ELDERLY residents of three retirement housing complexes in Torfaen have pledged to fight for their homes after being told that they may be forced to move out.

The residents of The Beeches in Old Cwmbran, Glanwern House in Pontypool and Pen-y-Bryn in Penygarn could be forced to move after Bron Afon Community Housing confirmed that they were considering the future of the buildings.

However, residents of the houses are determined to save their homes.

Audrey Cullis has lived at Pen-y-Bryn for six years.

She said: “They have been fixing up retirement buildings all up the Valleys, but they have not done ours. Bron Afon told us that our building looked tired. It’s not. The only things that need doing are the roof, and maybe a stairlift from the ground floor to the first floor.

“There are 18 people living here. We have formed a community here and we don’t want to be pushed out.

“It would be horrendous to move. None of us are looking forward to it. It’s such a lovely place. We have got a park right next to us. We spend a lot of time together, it’s a really nice community.

“Half of us have family living or working within walking distance. We don’t want to be sent out to the four corners of Torfaen.”

St Cadocs and Penygarn councillor Sue Malson said: “The residents were reassured that they would have top priority on the house seekers list.

“In Torfaen we have 2,500 people on the house seekers list. How would they feel if they found out that people were being moved out of perfectly good buildings that they wanted to stay in and put to the top of the list?

“A lot of the residents have come here because they want to stay here and retire.

“We have a perfectly good building here with residents who want to stay here. Surely it would cost more to rehome all the residents than to make the improvements here.”

Tricia Stundon looks after her husband, who moved into Glanwern House five years ago.

She said: “Everybody was upset. What they want is to stay in their flats. They feel safe.

“Some of the elderly people were crying and begging. It was awful. It was really heart-breaking seeing how upset the residents were.

“A lot of them were saying they were frightened to move.”

Bron Afon also considered closing Sunnybank in Griffithstown, but decided to keep the building running.

Lisa Charles, Bron Afon’s head of interim head of support and inclusion, said: “We held meetings in four retirement schemes last year to talk to residents about some reports we would be doing on their building.

“We explained their homes were built a long time ago and because of their design and condition they have reached a point where we have to consider their future.

“It wasn’t an easy conversation, but we wanted to make sure residents knew we were looking at future options and that nothing was off the table.

“The work is complicated and took longer than we expected. Last week our Board members asked for more information before a firm decision is made about plans and timescales for three of the schemes - The Beeches in Old Cwmbran, Glanwern House in Pontypool and Pen-y-Bryn in Penygarn.

“This was an important update about people’s homes, so we felt we had to go out and meet residents and not just send a letter to explain this to them.

“We were honest about timescales and said it is likely to be the New Year before we go back to them with firm plans.

“We appreciate that this is an anxious time for people. Our expert support staff have offered one-to-one meetings with any residents who have questions or want to talk through any worries or concerns they may have at this time.”