Elderly ordered out of their Homes for Life

Coun paul Weare (third right) with residents of Reaid House, Ingleton who are angry are the proposed closure.
Coun paul Weare (third right) with residents of Reaid House, Ingleton who are angry are the proposed closure.

Elderly residents at a block of sheltered housing in Ingleton have been told they are to lose their homes.

The residents of flats and bedsits in Reid House, Low Demesne, have been told they must move out by July next year.

The tenants – including four over 90 – were visited last week by representatives from Yorkshire Housing Ltd and told about a phased closure scheme for several of the firm’s housing blocks across the county.

Yorkshire Housing say many of the homes “aren’t fit for modern living” and claim demand is low.

Of the four one-bed flats and 17 bedsits in Reid House, 17 properties are currently occupied.

Resident John Clapham, 81, said they had no warning at all until receiving a request that they all stay in on Friday.

Former Craven district councillor Mr Clapham, a resident at Reid House for 10 years, said it had been a great shock. He said: “A notice had been put up to say there was an important meeting. They came in several cars and two of them went into each flat to talk to everyone separately.”

Mr Clapham, who was on the council planning committee that originally approved the flats, said residents had been told the building was unfit.

“They said they are going to modernise it and that we have to find alternative accommodation,” he said.

“They’ve said if bungalows become available we will have first choice. I was offered a place in Scarborough, but my family are all in Ingleton so why would I want to go to Scarborough?

“Four of us are over 90 and six are in their eighties. When it was built they called it Homes for Life and that’s why most of us came here.”

Mr Clapham said he feared for his fellow residents.

“One lady in her 90s is virtually blind and stone deaf. This could kill some people,” he said.

Mr Clapham said the residents have the backing of the rest of Ingleton and is currently collecting signatures on a petition. “Everyone in the village is disgusted at this,” he added.

Ingleton councillor David Ireton said he had been assured that residents would be on the priority “gold” list for rehousing.

He said: “I am keen that anyone who wants to stay in Ingleton has that choice.”

He added that if residents were offered somewhere they did not want to go, they did not have to take it.

Coun Ireton said the plan was to redevelop Reid House as accommodation more suited to the changing needs of the older population.

Celia Cashman, Yorkshire Housing’s director of housing services, said: “We have found that some are no longer fit for modern day living and are in low demand. As a result we have made the difficult decision to move customers from these schemes between now and January 2016. We have been talking individually with every affected customer as well as their families.”