Housing changes stir up residents’ anger

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A ROW has erupted after an angry tenants’ and residents’ chief blasted changes to the way householders are consulted over rent rises in Doncaster.

Keith Jobson, acting secretary of Doncaster Federation of Tenants and Residents’ Association, says the alterations announced by St Leger Homes – the body which oversees 21,000 council homes in Doncaster – are ‘undemocratic’ and will lead to a poorer service for residents.

He said: “The association has always been the consulting body for St Leger Homes regarding rent rises. We’ve always been involved in strategy meetings and had our say, and before that we were heavily involved with Doncaster Council and never had any problems.”

Mr Jobson said that, under the changes, local TARAs will no longer be involved and would be replaced by a ‘quango’ of unelected representatives.

“It is undemocratic,” he said. “These are people who will be selected rather than elected to impose rents on tenants.”

Susan Jordan, chief executive of St Leger Homes, said: “We are currently undertaking a review of our tenant and resident involvement and engagement service to ensure that as many tenants as want to have the opportunity to help shape and scrutinise the services we deliver.

“As with all services we provide, we also need to make sure the service represents value for money for tenants.

“Tenants’ and residents’ associations are a valuable part of life in many communities, and St Leger continues to support groups and activities which help to create and maintain strong communities. This involves consultation on issues which impact on tenants, including proposed rent increases.”