Watford Community Housing Trust to close flats for the elderly in Lincoln Court

Tina Barnard

Tina Barnard

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A community housing association is set to close a number of its flats for older people in Watford and Three Rivers because they are not fit for purpose - but it won't be building any more for five years.

Watford Community Housing Trust is set to close the 22-tenant sheltered accommodation block, Lincoln Court, in Haines Way, next year.

The trust said the homes "cannot be physically or economically brought up to modern standards".

It also revealed plans to use the site to develop 21 new affordable family homes, after it reported 8,000 households were on the waiting list across the two boroughs.

Staff met with tenants at Lincoln Court this week to inform them of the proposals for the scheme.

The trust has said it will work with the current tenants to find suitable alternative accommodation over the coming year, and will provide financial assistance to help with their moving costs.

It said Lincoln Court has "reached the end of its life" because the old fashioned layout and lack of en-suite facilities has made the homes difficult to let in recent years - with three of its flats remaining empty for long periods.

As part of its Older People’s Housing Review, the trust will be modernising Horwood Court, a sheltered housing scheme in Hillrise Avenue, north Watford.

The scheme, which currently has shared bathroom facilities, will be improved to include an en-suite shower for each flat, bigger circulation spaces and wider entrance doors. The trust is also installing a lift.

In the next five years, the trust said it intends to build a new state of the art sheltered housing scheme in one of its community areas, which will have up to 50 flats and will be built and equipped to the latest standards.

Tina Barnard, chief executive of Watford Community Housing Trust, said: "We want to provide housing that is fit for older people now and into the future, which is why we are modernising Horwood Court and will be building a brand new sheltered scheme over the next five years.

"Sadly Lincoln Court no longer meets modern living standards, which is why we are taking the difficult decision to close it. However, we will be using the site to help meet the urgent need for more affordable homes in Watford and Three Rivers."

Residents are invited to a drop-in consultation meeting about the new homes the Trust proposes to build in Haines Way, which will take place at the Orbital Community Centre from 4.30pm to 7.30pm on Thursday, July 31.

Comments (15)

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6:40pm Sun 20 Jul 14

phil mitchel says...

That's it just close the older persons accommodation without providing an alternative. I suppose they hope that these older tenants will take advantage of the assisted dying legislation presently going through parliament then they won't need and alternative.
That's it just close the older persons accommodation without providing an alternative. I suppose they hope that these older tenants will take advantage of the assisted dying legislation presently going through parliament then they won't need and alternative. phil mitchel
  • Score: 2

7:01pm Sun 20 Jul 14

theturpster says...

I sometime wonder if the older generation now regret putting their posteriors on the line in war and all the sacrifices they made to be treated with so much contempt by this government and society in general.
I sometime wonder if the older generation now regret putting their posteriors on the line in war and all the sacrifices they made to be treated with so much contempt by this government and society in general. theturpster
  • Score: 7

7:03pm Sun 20 Jul 14

theturpster says...

Picture looks too smug for the story too.
Picture looks too smug for the story too. theturpster
  • Score: 3

7:30pm Sun 20 Jul 14

ancientandageing says...

This looks very much like Tory Libdem Austerity to me, expect more of the same
This looks very much like Tory Libdem Austerity to me, expect more of the same ancientandageing
  • Score: 4

8:34pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Cuetip says...

theturpster wrote:
I sometime wonder if the older generation now regret putting their posteriors on the line in war and all the sacrifices they made to be treated with so much contempt by this government and society in general.
Well said.

Maybe the new affordable rent culture makes them unaffordable and threfore dispensable.
[quote][p][bold]theturpster[/bold] wrote: I sometime wonder if the older generation now regret putting their posteriors on the line in war and all the sacrifices they made to be treated with so much contempt by this government and society in general.[/p][/quote]Well said. Maybe the new affordable rent culture makes them unaffordable and threfore dispensable. Cuetip
  • Score: 2

9:26pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Keefer says...

What's wrong with doing this the other way around?

