Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Re-Housing Date Is Pushed Back to Next Summer

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Re-Housing Date Is Pushed Back to Next Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX METCALFE Local democracy reporter @Mecs_LDR

A TARGET date to rehouse tenants from two demolition-bound tower blocks has been pushed back to next summer.

Social housing giant Thirteen plans to knock down Anson House and Hudson House, in Thornaby, in the next year to save on maintenance costs.

The group announced in June last year that five blocks - including the two in Thornaby - would be razed in a move affecting 346 flats.

Thirteen says the tower blocks meet all "relevant building and fire safety regulations" but the cost of maintaining the buildings to meet its standards are "unsustainable" in the long-term.

Tenants began moving out of the Thornaby flats last July and so far 95 have been moved into new homes.

However, Thirteen says it is still working to find "suitable accommodation" for 45 residents more than a year on.

Councillors at the latest Stockton place select committee heard how a target of summer 2020 had now been set for everyone to be moved out.

It had been hoped all five of the tower blocks would have been empty by spring 2020.

A council review into how Thirteen has performed was published earlier this year and urged the firm to "ensure as far as possible" that people were housed near the blocks if they wanted to be.

But Cllr Luke Frost wanted to know how many of the 158 tenants had stayed in Thornaby - and whether there were homes ready and available.

Jane Edmends, senior housing manager at Stockton Council, said it was difficult to put a more definite date than summer 2020 on re-housing people as it depended on availability of properties nearby.

A report prepared for the panel showed tenants would be "decanted" from the high rise flats by July 2020 before being re-housed in either their first or second choice areas.

Ms Edmends added: "As I understand it, they are committed to housing people in areas of choice but it does depend on the availability of properties. …

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