Council defends policy of putting homeless young families in Melton elderly housing complex

Gretton Court, a sheltered housing complex for the elderly and frail in Melton EMN-180213-135813001
Gretton Court, a sheltered housing complex for the elderly and frail in Melton EMN-180213-135813001
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Melton Council has defended its policy to move young families into vacant properties at a sheltered housing complex for frail and elderly people.

Tony Mee who is in close contact with residents at Gretton Court in the town through delivering papers there every day contacted the Melton Times to say it was ‘absolute madness’ to house young people close to pensioners who need regular care support and a peaceful lifestyle.

The council say they have moved homeless families, including young families with children, into vacant warden accommodation at the scheme, which is close to the town centre off Egerton View.

The complex has 43 self-contained flats for elderly people who want to continue living independent lives with a two-way communication system for them to contact support staff 24 hours a day if they require assistance.

Mr Mee said many of the residents were vulnerable people who he had helped in the past while being on site and he was concerned that they would be disturbed by their younger neighbours who lived very different lives.

He said: “I don’t have an axe to grind with the young people who are living at Gretton Court but these flats are designed for elderly and frail people, some of whom have dementia.

“This is absolute madness and in my opinion totally unfair on both the residents and the carers who work there and provide such wonderful care.

“It’s a contradiction in terms to have this fantastic complex for frail and elderly people and then to put young families in there.

“It just doesn’t work and I think the council should look again at it.”

A spokesperson for the council told the Melton Times: “Melton Borough Council has a responsibility to provide housing for those who are homeless, including families with children.

“Gretton Court has the facility to house those with urgent need on a temporary basis within accommodation previously allocated to members of staff.

“As staff use has receded over the past few years, and because the accommodation is not suitable for use by residents in need of the facilities and care provided at Gretton Court, the property has been used from time to time to assist those in most need.”

The council say there has been no issues caused by housing residents of widely different ages in close proximity but it was monitoring the situation.

The spokesperson added: “Melton Borough Council is unaware of any issues being caused as a result of this decision, and will continue to find innovative solutions to help residents in most urgent need.

“We will, however, continue to keep this arrangement under regular review, with feedback from residents and staff members fully incorporated.”