PENSIONERS have made an emotional eleventh hour plea to save their sheltered homes.
A review into the future of three Wigan schemes has now concluded with a decision set to be announced next month.
Brackley House in Goose Green, Walkden House in Bryn and Atherton House are under threat because of the escalating and disproportionate cost of replacing roofs on the apartments and bungalows.
Brackley House resident Lawrence Adams, a 67-year-old retired security forces advisor, said that there was now established medical evidence about the fatal affect of relocating old people against their will and called for their future welfare to be put ahead of saving money.
Speaking on behalf of the other 25 residents, largely widows in their late 70s and 80s, Mr Adams said that experts in geriatric care now rate the stress of being moved away from friends as only “marginally less significant” than the death of a spouse.
He is calling for an eleventh hour re think over Brackley House, which is 45 years old and facing £1.2m spending on the troublesome aluminium roof.
Mr Adams said that residents feared their community being broken up and ending up “mile and miles away” from family and friends.
He also pointed out that Brackley House was ideally placed for shops, the post office and church provision, as well as on an intensively served bus route.
Tenants remain angry that funds have been allocated to replace bathrooms throughout the council’s 21,000 strong housing stock – but not to repair the roof structure of the three schemes.
Wigan and Leigh Housing have pledged a package of one to one support for tenants should it prove necessary to re-home then.
Mr Adams said: “I have heard rumours on the grape vine that Brackley for a start is definitely closing but the housing aren’t saying anything.
“When you are talking about people between 70 and 90 years of age, this uncertainty, since August, is so very, very unfair.
”No one has any alternatives yet - we are all in the hands of the council.”
Cabinet member for housing Coun Chris Ready said that a decision would be made on the future of the three sheltered schemes in early February.