An elderly cancer survivor was left worried for her wellbeing after the owner of her home was rumoured to merge with another company in Buckinghamshire.  

The elderly woman, who beat lethal ovarian cancer, lives alone at St Hugh’s Close supported living complex in Stokenchurch, where she can rely on the on-site wardens and an alarm system. 

Now the senior resident fears the rumoured merger between Buckinghamshire Housing Association – the current owner - and Fairhive Homes will leave her isolated if the wardens and alarm system disappear or no longer are the housing provider’s responsibility.

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She said: “If I should just be isolated, might just give up.”

Because she struggles to get to the nearest shop as she doesn't drive, and her home currently doesn't have a charging point to allow having a mobility scooter she worried about the change of conditions from sheltered housing to independent living.

She added: “I’ve been told by Age Concern that they can change the name, but they can’t change the conditions.”

Now Buckinghamshire Housing Association (Bucks Housing) has confirmed they are in discussion with Fairhive Homes about a “proposed merger,” a Bucks Housing spokesperson confirmed.

If it goes ahead, all Bucks Housing properties will transfer to Fairhive Homes because “that it will be in the long-term best interests of its current and future residents to be served by a larger and more financially robust local housing association.”

For the elderly resident, the merger seemed like a done deal already, she said.

She said: “It worries me that they haven’t got the authority to sell this off to someone else, because it’s a non-profit place, and what if the new people change it to independent living.”

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Bucks Housing conducted a resident consultation during the summer.

The spokesperson said: “Only approximately five percent of Bucks Housing residents responded to the consultation, around half of which expressed a preference for things to stay as they are.

“The consultation included two meetings with residents of St Hugh’s Close to discuss the proposals, with the second meeting attended by representatives from Fairhive Homes, who provided details of the services provided to residents in their 16 Independent Living Schemes.

“The merger proposals have now been approved by the Board of both associations but only after the Bucks Housing Board considered all the responses received from residents. 

“Fairhive has an Independent Living Schemes model, which allows residents to enjoy as much or as little support as they need.

“There is no resident Scheme Manager, as there is currently at St Hugh’s Close, but there will be an Independent Living Co-ordinator for each scheme, who will be on hand should residents need support.

"It should be noted that help with shopping and collecting things for residents has never been part of the service offered by Bucks Housing at St Hugh’s Close.”

Bucks Housing hoped to hear from any residents at St Hugh's Close with any support needs or concerns, and was "committed to working with residents and Fairhive to ensure a smooth transition should the merger proceed."