Residents moved as housing scheme is temporarily closed
AHOUSING scheme has been temporarily shut down and the vulnerable residents rehomed. The house in St Paul’s Parade, Cheltenham, an Action Glos project, which is funded by Goucestershire County Council and run by charities P3 and Pivotal Housing Association, aimed to provide accommodation for homeless and vulnerable people.
But Cheltenham Borough Council has confirmed the occupiers of the property have been removed and moved on to “more suitable accommodation”.
The borough council has sent a letter to the residents of St Paul’s Parade explaining the situation.
Over the past year, St Paul’s Residents Association, together with borough councillors in the area, have been at odds with Pivotal.
In June, residents protested in a meeting with the organisations that the home was “harmful to the community and may even be harmful to the clients” after a series of unpleasant experiences involving police and ambulance call outs, unwanted visitors and reported antisocial behavior. They branded the building a ‘heroin hostel.’
In a letter to residents, the council stated: “The council have taken the feedback on board and agreed that going forward the property will no longer be used for people from the Action Glos project.”
Tess Beck, who lives next door to the property and who is also a member of the St Paul’s Residents Association, said: “I feel very relieved.
“We hope to have a bit of peace while Pivotal decide who they will be moving into the property next.
“As we have said from the start, it is not a suitable property to house five people with multiple complex needs.”
Councillor Jonny Brownsteen (LD, St Pauls) said “It has been a frustrating and difficult year, but we are pleased that Pivotal has finally come round to our position.
“At long last, those residents are being found more suitable accommodation.”
Mr Brownsteen added that he supports the aims of Action Glos but did not believe the execution, in this case, was satisfactory - putting much of it down to funding remaining “woefully short”.
He said: “The St Paul’s community has maintained that we support the aims of this project and we want vulnerable people to get the support they deserve.
“But we have always said that we do not believe this could be achieved in this type of house andwith such a gross lack of support from the housing provider.”
Land Registry documents show that the property was sold by Pivotal Housing Association to Jersey-based Henley Secure Income Property Managing Trustee Limited in January this year, for £635,558.
It is thought that Pivotal had paid just under £240,000 for the house in June 2018.
In the council’s letter, it adds: “As soon as Pivotal Housing has made a decision about the future use of 14 St Paul’s Parade she [Claire Waters, Head of Housing at Pivotal Housing] will communicate those plans to the council and at that point we will be able to update residents.”
Pivotal Housing Association declined to comment.