IT was the day Elizabeth Court tenants had feared would never come.
Residents of the Winshill retirement scheme breathed a sigh of relief yesterday as Burton-based housing association Trent and Dove Housing completed its acquisition of the complex.
The handover brought to an end nine months of stress and worry for tenants who had faced eviction after former owner Anchor Trust announced it was closing the scheme, before backing down in the face of fierce opposition.
Resident Margaret Redfern told the Mail: “I’m over the moon. Everybody is walking around with a smile on their face today.
“To be truthful, I never expected this day would come. I think we will be far better off and Trent and Dove will do us all right — they certainly can’t be any worse than Anchor.” Ron Dougan, Trent and Dove chief executive, said the firm would be carrying out a consultation with residents before embarking upon a major programme of refurbishment to bring the complex up to modern standards — something Anchor had said was ‘not cost effective’.
He said: “The last few months have seen intensive negotiations taking place over the future of Elizabeth Court and we are delighted to formally announce that the legal process in respect of the transfer of the complex to Trent and Dove Housing has now been completed.
“In what has, understandably, been a difficult and unsettled year for the residents of Elizabeth Court and their families, we are pleased that they can now look to a brighter future in their homes.
“On behalf of our board and management team, I would like to add our thanks to everyone that has made this possible and commend the spirit of the residents during the last few months.
“We will be arranging a celebration party and inviting all of those directly involved in helping make the transfer a reality, such as Andrew Griffiths MP, local parish councillors and the Burton Mail, to join the residents and staff in looking forward to the future.
“Very importantly, our staff have been taking every opportunity to get to know the residents as they have prepared for the transfer. We will also be involving the residents to help us in formulating exciting and ambitious improvement plans that will ensure their homes continue to be a place they are proud to call home well into the future.”