Pensioners facing eviction will fight back


A GROUP of Scottish OAPs have vowed to “barricade” themselves in rather than leave their threatened sheltered housing.

The pensioners say managers of the complex in Edinburgh will have to “forcibly remove” them from their home and are planning a legal challenge to the move.

Jo Hopkin, 87, a resident of Cairn Housing Asscociation’s property in the city’s on Laverockbank Terrace is leading the other residents in her refusual to be evicted by Cairn bosses.

She said: “If it comes to it we’ll barricade ourselves in and they’ll have to forcably remove us.”

She said: “If it comes to it we’ll barricade ourselves in and they’ll have to forcably remove us.”

It was revealed this weekend that Carin had informed 42 elderly residents of plans to close their five sheltered housing units throughout the city.

The Housing Association said that the shock evictions were due to repeated financial losses.

However, the move has prompted a backlash from residents and their relatives who are outraged at the proposed plans.

Former teacher and grandmother of seven, Ms Hopkin, a long-time community activist said: “We’re all shocked by this bombshell, but if they want to move us out then the only place we’d accept would be the Balmoral Hotel, other than that we are not going anywhere. They think we’re all past it and senile, but let me tell you, we’re not.

“This is our home, a place where we all thought we’d see out our days and we have no plans on moving.”

It is understood that tenants are now seeking advise on the legality on the decision by Cairn.

Ms Hopkin, who has lived at the complex for eight years, said: “We have never been consulted on this. The whole thing has an air of ‘like it or lump it’. We hope that the residents of the other units join us in saying no to these shocking plans.”

The other sheltered complexes which will be affected by the proposed closures are Braid Avenue, Church Hill, Columba Road and Grange Loan.

It is not yet known if the pensioners at the other homes intend to join the protests.

However, Rosemarie Watt, from Ravelston, whose 97 year old mother is a resident of Columba Road in Blackhall, hinted that residents in the other units may well join the protests too.

She said: “There are definitely residents at Columba Road who will not go until they are forced. My mother has lived in the unit for six years and in the area for 25 years.

She really wishes to keep her doctor and her church and so we are very restricted in moving her.”

Cairn director of business services, Rory  Gaffney said: “The views of our residents will be listened to during the consultation process and will be considered by the board of management.”

The closures are expected to come into affect next year, and Cairn has started discussion with Viewpoint Housing Association and Edinburgh City Council with regards to vacancies within their housing stock.