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Elderly face losing homes in Hornsey

PUBLISHED: 14:33 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 16:34 07 September 2010

ELDERLY residents in Haringey could be forced out of their homes and the community they live in, as part of an overhaul of sheltered housing in the borough. People living in Stokley Court in Hornsey, many of whom are in their 80s, are distressed at the pr

ELDERLY residents in Haringey could be forced out of their homes and the community they live in, as part of an overhaul of sheltered housing in the borough.

People living in Stokley Court in Hornsey, many of whom are in their 80s, are distressed at the proposals which, if approved, would see the 47 flats converted into social housing and the residents moved elsewhere in the borough.

Haringey Council delayed a decision on the Brook Road scheme until December next year, but families and friends of those affected called for it to scrap the "heartless plan".

Vulnerable groups officer for the Haringey Federation of Residents' Associations, Sue Hessel, said: "We'll fight this one until the death because it isn't right.

"This is their home, they know their neighbours, they know each other, they have got a communal lounge and they know their wardens and if they go over to Tottenham it is a completely different village.

"You don't start tipping out elderly and vulnerable people because you want their land, it is totally wrong, heartless and missing the point."

The proposals are part of the Supported Housing Review which is assessing the suitability of four schemes in the borough.

The council said Stokley Court, which is spread over three floors and has no lift, was poorly designed and unsuitable for those with mobility problems.

But Ceyda Onur, whose 82-year-old grandmother has lived in the property for 14 years, said the residents were happy there.

"She does not want to move from her flat," she said. "It is not just my grandmother, it is all the residents. No one has complained about lifts before."

"My grandmother is very near to where we live, she can walk to us and she is happy.

"She is very depressed already since we heard this because she goes to Tesco here, she knows her post office and she comes to my mum's every day."

Hornsey liberal democrat Cllr Robert Gorrie said the review had been handled badly by the council, saying: "There isn't an awful lot of listening going on.

"The timing of this review process seems to have a great deal more to do with budget issues rather than the long term needs of the residents. They're having this conversation at the wrong time."

But the council said no decision would be made on Stokley Court's future until December 2010, when Haringey's Older Persons Strategy would have been published.

It said this would also allow it to carry out consultation with residents, councillors and stakeholders.

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr John Bevan said: "It's essential that our supported and sheltered housing is fit for purpose to ensure residents are comfortable and can be looked after and their needs catered for.

"Our supported housing was built many years ago and standards today are higher, requiring continuous change to ensure we meet the very latest specifications.

"We are planning substantial investment in many of our sheltered and neighbourhood housing schemes.

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