are aware of who cannot.
"Some residents have organised alternate accommodation and are staying with their families for a period of time [so we'd] really need to look at individual needs."
He said the trust would consider applications for rent abatement.