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"Detrimental" move forced on disabled Hackney man by Newlon

PUBLISHED: 17:58 07 October 2013 | UPDATED: 17:58 07 October 2013

Annie and Mark (right) Oharah

Annie and Mark (right) Oharah

Archant

A housing association is forcing a severely disabled man out of his Hackney home of over 20 years to a place six miles away from his mother.

Newlon Housing Trust wants to turn 51-year old Mark O’Hara’s accommodation in Lower Clapton Road into a different type of supported housing and has suggested a replacement home for him in Redbridge.

His mother, Anne, who lives just around the corner, thinks Mark – who is epileptic and has brain damage after having a fit aged 18 months – will find it hard to cope with the move.

As she is unsteady on her feet and unable to travel too far, she would find it hard to travel to see him, and although Mark has been offered a taxi service to visit his mum, because of his illness and immobility he is not 
always able to travel either.

“Mark may be unable to speak, but he can soon let you know when he is happy or not and I think this move, after so many years living in his current 
accommodation and at his age, will have a detrimental effect on him,” said Mrs O’Hara.

Disbelief

“Newlon Housing Trust is a registered charity that is supposed to support disabled people. How can they be so hypocritical?” she asked.

“I was in a state of disbelief when I found out that this could happen in 2013 to someone as vulnerable as Mark.”

“They clearly have no regard for him as they never asked for his, or our views, about this move,” she added.

A spokesman for the trust said Mark’s shared accommodation is designed for people with specialised support needs, but is not fully occupied and does not meet current accessibility standards.

“Therefore we are working with Hackney Council to upgrade and remodel the accommodation to provide new supported housing at the site.

“The areas we are upgrading will still be used to provide supported housing, just for a slightly different client group, for which there is more demand in the borough.

“We are working with the council and a range of support agencies to help rehouse Mark with a home appropriate to his needs.”

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