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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Abandoned Barrow flats could become supported housing

AN almost deserted block of flats could become supported accommodation for residents with mental health problems.

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plan Adelphi Court in Barrow could be turned into supported housing for people with mental health problems. Inset, Barrow Borough Council’s housing manager Colin Garnett HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50059886B002

Adelphi Court, a three-storey block of one-bedroom flats in Storey Square, Barrow, has suffered from anti-social behaviour and posed management problems for Barrow Borough Council.

The council’s housing committee suspended future lettings at Adelphi Court in August last year, when around half of the 12 flats were vacant. More vacancies have since occurred and there is now only one occupied flat, despite figures from the choice-based lettings scheme suggesting there is demand for one-bedroom properties.

In a report for a housing committee meeting tomorrow, housing manager Colin Garnett proposed to use the flats for supported housing for residents with mental health difficulties. Yesterday, there was no answer at any flat and many doors and windows were beneath metal shutters.

Marjorie Royle, who lives in Storey Square directly opposite, said she’s had to put up with disruption and would not mind if the building was demolished, though that is not an option under consideration by the council.

Mrs Royle, 84, who has been in her home since 1964, said: “When it was first built, it was for OAPs. It was really nice.

“Since then, every Tom, Dick and Harry has been in there and druggies. When it’s summer and the flowers are out, we get all the birds and it’s lovely here, but that lot over there, I would sooner look at rubble.” However, another Storey Square resident who did not wish to be named said he would love to see it returned to an old people’s home.

In his report for the meeting, housing officer Mr Garnett said: “From an operational perspective, providing accommodation with support for applicants or residents with mental healt h considerations and increasing the number of such properties would be of benefit to the borough.”

Mr Garnett said he has had talks with commissioners of support services and a potential provider about developing supported housing for residents with mental health issues.

If it happened, the council would potentially lease the properties at an agreed rent and the service provider would support the residents, funded by commissioners.

Have your say

I do hope that there is none of the knee-jerk outright condemnation which so often accompanies suggestion of such conversions.
We are not talking about a ‘half-way’ house for prisoners from Broadmoor.
Before anyone says “it’s not in your street”, I live just round the corner in Mount Pleasant and have witnessed the gradual decay of Adelphi Court after decades of being tenanted by so-called ‘normal’ people.
When one in every four of us is likely to experience mental health problems we need to show compassion - and trust that should we ever need such support it will be there for us.

Posted by Grandma L. on 26 February 2014 at 23:09

Excellent - because that's what you do with vulnerable people - house them in the most environmentally barren surroundings you can find and see how they get on. Pleasant surroundings are usually difficult to find due to cost and the inevitable "concerns" raised by residents over the proximity of individuals with mental health problems.

Posted by Phil on 26 February 2014 at 14:43

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