Older people's fight to stop community home from closure ends with bulldozers (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Older people's fight to stop community home from closure ends with bulldozers
HOPES that a group of elderly residents could stop the closure of their housing complex have been defeated.
Reid House in Ingleton will now be bulldozed - despite having catered for a community of 18 residents in their mid-60s to early-90s earlier this year.
Only six residents remain in the sheltered housing scheme and are awaiting relocation.
Once they are gone, the property will be knocked down and the land used to build affordable housing.
The plan to close Reid House next year prompted an outcry from those happy living in its bedsits and one-bed flats.
But social housing giant, Yorkshire Housing, ruled it was no longer fit for 'modern-day living' and said interest in communal living is on the wane.
The company announced this week it has been given permission and cash from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency to now build affordable housing for local people on the site.
It has offered financial packages for Reid House residents who had to move and said it had been supporting residents to find suitable alternative accommodation.
The company also plans to build affordable housing on three other schemes in its portfolio.
Celia Cashman, of Yorkshire Housing, said in a statement: “These sheltered schemes were difficult to let and not suitable for modern living – to have kept them open would have meant we were failing the people of Craven.
“We are working closely with customers and their families to find new homes. No-one will have to move from the schemes until they have found suitable alternative accommodation in an area of their choice, together with the care and support that they need.”
Drew Kimber, a resident of Reid House for 13 years, had rallied residents to oppose the move.
Many feared being sent to live out of Ingleton where they had established friends.
He had previously told how Yorkshire Housing had made £7 million profit in the last financial year and that the repairs to bring Reid House up to standard would only have cost £300,000.
Mr Kimber said: “There are now only six of us left in Reid House awaiting suitable accommodation. Of those that have left, four have moved to Ingleton, one to Austwick, two to Bentham, two to Settle, and one to Embsay.
“The one who went to Bolton died the next day.”
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