Charlotte Foster

Retirement Life

"Prisoner in his own home": Veteran's battle for freedom

"Prisoner in his own home": Veteran's battle for freedom

An Aussie veteran is battling for his freedom after being stuck in his apartment for over a year. 

Eric Bouvier, a 92-year-old veteran, wants nothing more than to sit outside in the sun without having to rely on others. 

Despite being in a wheelchair, Eric is capable of getting himself around. 

The only problem is, he lives on the third floor of an apartment block in the eastern Sydney suburb of Maroubra, which doesn't have lift access. 

After serving in World War II, the Department of Veteran Affairs stepped in and purchased him a chairlift, saying they would also pay for the installation in his home unit block.

But well over a year after its approval, it still sits in a box waiting to be installed.

"He is a prisoner in his own home," Jason, Eric's carer, told A Current Affair.

"Eric and I have asked the body corporate to put the chairlift in, but discussions are still going on and meanwhile Eric is stuck inside."

"I've been trapped inside my home now for nearly 18 months," Eric said.

The problem is the building's 1960s internal hand-railing is not to standard and needs to be replaced at the body corporate's expense before the chairlift can be installed.

The building's body corporate have been getting quotes and debating the price of the renovations for well over 12 months. 

"It's my home and I have no rights," said Bouvier, who has now engaged a lawyer to battle the body corporate and get freedom.

"It's everyone's legal right to access their home and if a hand railing needs to be installed, it should be done immediately," Amanda Farmer, Bouvier's Strata property lawyer said.

Eric is continuing to wait patiently inside his home until the day his chairlift gets installed.

"I may have lost my freedom for now, but at least I can still smile," he said.

Image credits: A Current Affair

Our Partners