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Affinity Sutton says it will stop charging tenants for free services
A housing association says it has listened to its tenants and will no longer make them pay a surcharge for services that should be available for free.
Residents in Oak Farm, Arundel Drive, were frustrated after noticing a weekly £10.72 fee was added to their bills to pay for the services which are provided for free from various charities.
David Burcombe, a resident at Oak Farm, started a petition in an attempt to get the fee lifted.
The money was to pay for the cost of a repairs manager and to help with tenancy issues.
He collected 27 signatures from the 32 residents and handed it to Affinity Sutton, which has consequently promised to cancel the payments.
Julie Schoon, supported housing director for the housing association, said: “As a result of Government cuts and changes to Supporting People funding we have had to make difficult decisions about how we fund the additional help many of our residents living in retirement housing receive and tell us they want.
“These include having regular contact with a designated member of staff, additional assistance around accessing care services, enhanced help with repairs and tenancy issues and information and advice around benefits.
"Since receiving the petition from residents at Oak Farm it is now clear that residents at Oak Farm do not want these additional services.
“We have listened and will stop delivering these services accordingly. There are some residents at Oak Farm who are benefiting from the service and we will be meeting with them to discuss this."
Mr Burcombe, 70, said: “It is a victory and I am so thrilled we have won our fight, we were not going to let them get away with this.”