A number of elderly people will find themselves without a home this Christmas as retirement village Berkeley Living in Patterson Lakes is forced to close later this month.
City of Kingston in Melbourne’s south-east said that the village was too “dangerous” for people to reside in.
When the local council inspected the properties, it was found that some had no smoke detectors or fire equipment.
It was reported that owners of units at the retirement village with given fines and building repair costs in excess of $500,000.
As the owners of the units do not have the finances to pay and carry out the necessary repairs, the facility will be forced to turn off all its utilities on 30 November.
Some of the 16 affected residents include some who are in their 90s, along with one quadriplegic resident and another with Alzheimer’s.
This isn’t the first time Berkley Living have been in trouble. In mid-September, staff walked off the job amidst claims that they had not been paid in months.
One staff member said that he was owed about $12,000 in unpaid wages.
Other claims include, cook only getting paid $200 for two or three days a week, while other staff were getting less than $10 an hour.
The Berkeley Living facility is already under scrutiny as their current director is Deyar Musa, a 25-year-old man who was convicted of drug possession in 2016.
Other scandals include Berkeley Living’s connection with former aged care magnate Stephen Snowden, who is a convicted criminal, bankrupt and rumoured to have ties with underworld figures.
Snowden’s Cambridge Aged Care was previously was under investigation from the Department of Health and the Victorian Coroner for substandard care.
And until June 2012, Cambridge was providing welfare services to Berkeley retirement village, including meals and support services.
It was previously reported that more than 30 families, who had apartments in the retirement village and later sold to new owners when the resident left or died, never received any of the sale proceeds.
According to Fairfax media, many of the residents have managed to find alternative residences in light of the forced closure – but there are still some who remain at their units.
And it is currently unknown where they will go. Though some residents are reluctant to leave, it’s believed that the local council will help them find alternative accommodation.
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