Ashley Court issues on ‘road to resolution’ after Grant Shapps meets housing association
- Credit: Office of The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
MP Grant Shapps has confirmed that issues surrounding an assisted living facility in Hatfield are on the ‘road to resolution’ after residents were hit with service charges despite not living there following a fire.
Last month, Mr Shapps and Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Mayor Peter Hebden won refunds for residents after they were billed £225 per month in service charges by Sanctuary Housing for properties they had but could not occupy.
Despite initially refusing to waive the monthly fees, Sanctuary apologised in February to those affected, and they agreed to refund the money to residents after getting their ‘approach wrong’.
In December 2020, 22 residents of Ashley Court, many of whom are vulnerable and require care, were evacuated after a fire at the building off Wellfield Road, with many moved into temporary accommodation.
Now, the Welwyn Hatfield MP and Mayor Hebden have met with Sanctuary bosses Craig Moule and Simon Clark to discusses issues and concerns, with Mr Shapps confirming the problems are on the ‘road to resolution’.
“As Mr Moule pointed out himself, it is completely unacceptable that this issue has got this point,” said Mr Shapps.
“No one should have to go through what the residents of Ashley Court have been over the past sixteen months, let alone those who require that extra level of care.
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“I’m glad that this issue is well on the road to resolution, and that the residents no longer have that added stress of paying for services they were unable to access.
“I’ll be monitoring the situation going forward to make sure that Sanctuary Housing live up to their word, and that the process of getting residents back into their homes is a smooth and timely one.
“I have maintained communication with Sanctuary Housing, and I’m delighted that the residents are being refunded,” added Mayor Hebden, who is also councillor for Hatfield East.
“We are also discussing a further financial package for residents due to their unacceptable experience at the hands of Sanctuary Housing.”
At the meeting, Sanctuary Housing CEO Craig Moule apologised to Mr Shapps, saying that he regretted that events concerning Ashley Court had ‘got to this point’.