ELDERLY residents at a Gerrards Cross nursing home are facing eviction after the trust in charge of the building decided to sell it.

Howard House Nursing Home on Vicarage Way will close its doors on July 31, with the Perseverance Trust telling residents last Wednesday they have three months to make alternative arrangements.

The home has been run by the trust since 1959 after it was set up as a home for retired nurses, but the board decided to shut the home and sell it as a private residence.

96-year-old Joan Arundel has lived at Howard House since November 2011. She said: “It’s a fait accompli as far as I see it. They are going to break up a lovely community here.

“There are people here, me included, who have sold our houses to come and live here, and some are very ill. We only found out at the same time as the staff we were all being chucked out.

“There is a real feeling of love and care in this place. It may be a bit scruffy around the edges, but it’s home, and we chose to live here, and we want to stay here.”

Residents have also questioned why Howard House has accepted residents so recently, with a 90-year-old woman and her relatives unaware of the decision when moving in three weeks ago.

The trustee board, which includes the grandson of the home’s co-founder Sir Arthur Howard, insist the decision has not been taken lightly.

Chairman James Montgomery said the conditions of the house’s original deeds are no longer being met, with the last ex-nurse at the property having died last year.

And with several unsuccessful attempts at finding a buyer over the last 10 years, he maintains the trust can no longer subsidise the cost of the home, which is in need of modernisation.

“It is most unfortunate and deeply regrettable that this action had to be taken,” said Mr Montgomery.

“The decision is helping the trust to survive and to fulfil its original remit of supporting retired nurses who need the help and assistance.

“The closure is being done with the utmost sensitivity and the decision has been taken on the basis of hard experience and professional advice.

“I know this has been a huge shock and is very upsetting for the residents, and we are committed to providing the highest standard of care right up until the end.”

He stressed the home is not on the market yet, and that residents do not have to fear being “thrown onto the streets” once the home closes in July.

Trustees have drafted in the help of care experts Care UK to assist with the closure and relocation of residents, with each receiving a one-to-one session and a list of 16 potential new homes to view.

Mr Montgomery stressed “the best possible” transport would be arranged to their new homes.

The proceeds from the sale of Howard House will go towards supporting retired nurses as per the trust’s original objective, starting with the Nightingale Foundation.