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Mistrust lingers over OAP housing pledge

PUBLISHED: 11:28 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:50 25 August 2010

PENSIONERS still don t trust a housing association s promise that it will not force them to leave their sheltered accommodation which is set to be demolished.

PENSIONERS still don't trust a housing association's promise that it will not force them to leave their sheltered accommodation which is set to be demolished.

London and Quadrant Housing Association (L&Q) were invited to the Bexley Pensioners Forum meeting last Thursday in a bid to allay residents' fear of being forced out of their flats in Heron Crescent, Sidcup.

L&Q spokesperson Thom Brimmer said "no residents will be forced to move," reiterating a promise made repeatedly since L&Q announced last year long-term plans to rebuild some of its stock.

Despite this, 23 pensioners at the meeting in Bexleyheath's council offices voted that they did not believe him and only eight voted to say they did.

Pensioner Elwyn Bryant, who has been campaigning on behalf of the residents, said: "I don't trust what they say because they've told us one thing in the past and done something else.

"It really upsets the residents that they may pull their homes down."

This comes after residents claimed to have been intimidated to leave their flats by L&Q, as reported in the Times.

In a surprise turnaround, L&Q announced to the six remaining residents that they are now carrying out refurbishment work including providing wet rooms and walk-in showers.

Resident Ian Boswell said: "They're installing new showers in my property. What they're going to do now they were supposed to do two years ago."

The work is due to begin today.

Another resident, Rene Tadman, 73, said: "I've waited three years for this new wet room but we still do not know if they are going to rebuild the flats or let them go.

"I was more than surprised when they said they were doing the work as it has come out of the blue after we were campaigning to keep it open."

L&Q South East Group Director David Gannicott said: "L&Q is committed to keeping the promises we made to residents about sheltered schemes in Bexley.

"We have been meeting regularly with Heron Court residents, their families and councillors and made it absolutely clear that Heron Court is not being closed and no resident will be forced to move from their home.

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