Elderly Stenhousemuir residents fear they will have to leave homes for two years

Elderly and vulnerable residents have been given the “bombshell” news that they may have to leave their homes for up to two years.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 6:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 6:19 am

Those living in Adam Grossert Court, off Kirk Avenue in Stenhousemuir, had letters hand delivered last week telling them that their landlord planned to carry out extensive renovations and it was likely they would have to move out while the work was completed.

The news left many residents visibly upset and their families are also concerned about the impact on them.

Cairn Housing Association, who own the sheltered housing complex, then sent staff in last Thursday and Friday to have one-to-one meetings with those living in the one-bedroom flats and bedsits.

Cairn Housing Association plan to close Adam Grossert Court for two years to undertake renovation work

However, it seems that Cairn have yet to finalise the plans and it could be months if not years before the work begins.

This had led to more anger over the treatment of the residents.

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Ashleigh Storrie, whose wife’s gran moved into the complex last October, is furious at the way residents have been informed of the proposals.

She said: “We understand the planning application hasn’t been put in yet, however, the letter that was put through their doors is worded like they would have to get out. A lot of these people in the accommodation are elderly and not able to understand the letter fully. All the representatives were bothered about was showing off the architect’s plans and designs. They are forgetting these are people’s homes!”

Ashleigh added that if they had been told this work was planned they would not have relocated their 88-year-old relative there.

She has also set up an online petition calling for the plans to be halted.

Resident William Campbell, 82, moved into his flat two years ago after a lifetime in Grangemouth.

He said: “This is a bombshell for everyone concerned. It has come completely out of the blue.

"We don’t need this at our time of life.”

Another 77-year-old resident who has lived in his home for 12 years said people were concerned where they might be rehoused when the work begins, adding: “My family live nearby, I don’t want to move away from this area.”

The letter sent to residents indicated that Cairn would work with Falkirk Council and other housing associations to find alternative accommodation.

However, it is highly unlikely that the local authority would have suitable properties in its housing stock to act as decant homes for the elderly residents.

A spokesperson for Cairn Housing Association said: “We are excited by the prospect of being able to improve the housing we offer to tenants at Adam Grossert Court. We have been working on these plans for a number of years and held meetings with tenants before the pandemic began.

“We wrote to tenants this week and have staff on site to have individual consultations with them to answer questions and hear their views. We have set out the options that are being considered and are asking tenants for their feedback to help inform the outcome. It is important to note that no decision has been made regarding the work, which will depend on the feedback we get from tenants through this consultation.

“We have been working closely with Falkirk Council and the Scottish Government for some time to identify support and funding opportunities for investment in the building. The reconfiguration work that we are proposing will make homes for our tenants more spacious and in many cases, create separate bedrooms in what are currently studios. The communal areas would be refurbished to create a modern, bright living space for all residents to enjoy and we will replace the existing gas heating with a new sustainable and more energy efficient heating system. And we propose adding a new mobility scooter store.

“If the work goes ahead we will support tenants to find and move to suitable accommodation that fits their needs and their circumstances. They will have the option to move back to Adam Grossert Court once the work has been completed or they will be able to stay in their new accommodation if they prefer to do so. We understand that a move may be stressful and unsettling, particularly for some of our elderly and vulnerable residents, so we will work closely with tenants, their families, the Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership to support them should the work go ahead.”

A Scottish Government grant of £575,000 for the refurbishment of Adam Grossert Court was included in the Falkirk Council Strategic Housing Investment Plan approved by elected members on October 19 last year.