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Southend's housing staff face the axe
Updated 3:56pm Tuesday 4th February 2014 in News
SHELTERED housing officers are facing redundancy and losing their homes as a housing provider tries to save £500,000.
South Essex Homes manages Southend Council’s housing stock and 22 sheltered housing schemes.
It must make the efficiencies by 2016/17.
An anonymous worker contacted the Echo after being informed they and 20 other officers who live and work in sheltered housing complexes across Southend are “at risk of redundancy”.
The employee said: “The services are being cut and residents are not being consulted.
“Staff are told to keep quiet and not tell the residents what’s going on.
“As residential staff we could lose our homes and it seems there are no plans to rehouse us. What do they expect us to do with no job?”
The anonymous worker said staff fear what the effect will be on residents if there is no one offering 24-hour support.
Their duties include daily contact and visiting residents to check on their wellbeing.
They also report repairs, manage buildings, respond to emergencies and coordinate social activities.
The changes include new roles for 17 support workers, but it is unclear how much support they will offer residents and where they will be based.
South Essex Homes declined to confirm how many sheltered housing officers it employs.
The organisation would also not answer questions about residential staff and any support to help them find new homes, the impact on residents, and what replacement service would be brought in.
A spokesman said: “We are currently in consultation with staff and residents about proposals to improve and develop the housing services it provides to the council’s homes.
“These proposals have been set out in dialogue with Southend Council and the Trades Union. The proposals are aimed at continuing to improve the service.”
Workers will be notified of redundancy by February 24.
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