Saturday, May 18, 2024

Thurrock Council launch sheltered housing consultation

AT last week’s Full Council meeting (Wednesday 22 February), Leader of Thurrock Council and Housing lead, Cllr Rob Gledhill, spoke about the sheltered housing proposals consultation.

Cllr Gledhill said: “This consultation is the perfect way for tenants to let me know how they feel about the service they get and how it should be paid for.

“It’s not fair that currently 100 per cent of housing tenants pay for what less than 15 per cent receive, so the funding of these extra services has to be reviewed.”

He added: “This is not a tax on the elderly, this is not a tax on those in sheltered housing – this is simply asking people if they should be paying for services they get.”

On Wednesday 8 February a report went to Cabinet to consult on a phased extension of the Sheltered Accommodation Support Charge.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Gledhill said: “I am extremely disappointed to hear that residents – particularly in Chadwell St Mary and Tilbury – were being deliberately misinformed about the consultation.

“New tenants already pay a support charge for sheltered housing, and have done for a number of years – the plans we are consulting on would treat everyone equally by ensuring those tenants who receive the sheltered housing services are charged fairly.

“I am a strong believer in you pay for what you get, but you should get what you pay for. After some of the statements made from the public gallery I have asked officers to tell me exactly what services residents actually get and I will be speaking to residents to see if this is the case.

“These charges are not a new thing and would bring Thurrock in line with neighbouring boroughs. Around 70 per cent of sheltered housing tenants receive full or partial housing benefit and would not be affected by the proposals.

“Despite the very misleading communications, no decision was made at the Cabinet or Full Council meetings. I would urge all sheltered housing residents to read the consultation documents which have been sent to them and respond on the facts they outline rather than react to poor scaremongering taking place.”

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