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Housing firm steps up security as derelict Ravenscliffe flats hit by vandals
A housing association has been forced to install extra security measures to protect the last remaining tenant at derelict flats earmarked for demolition.
Alison Roy, 39, lives alone at Ravenscliffe Flats in Ravenscliffe, Bradford, which are continually targeted by thieves and vandals.
Yorkshire Housing Association revealed last month it wanted to pull down the one-bedroom flats which, along with neighbouring Oakdale Flats, once housed about 60 people.
Miss Roy, who has lived in the block for five years and is due to move to a new flat in three weeks, said thieves had stolen her television aerial, outside security lights and lead slates from her roof.
Yorkshire Housing has fitted a burglar alarm and window locks in her flat and was installing replacement outside lights yesterday.
During the past year, only four tenants, including Miss Roy, have lived at the flats. When the other three were re-housed earlier this month, their flats were flooded when thieves broke in and stole copper from boilers and pipes inside.
Miss Roy said: “I can hear them going into the flat next to mine, it’s awful. Six of them got some ladders and tried to get through my bedroom window.
She added: “It’s horrendous compared to when I first moved in. I can’t sleep on a night. I’m afraid to go to sleep in case they get in through my bedroom window. If I’m going out, I have to get someone to sit in my house because I dare not leave it empty.”
Ward councillors have previously described the flats as an “object lesson” in how not to run social housing.
Councillor Geoff Reid (Lib Dem, Eccleshill) said: “Yorkshire Housing has not yet got permission to demolish, but neighbourhood vandals are carrying out their own brand of demolition.
“The situation is even more urgent than it was last month. Whatever the bad history of these flats, the time has come for immediate action.
“The tenant should be removed to a safe environment forthwith and Yorkshire Housing needs to gather support from local people and from the Homes and Community Agency to demolish and rebuild at the earliest opportunity.”
Celia Cashman, housing services director at Yorkshire Housing, said: “We have one tenant remaining in the scheme at the moment. Three tenants have already been relocated and have moved into their new homes.
“We had previously offered the remaining tenant two available properties and a further property had been offered through a partner organisation. We have now identified a third property that meets the tenant’s personal circumstances.
“While we anticipate a supported and swift move into the new home, we have also installed further security measures in the tenant’s current property.
“Our neighbourhood officers will continue to work closely with the tenant and we wish them all the best in their new home.”