Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Residents Fight to Save Their Homes; Housing Scheme Faces Axe

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Residents Fight to Save Their Homes; Housing Scheme Faces Axe

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDA RICHARDS

THESE elderly residents are fighting to save their homes.

Sun Hill in Sunniside, Gateshead - which is a sheltered housing scheme - faces being axed by the council which is phasing out bedsit accommodation that doesn't come up to modern standards.

But the 32 Sun Hill tenants, whose ages range from 56 to 97, are devastated and have launched a campaign to save it.

"We love living here," said Dorothy Bainbridge, 70, who was a warden at the unit for 20 years and liked it so much that she moved in when she retired.

"You have your own bedsit and independence but company if you want it. Everyone gets on, we're like one big family." For the last several years, the council has been replacing bedsits with larger accommodation.

It says bedsits are no longer popular because they're too cramped.

But Dorothy disagrees. "Sun Hill is always full, people are keen to move in here," she added.

"It's in an ideal location, on a good bus route, right beside the shops, post office, doctor and dentist surgeries.

"There's no facilities for old folk in Sunniside and many older members of the community come to Sun Hill for bingo, darts and pie and pea suppers. We have outings and they come along on those as well."

Joan Heron, 83, says people are worried what will happen to them if the complex closes.

"People living here are from the Sunniside area and have family here. There aren't any other suitable aged person's homes in the area so we would be scattered all over Gateshead," she said.

"We don't need this kind of upheaval at our age. We're upset and angry and something like this could kill some people off."

Worried residents have launched a petition in a bid to try and persuade local politicians to keep Sun Hill and bring it up to Decent Home Standards. …

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