05:34PM, Tuesday 01 September 2020
Elderly residents who live in Old Windsor have been given three months to find a new place to live after it was revealed the The Tapestries is set to be sold.
The National Benevolent Charity, which owns the building in Straight Road, sent out a three-month notice letter starting in September.
The 24 currently occupied residences are home to at least three people in their 90s.
Ali Russell, CEO of the National Benevolent Charity, clarified that it has not evicted anyone, however if the buyer requires the building to be vacant, the tenants will be required to leave.
The charity said it brought the sale to the tenants’ attention ‘at the earliest opportunity’.
Cllr Lynne Jones (OWRA, Old Windsor) described the move as ‘absolutely shocking’.
“The community is up in arms,” she said. “The residents are elderly and vulnerable.
“Most of them have been shielding during the pandemic, having their prescriptions delivered to them by volunteers.”
The charity is in discussions with the Royal Borough and the Almshouses Association about the re-settlement of the tenants.
Tenants who agree to move have been offered £1,000 for removal costs and a further support package is being developed.
However, Cllr Jones highlighted that this is only helpful if the tenants can find somewhere to go – preferably close to their support network.
“The residents have family living nearby, they have grandchildren who visit,” she added.
“If they had to move out of the area, their quality of life would be horrendous.
“Usually, in situations like this, the charity would put someone in place to help residents move – and it takes as long as it takes,” Cllr Jones added.
“This is a corporate decision. It’s certainly not charitable.”
Ms Russell highlighted that the charity only offers short-term, rolling tenancies and is not a retirement home.
“We have always been very supportive of any tenant who finds themselves in genuine need and have been flexible when tenants have been unable to pay their rent,” she said.
“We will continue to apply these principles and will be doing all we can to help re settle our tenants.”
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