A RETIREMENT home for the elderly in Bridgend is set to close it’s doors over the coming months, after an announcement was made by local housing association Valleys to Coast earlier this week.
Dinam Close, based in Nantymoel is understood to be home to a number of elderly residents in one bedroom flats, though the local housing association says it will now be closing the site for re-development.
In a statement released by the housing association earlier this week they said they would be shutting the home to “explore options” for the re-development the site, and providing new social housing that they say is more in line with local demand.
However, it has left many residents who currently live at the home in a state of shock, as they face being moved to new accommodation, away from their homes and communities.
The announcement also comes just a month after Bridgend Council discussed the need for more one bedroom accommodation in the borough as part of their Housing Support Programme Strategy, which revealed 59% of households on the Common Housing Register are waiting for the allocation of a one bedroom property.
Lionel Williams of Nantymoel says his brother is a resident living in a flat on the site, and was devastated at the news of the closure, that could force him relocate to another part of the borough.
He said: “We are very upset for our families who live at Dinam Close, and we are shocked that they have decided to close it. For people like my brother who is elderly and has a number of health issues it will be a massive blow as he is settled in this community with all of his family living nearby.
“It could mean he will have to be moved to a new location now and that will be very distressing for him and a number of other residents, because he won’t just be taken from his flat, but from his family and friends who live here as well.
“It’s a hard situation and there’s still a number of questions we would like answered around why this has happened, and why they would want to move these people on. It just doesn’t make sense to anyone at the moment.”
Cllr Rhys Goode, who is Borough Councillor for Nantymoel said he also had a number of concerns over the plans to close the home, and feared it could cause a great deal of distress to residents who lived there.
He said: “I am deeply concerned and honestly, very angry with the way Valleys to Coast have dealt with this issue and the way they have treated their tenants – some of whom have complex needs – who now find themselves in a very difficult situation that has caused significant distress and anguish.
“Valleys to Coast have a legal responsibility to provide support to their tenants as a registered social landlord. I will be making sure that going forward, more scrutiny takes place on how they, and other RSLs operate in Bridgend. However, my focus now is supporting these residents and making sure all their rights as tenants are exercised.
“I will be pushing V2C hard to come forward with a new plan for Dinam Close, and if they can’t, to give it to someone who can. We have a housing crisis with over 500 people already in temporary accommodation across the borough, we can’t afford to lose housing in any of our communities.”
A statement from Valleys to Coast read: “Following a period of consultation and engagement with tenants, the Board of Valleys to Coast has made a decision to begin the process of closing Dinam Close, Nantymoel, as a provision of older person accommodation.
“Discussions will now take place with Bridgend County Borough Council and other partners, including Welsh Government, to explore options for re-developing the site to provide new social housing in line with local demand.
“Any redevelopment would be subject to funding, site investigations and planning, as well as engagement with the local community.
“Current tenants of Dinam Close will be fully supported to find suitable alternative accommodation – we will explore all options including conversations with other housing associations to support those who wish to continue to live in, or close to Nantymoel.
“We will take the time necessary to ensure everyone is well supported throughout the process, and tenants have been reassured that nothing will happen overnight.
“Tenants will also be supported financially to compensate for the loss of their current home, and to support them to move and settle into another home. Further detailed information is being shared individually with tenants.”
A spokesperson for Bridgend County Borough Council, added: “Recently, the tenants of Dinam Close were informed by Valleys to Coast of its proposed closure. In response to this concerning situation, Bridgend County Borough Council is actively engaging with the tenants, who are understandably upset, to provide any necessary support.
“The wellbeing and welfare of the Dinam Close community is of paramount importance to the council and it will do everything possible to offer assistance at this time. Alongside this support, the council is linking with its partners, including Welsh Government as well as Valleys to Coast, to explore opportunities to ensure that the social housing needs of the Nantymoel community, including those of Dinam Close, will continue to be addressed, both currently and in the future.”