Friday, 26 May 2017

Survey to show minister the essential role of live-in wardens in tenants’ lives

Sheltered residents: ‘bring wardens back’

Almost all sheltered housing residents would not have moved into their home if they had thought there was any threat to its resident warden service, a survey has found.

Sheltered Housing UK, which represents sheltered housing residents and carried out the poll, found all the people surveyed thought a site-specific warden was necessary.

The poll, which canvassed around 300 people, found 91 per cent of respondents said they would not have moved in if they had known the service would be dropped. A growing number of landlords have put an end to live-in wardens at sheltered housing schemes and switched to visiting staff.

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents said wardens’ hours had changed in recent months or years, with just 4 per cent consulted on the changes.
Most - 98 per cent - wanted their warden back. Ninety-seven per cent had moved into sheltered housing partly because they expected a site-specific warden.

More than 90 per cent were unhappy with floating wardens, who visit several schemes. Almost all said their previous warden organised social events at their scheme and 90 per cent thought the loss of the warden had affected these activities.

The respondents live in schemes in 20 towns around England. The survey will be sent to the minister responsible for supported housing, Lord McKenzie.

Imogen Parry, director of policy for the Essential Role of Sheltered Housing, which represents sheltered housing providers, said between a quarter and a third of tenants did not need a warden when they moved into sheltered housing. She said: ‘Many of these tenants therefore find the daily call from a resident warden intrusive and wasteful of either their own money or the government’s money.’

Meanwhile two councils which acted unlawfully in the way they drew up plans for the removal of live-in sheltered housing wardens have decided not to appeal. Barnet and Portsmouth councils had been considering appealing the December judicial review ruling but both have decided not to proceed.

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