What has happened?
Havebury has recently carried out a review of its sheltered schemes. The aim of the review was to help ensure, whenever possible, our sheltered accommodation is and remains attractive for current and future tenants. Whilst most of Havebury’s sheltered accommodation is unaffected by the review, the biggest change will be for James Stiff Cottages in Rougham.
Disappointingly, because of the lack of new people wanting to live there and the type of accommodation, the decision has been taken that, over time, Havebury will dispose of this scheme.
Meetings were arranged with tenants and their families on a one to one basis in late January to discuss proposals for the scheme and to understand their needs as a result of this. The decision was made that no tenant currently living at James Stiff Cottages will have to leave their home. Both the James Stiff Estate trustee and Parish Councillors were engaged in our decision, following our initial meetings with tenants.
Why has this happened?
Due to a low number of tenants on the Home-Link waiting list registering specifically requesting Rougham, the isolated rural location and the predominantly bedsit flats are consistent reasons for refusals when we are trying to let these properties. Some of the existing residents of James Stiff are very happy with their homes, but we are unable to attract new tenants when the properties become vacant and that is an unsustainable position for the scheme.
What will happen now?
Tenants living at James Stiff Cottages, who are part of the scheme, will continue to have the option of support from one of Havebury’s experienced Independent Living Advisors, who make daily welfare calls to tenants and are available should the tenant require any additional assistance.
As part of our ongoing strategic plans for our sheltered schemes, a meeting was held with the tenants at Churchill Close in Clare, Sudbury to discuss our phased plans to de-shelter units 35-38. In addition to Churchill Close, plans for the next phase of redevelopment at Westbourne Court, a sheltered scheme in Haverhill are currently underway with tenant consultations starting in March.
The wellbeing of our tenants is a priority for Havebury. This is why we have been open and honest with our tenants about the challenges we face. We will continue to provide information and support as required. We know however that change is unsettling for tenants and their families. There are dedicated resources available at each site to support tenants.
If you have any question about the sheltered review, please call us on 0300 3300 900.