Social housing properties offered to wider range of people

SOCIAL housing properties in Royston are being made available to a wider range of people.

North Hertfordshire Homes (NHH) has revealed that its development at Queensway, Royston, are being declassified in April.

The bungalows and flats at Queensway are currently designated as retirement accomodation only. However, the design of the flats means they are not suitable to be adapted to have mobility aids for older people, such as lifts, wider doorways, or hoists.

It is the second such scheme to be declassified this year, after The Tene in Baldock underwent similar changes.

Victoria Hisgrove, director of operations at NHH, said: “The terms of our residents’ tenancies and the support service we provide will remain in place. We are simply using the space more wisely by using flats that become vacant for a wider age-range of people.

“We have undertaken an asset review and these two schemes were highlighted as not able to meet the standards now expected for supported housing for older people with mobility needs.”

From April, as flats become empty, they will be made available to let for general social rent.

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Miss Hisgrove said tenants have nothing to fear from the changes.

She said: “We are aiming to ensure that the communities remain as settled as possible, and have met with residents to reassure them.

“For example, we are proposing that we create a local lettings policy so that new applicants will need to be over 35 years and in full employment, and do not need support. Additionally, they must be able to demonstrate the ability to manage a tenancy.”

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