By Jo Taylor and Nic Rigby BBC Inside Out East
29th January 2018
Residents of a housing association in Essex have criticised plans that could see their homes demolished.
Genesis Housing Association is considering the future of Alexandra Court in Southend, which could see it torn down and a new block built in its place with double the number of flats.
One woman spoke of her dismay after being told it was her “home for life”.
Genesis has assured tenants they would be re-housed at the same rents if demolition was approved.
There are currently 262 flats in the block on Baxter Avenue.
Brenda Philips, who has lived in Alexandra Court for 34 years, told BBC Inside Out East she was worried about the plans.
“When we moved in here we were told this was our home for life, and suddenly it’s not our home for life,” she said.
She said she was also concerned at being moved out of her home for about 18 months while the new homes are being built.
“They’ve suggested to some of the residents here that they might move in to bed and breakfast accommodation or hotels, or we could go to Colchester or Chelmsford,” she added.
Image caption Alexandra Court resident Brenda Philips has lived in Southend for 34 years
Another resident, Carole Fisher, said: “I really like this flat. I don’t think there’s much wrong with it. We have had new kitchens, we’ve had new gardens.
“We’ve had central heating put in and double glazing, and I’m by myself and it’s easy to keep clean, easy to heat. I love my flat.”
Resident Jan Swinton added: “It’s very important for me to be here because my daughter is disabled and she lives about 10 minutes away, and this is the ideal site here for me.”