Hundreds of flats designated for elderly people in Northampton to be put back in general housing stock

Almost 600 sheltered homes in Northampton to be decommissioned
Almost 600 sheltered homes in Northampton to be decommissioned

More than 400 flats and bungalows designated for elderly people in Northampton are to be put back into the general housing stock, it has been revealed.

A recent report by Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH), which runs 1,900 sheltered housing properties in the town, states plans to decommission 442 homes currently used by vulnerable older people.

Of the 1,900 sheltered housing properties run by Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) in the town, this would bring the total being decommissioned to more than 600 since 2011.

The 442 properties, of which 433 are flats and nine are bungalows, are now deemed to be “unsuitable for older people” following a recent assessment carried out by NPH.

Northampton housing campaigner, Norman Adams, said he was concerned about the number of homes for older people that were being decommissioned.

He said: “Designated social housing should be kept that way and there needs to be tighter control over this.

“What this decommissioning really means is that social homes will no longer be protected by right-to-buy legislation and residents could end up with anyone moving in next door.”

The report outlines the process for decommissioning properties in each area. This will involve: “Assessing other provision for older people that could be made in the area...individual quality impact assessments in order to assess any specific requirements tenants have as the accommodation is to ensure that subsequent vacancies are let sensitively through a local lettings plan.”

The proposal will also involve aiming decommissioned homes at other people “as there is a lack of provision for other client groups.” Part of this process will include checking if there is sufficient demand for older people’s housing within the same area.

A spokesperson for Northampton Partnership Homes said: “As the responsible managing organisation, we constantly review the condition and suitability of the housing stock.

“We have recently reviewed the sheltered housing stock. Tenants in sheltered housing have a range of different needs, so it is vital that the houses we make available to them are suitable.

“As a number of properties no longer meet the criteria, we are looking at the possibility of changing their classification so that they become part of our general housing stock.”