Half of Mid Suffolk’s sheltered homes could be axed in council’s proposals

Michael and Josephine Dawson are worried about proposals to end their sheltered housing scheme ANL-160815-203844009
Michael and Josephine Dawson are worried about proposals to end their sheltered housing scheme ANL-160815-203844009
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Nearly half of Mid Suffolk Council-run sheltered housing schemes could be axed if new proposals go ahead.

Mid Suffolk District Council and its partner Babergh District Council have proposed the changes in response to what is described as the changing needs of tenants in sheltered homes.

In the Diss Express area it would mean that residents living in sheltered schemes at Tacon Close, Eye, Albert Close, Rickinghall, and Victoria Gardens in Wattisfield, would no longer enjoy sheltered status.

Mid Suffolk District Council said no decisions have yet been made and consultations are ongoing.

Tenants of schemes losing sheltered status would not be forced to move from their home, but they would no longer have the pull cord alarm system or have visits from wardens, called scheme managers. They would have to move if they wanted to retain sheltered status. Part of the proposed changes would see the role of scheme manager renamed as supported living officers, who would be responsible for two sheltered housing schemes each.

Those staying in their own homes would have access to a council worker who would help them find the additional services they need, including alarm systems, such as pendant alarms.

The councils say the changes are in part about choice, that tenants want better value for money and want to stay in their homes for longer, or want more flexible levels of living support than traditional sheltered homes.

But some tenants in Babergh schemes have already expressed fears that it is just a council cost cutting exercise and that vulnerable people will lose out.

For more on the proposals visit www.babergh.gov.uk/housing-and-homelessness/sheltered-housing-and-other-support/types-of-housing-and-support/sheltered-housing/