Man, 91, left struggling up THREE flights of stairs as he’s not allowed empty ground floor flat

A 91-year-old pensioner is having to struggle up three flights of stairs to his flat everyday as a housing trust won’t give him the empty one on the ground floor of his block.

John Curtis has lived in Milton Close in Stretford for upwards of two decades but has become less mobile in recent years. He said he can’t understand why Trafford Housing Trust, who manage the building, won’t allow him to move in downstairs.

John’s son used to live with him in his current two-bedroom apartment, but he has been on his own since his son moved out.

The Trust explained that since he now lives alone, Mr Curtis isn’t eligible for the empty two-bedroom flat that currently sits empty on the ground floor.

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The trust have instead offered him a one bedroom bungalow around six miles away. But John and his friends of him are concerned he’d be completely isolated there.

John said: “There are 28 steps for me to climb, I’m not very mobile. I can just about manage if I haven’t got anything in my hands, but if I’m carrying shopping or anything, I need to shout my neighbors to help. My neighbors look after me.

He can’t understand why Trafford Housing Trust, who manages the building, won’t allow him to move in downstairs.

“They offered me this bungalow out at the end of a country lane somewhere, it’s a burglar’s paradise. I said I’m not moving there, not a chance. I need to be near my neighbours. It’s better for me to stay here where I have people helping me, near my friends.

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“My argument is they’ve still got an empty one if I move to the one downstairs, but they refused to do that. As long as I’m in the building, that’s good enough for me, I can’t see the point.”

John believes he might be the longest standing tenant of the block, having been there for over two decades. He says he doesn’t want to leave and feels rooted in the community.

The stairs to his flat

“It’s a good flat, I gave up a house to move here. My neighbors are as good as gold to me, they decided I was not being treated very nicely [by THT] and wanted to do something about it.

“The flat that’s come empty is right near the road, so I could get to shops much easier. You never know what’s going to happen, tomorrow I might not be mobile at all, I could go next week.

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“But they want to give me a one bedroom place, which they said would take ages. I don’t have ages, I’m nearer 92 than 91 now and you just never know.”

A spokesperson for Trafford Housing Trust said: “Trafford Housing Trust is committed to engaging with all customers with the same equal and fair approach to finding appropriate properties that meet their needs. With social housing in such high demand, it is important that we follow strict criteria when allocating our homes.

‘Tomorrow I might not be mobile at all’

“As Mr Curtis lives on his own he is eligible to be considered for one-bedroom properties, and there are unfortunately no homes of this type available on Milton Close. We will continue to try to find appropriate alternative accommodation for Mr Curtis and remain in regular contact with both him and his immediate family. ”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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