Newham tenants and residents federation to close

An organisation that has provided a vital service for many of the borough’s tenants will close at the end of the year after it lost council funding.

Staff at the Newham Tenants and Residents Federation, based at 29 Barking Road, East Ham will be made redundant. It is understood the federation will attempt to continue to provide a reduced service while looking for other funding.

It was formed in 1987 by Hazel Reid who said it became an umbrella organisation for all the other tenants associations in Newham. It has been speaking on their behalf, and taking up issues on behalf of tenants who did not have an association as well as providing an advocacy service for people experiencing problems or needed help with filling out forms.

Hazel told the Recorder the federation would continue to operate but just go back to the way it was run in the 1980s without any funding.

She said they would continue to work on ongoing cases but would not now be taking on any new clients.

The only two organisations that could help the borough’s tenants were Community Links or for those aged over 60, Age UK. Otherwise tenants with issues should seek the help of their local councillors.

A council spokesperson said: “Following the reintegration of Newham Homes, all housing services are being reviewed to ensure they are fit-for-purpose, meet the needs of tenants and leaseholders and are cost effective. As part of these improvements we are changing our approach to resident involvement. We want to improve and increase the opportunities available so more people get involved in helping shape the way housing services are delivered.

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“The views of tenants and leaseholders are a vital part of delivering housing services and they have been consulted on resident involvement. This has been done through a survey of 4,000 tenants and leaseholders, three independently run focus groups and two meetings organised by the Newham Tenants and Residents Federation.

“Following this, a new structure offering more options will replace the borough-wide tenant liaison committee and six area tenant liaison committees. To support this increased flexibility from April 2012, we will be reviewing the way grants are allocated to tenants and residents associations to see how this funding can be used to deliver community improvements driven by residents.”