Sheffield father in dispute over debt

Christopher Royston  benefits story
Christopher Royston benefits story
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A FATHER-of-one who overcame learning difficulties to land his first full-time job has blamed housing bosses for dropping him in the red.

Christopher Royston, aged 33, criticised Sheffield Homes for what he claims was a lack of help and understanding which led him to fall into arrears with his rent.

Mr Royston said he asked for help from workers when he informed the council-run service after gaining full-time employment in the Chapeltown branch of Asda supermarket in February.

He suffers from a form of autism which makes understanding bills and financial affairs difficult and says he did not hear anything until he had fallen behind.

Mr Royston, of Heeley, who has a seven-year-old son, was faced with court action when he ran up £1,365 arrears.

A Sheffield Homes spokeswoman said: “Despite attempts by staff to help him resolve his problems Mr Royston has failed to maintain rent payments or accept the support offered.

“We assisted Mr Royston in setting up a direct debit instruction on three separate occasions which Mr Royston then cancelled twice.

“Mr Royston has set up a direct debit to pay his rent and a monthly amount towards his arrears and providing these payments are maintained no further recovery action will be taken.”

Mr Royston said: “I find it really hard to manage bills. I can’t set up direct debits by phone, I need one-to-one help to go through it.

“All I am getting is letters, no help or support. My referral was too little, too late.”