A FRAIL Sheffield pensioner has made a plea to housing chiefs to be moved to a ground floor home - after mobility problems meant she has only been able to venture out of her first-floor flat once in the last four months, with help from a friend.
Ivy Hides, aged 91, of Deerpark Road, Stannington, has become weak on her legs and, although she can walk down the stairs from her home unaided, she cannot get back up again.
She said: “I have lived in my home since 1997 and, when I moved in, I could run up and down the stairs. But, since last Christmas, I have been too weak to make the climb back up.
“I’ve only been out once since February, with help from a friend, Patricia Uttley, but she lives in Batemoor.
“Neighbours help me by doing shopping for me and I am able to keep busy with reading, knitting and going on my computer, but I would love a ground floor property so I can go out again.”
Ivy, a retired hospital cleaner, said she wants to stay in the same block, if possible, so she can be close to her friends, and has asked Sheffield Homes if she can be moved to a property immediately downstairs, which has just become free.
Sheffield Homes said that because Ivy has only recently informed them of her plight, there are three bidders in front of her for the ground floor property she wants and she is fourth in the queue.
They said she could apply for another ground floor home which has also come free nearby, and then ask the tenant who receives the home she wants if they will swap.
The housing management company has also visited her to assess her needs and says she may also be eligible for a sheltered property which has come free nearby.
A spokesman said: “We are in regular contact with Mrs Hides and are doing everything we can to help her move to a suitable new home.
“This includes bidding for properties on her behalf and looking into other housing options, such as sheltered accommodation.
“Council properties are allocated using a fair and transparent system based on priorities and waiting time, so we can’t give preference to one person over another. And lower ground floor properties in the area Mrs Hides live are popular.
“However, we are aware of how keen Mrs Hides is to stay in the immediate area where she has good friends and neighbours and we were recently able to offer Mrs Hides a ground floor property in the area where she lives which she has chosen not to accept.
“We will continue to support her in bidding for properties and assessing her immediate housing needs.”