LETTER: Changes leave tenants in a quandary

The loss of Supporting People funding from the government, paid via the local authority, has left some Sanctuary tenants in a quandary.

Tenants in retirement living schemes (previously known as sheltered housing) having in the past been used to an on-site scheme manager, are now being consulted about the two levels of service on offer for the future.

They can opt for the standard offer of a 24/7 alarm monitoring service 365 days of the year; a reactive service and dedicated repairs service which will be covered by current rent and service charges or, the enhanced offer which includes all the above plus the on-site scheme coordinator. The enhanced offer, which is actually what they are currently getting, will in future carry extra charges which some may not be able to afford or may be unwilling to pay.

It seems a pretty straightforward choice, if you want or need a scheme coordinator you pay up, if not you keep your money and manage without.

The problem for tenants, is that take-up of the enhanced offer has to be agreed by all those living on the scheme.

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Therefore, if just one tenant decides they can cope without a scheme coordinator and opts for the standard offer, no-one else will be eligible for that service.

Some tenants feel they are in a difficult position, and feel guilty as their decision could mean that a vulnerable neighbour will lose a service they desperately need. It seems unfair that people have been put in such a position.

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