by Tony Osborne, Aspland & Marcon estates
Hanover in Hackney recently announced a pilot scheme at one of its sheltered housing complexes to replace its resident housing officer. Hanover is the housing association to which Hackney Council has contracted the running and staffing of 30 of its sheltered housing homes for the elderly. Its plan calls for the resident post to be closed, and replaced with daily visits and an alarm system.
Hanover claims this will enable the elderly to live more independently. However, the plan has raised some opposition from residents, not only at the target complex, but also across the borough.
Residents I have spoken to from other homes express a fear that it is just another way of cutting cost and will reduce the amount of care, leaving residents more vulnerable.
Should our elderly residents be used as an experiment to enable a large housing association to cut costs, at the expense of providing the care and security our older citizens need and are entitled to?
Hackney Socialist Unity does not believe so.