Jane, 74, is 'home alone' in Woodberry Down block...until 2023
PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 December 2016
A disabled pensioner faces another lonely winter in her all-but-deserted tower block - and has been told she cannot move until 2023.
Jane Frost, 74, has lived on the Woodberry Down Estate since 1949, but says she’s been treated like a “second-class citizen” since the huge regeneration began in 2009.
Three years ago she returned from holiday to find almost all of the 37 flats in Wyersdale House had been emptied as part of the 25-year project.
Her neighbours and friends were all moved to the new block opposite, or off the estate completely. But Jane was stuck because the council couldn’t find accommodation to meet her health needs.
Short-term tenants now come and go, but Jane remains in her first floor flat.
“They all moved and I don’t know a soul here now,” she told the Gazette. “It’s quite scary coming up the stairs. There’s no one in my block and I went for a whole year with no one anywhere near. It was creepy.
“I’ve watched the whole estate go up and come down again but it seems like because I’m disabled they’re not going to bother with me.”
Jane’s theory is somewhat strengthened by the fact Hackney Council failed to process her medical assessment for more than two years. During that time she had been offered two new homes but says she turned them down for health reasons.
She is in and out of hospital and will be in a wheelchair by the end of January. Two months ago she told Cllr Caroline Selman of her problems and a reply was sent by the housing team.
The letter, seen by the Gazette, owns up to the medical form gaffe and reveals Jane is not due to be moved into a new home until at least 2023.
“I’m not going to be alive then, am I?” she continued. “I’m having quite a serious operation. I’m having two knees done and my immune system is not great.
“I’m going to be stuck inside – I’m going to be a prisoner.”
The town hall said it has apologised to Jane for the delay in processing her case and said it will be speaking to her urgently to “discuss her concerns and review her needs”.
A spokesman added: “Where new properties become available as part of the regeneration, we only offer them to existing residents and prioritise those whose homes are due to be demolished in the near future.
“We have previously offered Ms Frost alternative properties in Woodberry Down more suited to her needs while her modern new home is being built.”