March 5 2015 Latest news:

Elderly tenants will lose their bedsit homes as part of a £4.5m modernisation of three north Norfolk sheltered schemes.

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Victory Housing Trust is to demolish, convert or extend outdated bedsits at its schemes in Ludham, Horning and Stalham.

Tenants at School Close, Ludham, will have to move away completely as their homes will be demolished and the site redeveloped with general housing.

Most elderly bedsit residents in Portalfield, Stalham, and Leeds Way, Horning, would be offered the option of moving back once work on their schemes was completed.

John Archibald, Victory chief executive, said all those affected would be helped to find suitable permanent or temporary accommodation, and there would also be a £4,700 payment for those deemed to have permanently lost their home. Disturbance costs would be covered and “hand-holding” support would also be available.

Tenants and their relatives have been told about Victory’s final plans for each scheme which followed a year-long consultation period.

Mr Archibald said the new homes would be roomier for people with mobility problems, and would be more efficient to run and heat.

He added: “If you look at the housing register, nobody wants bedsits. We need properties fit for today and tomorrow, not the 1950s and 1960s when they were built.”

Victory intends:

● Demolishing all 18 properties at Ludham, which include 15 bedsits. There are currently seven empty homes. Mr Archibald said they could not build for elderly people on the site as the area was crossed by two flood zones and regulations stated that new homes should not have living accommodation on the ground floor. The project will cost about £1.6m and is anticipated to go ahead between April 2015 and March 2016.

● Knocking down a row of 19 bedsits, which form part of its 39-home Stalham scheme, and replacing them with one and two-bedroomed homes. The £1.7m project will go ahead in phases between April 2014 and March 2015, providing 14-18 new homes. Six of the Portalfield homes are currently empty.

● Converting and extending some of its 24 properties in Horning, which include 11 bedsits, creating one and two-bedroomed homes. There are six empty homes at present. The project will cost about £1.1m and is expected to go ahead between April 2014 and March 2015. Mr Archibald said it was hard to say how many homes would be created but it would “not be markedly different.”

Victory’s action in not re-letting homes on the three schemes as they became vacant during the process has caused concern.

Mr Archibald said the empty homes were needed to temporarily or permanently rehouse those affected by the redevelopment, and to help minimise disruption.



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