Build the replacement flats first and move the current residents, then demolish the old flats and build the new family units! I mean: anyone would think they can make more profit from the family units than the flats, so building them first will maximise income.

surely they wouldn't be so callous in their plans ...would they?
What's wrong with doing this the other way around? Build the replacement flats first and move the current residents, then demolish the old flats and build the new family units! I mean: anyone would think they can make more profit from the family units than the flats, so building them first will maximise income. surely they wouldn't be so callous in their plans ...would they? Keefer
  • Score: 11

10:47pm Sun 20 Jul 14

LSC says...

'Latest standards' my backside. Half these people probably had outside loos until they were in their 20s and are a hell of a lot tougher than you think. What they want and need now is a roof over their heads, not ifs, buts and maybes just because there is money to be made selling the plot.
It might not be what they dreamed of, but this is their home.
Show some b**o*y respect.
These are people, not numbers on a spreadsheet.
'Latest standards' my backside. Half these people probably had outside loos until they were in their 20s and are a hell of a lot tougher than you think. What they want and need now is a roof over their heads, not ifs, buts and maybes just because there is money to be made selling the plot. It might not be what they dreamed of, but this is their home. Show some b**o*y respect. These are people, not numbers on a spreadsheet. LSC
  • Score: 10

6:02am Mon 21 Jul 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

"Community" my ar$e!
"Community" my ar$e! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 5

11:09am Mon 21 Jul 14

garston tony says...

Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street!

This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).
Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street! This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either). garston tony
  • Score: 6

1:39pm Mon 21 Jul 14

LSC says...

garston tony wrote:
Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street!

This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).
The key words you use there are "my own flat".
How would you feel at that age to be simply chucked out of it, even with the promise that somewhere else will be found, and in perhaps 5 years that will be 'really nice, honest'.
To many elderly and infirm, that is a terrifying prospect.
The article doesn't mention if all the residents are thrilled about it, but my personal experience suggests they won't be.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street! This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).[/p][/quote]The key words you use there are "my own flat". How would you feel at that age to be simply chucked out of it, even with the promise that somewhere else will be found, and in perhaps 5 years that will be 'really nice, honest'. To many elderly and infirm, that is a terrifying prospect. The article doesn't mention if all the residents are thrilled about it, but my personal experience suggests they won't be. LSC
  • Score: -2

2:57pm Mon 21 Jul 14

garston tony says...

Maybe they wont be, maybe they will. We dont know so hows about we dont put our own words into their mouths.

Im pretty sure that every possible care will be taken and support given when they do move and i'm also confident having visited a number of the schemes over the years that the accommodation they will be offered NOW (not in 5 years) will be better (if for no other reason they'll have their own bathrooms - see my previous comments).

What you are saying LSC is that the WCHT should keep people in accommodation that is not fit for purpose. I'm pretty confident (its a confident type of day for me) that if the story had been 'spun' so it was about elderly people being made to live in sheltered accommodation that was no longer suitable, where they had to share communal wash facilities which meant if they needed a wee in the middle of the night they had to get dressed and walk down a corridor many, including you, would have expressed unhapiness about that and demanded something be done.

Well something is being done so hows about we turn off the automatic negative response and realise the decision to close this place is the right one
Maybe they wont be, maybe they will. We dont know so hows about we dont put our own words into their mouths. Im pretty sure that every possible care will be taken and support given when they do move and i'm also confident having visited a number of the schemes over the years that the accommodation they will be offered NOW (not in 5 years) will be better (if for no other reason they'll have their own bathrooms - see my previous comments). What you are saying LSC is that the WCHT should keep people in accommodation that is not fit for purpose. I'm pretty confident (its a confident type of day for me) that if the story had been 'spun' so it was about elderly people being made to live in sheltered accommodation that was no longer suitable, where they had to share communal wash facilities which meant if they needed a wee in the middle of the night they had to get dressed and walk down a corridor many, including you, would have expressed unhapiness about that and demanded something be done. Well something is being done so hows about we turn off the automatic negative response and realise the decision to close this place is the right one garston tony
  • Score: 4

3:29pm Mon 21 Jul 14

LSC says...

