Families vow to fight for their homes

RELATIVES are fighting a decision to force residents at Sunrise Supported Living out of their homes.

The residents were told last week the retirement village in Kennington was under new management and 35 people renting units need to leave by March next year.

Freedom Aged Care, who took over the operation rights, has assured residents they will not be kicked out with nowhere to go, but the “mum and dad investors” have a right to sell.

But rumours are now circulating that a loophole in the contracts could also see the 18 residents who own their units bought out.

A group of relatives plan to build a case that would see the residents allowed to stay.

Kim Hoogerwerff, whose mum lives in Sunrise, said it was a class action case.

“The information they have given us is so contradictory and there is still no time frame,” she said.

“Overnight the price of the units jumped by $70,000.

“It is a bit cloudy. Potentially what they want to do is cut out the middle man and buy out the investors so they have complete control and reap all the profits.

“They know they are elderly and vulnerable, and the residents are saying to their kids 'I can't be bothered fighting anymore". But we are standing steadfast.

“I’m not normally an activist but it is about their rights. I don’t want to give up the fight. ”

Bendigo financial planner George Flack, who is offering free assistance to residents, said there were cases to be made but it was early days.

Freedom Aged Care owner Paul Brown, denies the company wants to buy out the current owners and said he was on the verge of walking away following the backlash.

“Why would I buy back the few units that have been sold,” he said.

“We look after elderly people. Relocating renters is a terrible thing to have to do but the alternative is much worse, the whole thing will come crashing down.

A meeting for all parties will be held next Wednesday. Mrs Hooderwerff is meeting MP Damian Drum to discuss the case.

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