The Petition of persons resident in the Old Bexley and Sidcup parliamentary constituency,
Declares that they are concerned for the future of Heron Court, a sheltered housing scheme in Sidcup, with provision for elderly residents and operated by London and Quadrant Housing Trust to which nominations are made by the London Borough of Bexley.
The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Secretary of State responsible for Local Government to ensure that their local authority considers the 600 persons upon their sheltered accommodation waiting list while empty places are retained in appropriate schemes within the Borough.
And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented on 12 January 2010, Official Report,; Vol. 503, c. 14P.]
Observations from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government:
The Secretary of State acknowledges the concerns of the petitioners about the future of the Heron Court sheltered housing scheme. As autonomous bodies, the management of available social housing stock, and nominations for accommodation, are operational matters for the London and Quadrant Housing Trust and the London Borough of Bexley. Ministers have no remit to intervene in their day to day activities.
I understand, however, that the Housing Trust has met with residents of Heron Court and their families on a number of occasions to discuss their plans to modernise and refurbish the accommodation at Heron Court, so that it better meets the needs of its residents, for instance by improving accessibility.
I also understand the Trust has written to every signatory of this petition, explaining the programme of modernisation underway at Heron Court and reassuring them that no resident will be forced to move from their home. I am assured that the Trust will continue to consult with residents on each phase of the modernisation programme to ensure that their specific needs and requirements for both their homes and the communal areas of the scheme are satisfied.
More generally, my Department sponsors the Tenant Services Authority to regulate Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), such as London and Quadrant Housing Trust, to ensure they provide decent homes and services for tenants and that they are properly managed. RSLs must meet existing eligibility and registration criteria, and they must then demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Regulatory Code and guidance in respect of their financial viability, governance and management.