Perhaps you are correct Tony, and I'd be with you all the way if it wasn't for the sub-story that the site is being sold off for housing.
Yes, I'm a cynic. But ask yourself this. Is the motivation on this story that someone decided these residents needed improved conditions, or that someone offered a shed-load of cash for the site?
Perhaps you are correct Tony, and I'd be with you all the way if it wasn't for the sub-story that the site is being sold off for housing. Yes, I'm a cynic. But ask yourself this. Is the motivation on this story that someone decided these residents needed improved conditions, or that someone offered a shed-load of cash for the site? LSC
  • Score: -1

8:00pm Mon 21 Jul 14

Keefer says...

garston tony wrote:
Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street!

This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).
Still it begs the question; why not build the new flats first, then move the current residents in there? I'm sure they'd be eager to move if it was to a new build.

To be honest, the situation should have been remedied years ago, so why the concern now?

A. Profit.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street! This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).[/p][/quote]Still it begs the question; why not build the new flats first, then move the current residents in there? I'm sure they'd be eager to move if it was to a new build. To be honest, the situation should have been remedied years ago, so why the concern now? A. Profit. Keefer
  • Score: -3

10:38am Tue 22 Jul 14

garston tony says...

LSC wrote:
Perhaps you are correct Tony, and I'd be with you all the way if it wasn't for the sub-story that the site is being sold off for housing. Yes, I'm a cynic. But ask yourself this. Is the motivation on this story that someone decided these residents needed improved conditions, or that someone offered a shed-load of cash for the site?
The article doesnt say they are selling the land, I get the impression the WCHT will be building the new housing themselves.

And I doubt that money is the motivation, if it was they would indeed be selling the land but not planning to build a new sheltered scheme would they. I mean a scheme with 50 flats is going to cost far more than whatever they could get for this land if they were selling it, which is not the impression the article actually gives in any case
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: Perhaps you are correct Tony, and I'd be with you all the way if it wasn't for the sub-story that the site is being sold off for housing. Yes, I'm a cynic. But ask yourself this. Is the motivation on this story that someone decided these residents needed improved conditions, or that someone offered a shed-load of cash for the site?[/p][/quote]The article doesnt say they are selling the land, I get the impression the WCHT will be building the new housing themselves. And I doubt that money is the motivation, if it was they would indeed be selling the land but not planning to build a new sheltered scheme would they. I mean a scheme with 50 flats is going to cost far more than whatever they could get for this land if they were selling it, which is not the impression the article actually gives in any case garston tony
  • Score: 5

10:49am Tue 22 Jul 14

garston tony says...

Keefer wrote:
garston tony wrote: Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street! This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).
Still it begs the question; why not build the new flats first, then move the current residents in there? I'm sure they'd be eager to move if it was to a new build. To be honest, the situation should have been remedied years ago, so why the concern now? A. Profit.
So why concern now? Are you saying if something hasnt been right for a while why bother doing something about it now? Seriously!

Again the article states that WCHT have plans to develop on this site, not that they are selling the site. As they mention 8,000 on the housing waiting list the impression is that the new homes that will be built are to be added to their stock and offered to rent to people waiting for housing.

As with my previous post in response to LSC if the motive was profit they wouldnt be planning to build a new sheltered scheme with over twice as many flats which isnt going to be free is it
[quote][p][bold]Keefer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Everyone seems to have conveniently ignored the fact that all the residents will be provided with alternative accommodation, stop acting like they're all being chucked out onto the street! This alternative accommodation will also provide them with their own facilities, for all the comments above when i get into my old(er) age and if I end up in a home I would want my own bathroom thank you very much and not have to share it with others (and have to walk out of my own flat and down a corridor to boot either).[/p][/quote]Still it begs the question; why not build the new flats first, then move the current residents in there? I'm sure they'd be eager to move if it was to a new build. To be honest, the situation should have been remedied years ago, so why the concern now? A. Profit.[/p][/quote]So why concern now? Are you saying if something hasnt been right for a while why bother doing something about it now? Seriously! Again the article states that WCHT have plans to develop on this site, not that they are selling the site. As they mention 8,000 on the housing waiting list the impression is that the new homes that will be built are to be added to their stock and offered to rent to people waiting for housing. As with my previous post in response to LSC if the motive was profit they wouldnt be planning to build a new sheltered scheme with over twice as many flats which isnt going to be free is it garston tony
  • Score: 4

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