THE lives of hundreds of pensioners have been shattered by the threat of losing their homes and their communities.

But the generation which lived through a world war say they will not go down without a fight.

London and Quadrant Housing Association (L&Q) has announced plans to close six of the 16 sheltered housing schemes it owns in Bexley.

It says it needs to upgrade its sheltered housing in the borough and while this will mean renovation for some schemes, it will mean closure for others.

But residents of at least one complex, Frank Godley Court in Sidcup, claim the plans are being driven by L&Q's desire to redevelop the sites.

The housing association has held meetings in each of the six threatened schemes and hosted a meeting on Monday night for residents and their families, where there was a protest by some of the residents.

At Frank Godley Court, in Etfield Close, Sidcup, residents, whose ages range from their early 60s to 105, are already squaring up for a fight.

And their attitude is likely to be repeated at the other threatened complexes.

The windows of the court are covered in posters and residents have had a protest banner made which they plan to take into Sidcup High Street for the launch of their petition against the closure.

They were also due to have a meeting last night with high street businesses and other organisations to mobilise support for their campaign.

Alan and Mary Palmer, have lived at Frank Godley Court for 10 years.

Mrs Palmer, 77, said: "We thought this was going to be our last move.

"Our children thought we were settled and they would not have to worry about us."

Winnie Buckley, 84, who has lived there for seven years, accused L&Q of striking terror in residents.

She said: "This is not just sheltered housing, we are friends. We do everything together."

Resident of five years Michael Batty, 72 explained: "We have complete freedom but we are also like a large family. We want to stay here, and we are going to stay."

L&Q told residents the scheme needed lots of money spent on it, suggesting the kitchens and bathrooms in all 40 flats needed replacing and lifts installed.

But residents say this is nonsense.

They say there is nothing wrong with facilities in their one-bedroom flats and L&Q could pay for a lift instead of offering each threatened resident £4,000 in compensation.

L&Q says the residents in all the threatened schemes will be offered homes elsewhere. For the frailest, they fear this could mean moving into residential care homes.

Julia Francis, 91, said the news had been a terrible shock.

She added: "This is not the time of life to have to move."

And Malcolm Lyng, 72, accused L&Q of asset stripping. He said: "We have been told a pack of lies.

"Their objective is to destroy this and the other schemes and realise the site value."

Bexley councillors have demanded an urgent inquiry "at the highest level" into the closures.

L&Q says the demand for sheltered housing in Bexley is falling.

A spokesman said no decisions would be made until November and closures would take place in the next three years.