Mayor: ‘Home closure will have huge impact’

Cllrs Kirsty Page, Anne Jones and Chris Cherry outside Manor Court, Burgess Hill. Pic Steve Robards SR1517796 SUS-151108-144140001
Cllrs Kirsty Page, Anne Jones and Chris Cherry outside Manor Court, Burgess Hill. Pic Steve Robards SR1517796 SUS-151108-144140001
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The Mayor of Burgess Hill has said the closure of affordable retirement homes will have a knock on affect on the whole community.

Councillor Anne Jones, MBE, said the planned closure of Manor Court Retirement Home will affect care services and the housing market.

“The principal of losing sheltered housing at a time when we need it more than ever is my concern,” she said. “If we lose these affordable homes it’s going to be even bigger bills for tax payers because local authorities have to provide the care.”

Housing association Affinity Sutton is currently working with the council to find new homes for the residents of the sheltered housing accommodation.

Cllr Jones said this could have a knock on affect on the Princess Royal Hospital as elderly residents, who can’t afford to stay in private retirement homes, are more likely to continue living on their own, which could lead to health problems.

“This home keeps people out of hospital and prevents them becoming isolated and lonely.”

She added the reduction in sheltered housing, compacted by the ageing population, had a knock on affect on the housing market.

“Having sheltered homes for older people frees up homes for young families who desperately need them.”

A spokeswoman for Affinity Sutton said Manor Court no longer meets the ‘high standards’ it sets itself.

She said: “So we are now working closely with the team at Mid Sussex District Council on how we can best use this accommodation to meet future housing needs and help tackle the shortage of affordable housing in Mid Sussex. Prior to progressing our proposals we believe it is important to speak to our tenants and their families. Our dedicated resident liaison officer has started those conversations and will continue to be the link between Affinity Sutton and our tenants. We have also written to councillors and offered to meet with them. We will continue to keep all informed as our proposals progress.”