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Yorkshire Housing closure plan criticised by Craven District Council
10:00am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
A decision by Yorkshire Housing to close sheltered housing schemes in Craven has been criticised by district councillors.
Members accused the social landlord of letting its tenants down and summoned a representative to answer questions at a future meeting of its select committee.
Councillors said they were particularly keen to find out why the bedsits could not be adapted as some had been done in Embsay.
Coun Carl Lis, one of the council’s representatives on the Yorkshire Housing board, told a full meeting of Craven District Council that residents were devastated by the closures.
Yorkshire Housing announced last month that it was closing 84 bedsits and flats at Greatwood Close and Roughaw Close in Skipton, Reid House in Ingleton and Aynham Close in Grassington, saying they weren’t fit for “modern living”.
It said the closures were all due to take place by January 2016, but stressed no current tenant would be forced to move before alternative accommodation was found. The sites are to be redeveloped with affordable housing, following consultation with local communities.
But Coun Lis said the council needed to get answers for the residents.
“I feel so sorry for these people. They are so upset, some of them are in their 90s and they are being told they will have to move out. No amount of offers of money will help, it is a change in their lives which they have become accustomed to,” he said.
He said he had been to a residents’ meeting at Reid House where people were asking why it was not possible for the units to be adapted to modern use.
“Yorkshire Housing have come to speak to the people and have given a commitment that everyone will be rehoused where they want to be, but there is a real community there and people will find it so difficult to move at their age, it is a very trying time for them,” said Coun Lis.
He further criticised Yorkshire Housing over a lack of consultation and asked for investigation into why the units could not be converted to modern use – as had been done at Laurel Croft, Embsay.
A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Housing said they were happy to cooperate with the council on “this very difficult issue”.