Closure threat to homes for elderly

A SHELTERED housing scheme for elderly residents in north Northumberland is under threat of closure.

The board of management at Johnnie Johnson Housing has made an ‘in principle’ decision to close Johnson House in Longhoughton, which was built in 1974.

However the company’s director of housing Peter Daly made clear that this was dependent upon a detailed consultation exercise being undertaken with all the tenants.

A statement from Johnnie Johnson Housing said: “We understand the decision will be unsettling and may be distressing to residents and therefore we have staff on hand to answer any questions residents may have and provide support and guidance.

“In addition, any resident who decides to move to a new home, from this point forward, will be eligible for compensation if they decide to move to a new home.

“The main reasons for the decision are as follows: There is a low level of demand for Johnson House; it has operated with voids in excess of 10 per cent over the past five years. There is no local demand for Johnson House. The level of vacancies has increased in recent years and the scheme has no waiting list.

“There is a significant amount of investment required in order to modernise the scheme, however, it is believed that this would not improve demand for the scheme.”

The formal consultation period will end on Friday, September 2. From this a detailed report will be presented to the board of management who will use this to make a final decision.