Res­i­dents moved as hous­ing scheme is tem­po­rar­ily closed

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Sa­muel PORT sa­[email protected]­

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.

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