LETTER: Service concerns

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I AM increasingly depressed and alarmed by the reduction in service offered to the tenants of Hyde Martlett in Chichester, which I am sure is the same elsewhere.

When working in London in the 1970s as an occupational therapist and closely involved with Hyde Housing Association in working on specific needs accommodation for disabled clients, I was so impressed with their commitment and professionalism.

I was pleased to discover Martlett Homes in Chichester – a well-thought-of organisation where it was possible to guarantee good support provision for people who needed it in warden-supported accommodation – were to combine with Hyde Housing.

In the past two years, the amalgamated company has withdrawn full-time and part-time wardens, undermined quality of life by not allowing staff to take money, arrange or support social activities and shown petty meanness to use of their premises.

The ambience in their places is much diminished, the quality of life and interests also and no involvement with outside agencies now exists.

When repairs are needed, I know of residents who have waited weeks and sometimes months for a job to be done and the ‘making good’ following the initial damage not done at all.

The cavalier approach to family tenancies where a family has always lived together and they are denied the right to stay in their home when the tenancy holder dies, even though the younger family members have previously asked and been denied the right to become tenants, is appalling.

As is the insistence that they move home to a more expensive, smaller residence further from their place of work and contacts.

Please could there be some more real service and awareness of what is needed – although council housing was far from perfect, there was a standard of service expected.

Cicely Bartram

Stockbridge Gardens

Donnington