Reader letter: Decent homes for needy families

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In 2010, Futures Homescape (FH) demolished 32 social housing bungalows that were exclusively for elderly and disabled people.

They now intend to replace them with a development which is mainly matchbox family housing, flats and a few token bungalows. This is despite the fact that the local town council, the ward councillors and the local residents unanimously support the building of bungalows to replace the old ones. So much for democracy.

This borough needs bungalows as a matter of urgency, but FH are adamant that the demand is for family housing. Even though they already have houses that stand empty for months waiting for tenants.

We already have plenty of housing association family houses which have large gardens and are well sited. The only reason they cannot be used as family homes, is because they are currently occupied by people who are “over occupying”. People who are desperate to “down size” but cannot find anywhere to move to.

Because this new proposal includes additional family houses Derbyshire County Council (DCC ) will require FH to pay them a contribution of approximately £100K.This will include a sum of £87K to cover the cost of the implied extra school places which will be needed in the area.

FH claim that they can’t afford to pay this and so Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) have agreed generously to pay this amount for them, using tax payer’s money. Which truly needy cause will have to go without, as a result of subsidising a private company which pleads poverty? This whole development is a “no brainer”. Why doesn’t AVBC tell, its partner, FH to build bungalows to replace those that they demolished in Delves Court? The over occupiers can then move and free up existing family houses. Needy families could then move into decent houses where they could bring up their families, instead of the matchboxes being proposed for Delves Court.

No extra places would need to be catered for in the local schools and AVBC would be able to use the saved £87K where it is truly needed. The question is why are FH refusing to listen?

The leader of the AVBC (Councillor Alan Cox) says that he fully supports FH’s wonderful proposal. What does it matter if desperate older people can’t afford their rent, but can’t move because there is no suitable accommodation available? Bah! Humbug! As to needlessly wasting £87K, maybe the council haven’t really thought about it. After all easy come.

Anyway, it’s not their money that is being given away and it is doubtful if they will

suffer in any way as a result.

Pat Smith

by email