A housing estate tenant has slammed an "exorbitant" 195% rise to heating bills that will cost households more than £1,500 a year.

Adrian Chapman, who lives in Page High Estate in Wood Green, has called for a “significant reduction” to the charge.

The 1970s 'rooftop village' estate - above Matalan and the Bury Road car park off Lymington Avenue is run by housing association Sanctuary Housing.

Sanctuary, which manages more than 10,000 homes across the UK, will increase heating bills across the 92-home estate by £30.33 per week, adding up to £1577.16 per year.

Mr Chapman said it seemed the social housing estate’s operators were “more interested in making money through building properties than looking after existing tenants”. 

Particularly worried for those receiving Universal Credit, he said: “They will have to find this £30.33 each week out of their already meagre benefits, what are they going to do? 

“Some people will be faced with the prospect of cutting down on their food, going to foodbanks, or getting behind on bills or their rent. It’s appalling, this is during the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Page High Estate in Wood Green. Photo: Google

The Page High Estate in Wood Green. Photo: Google

He said most of the flats on the estate were single bedroom, with a few two-bedrooms and some bedsits.

Sanctuary Housing has said the increase was due to many of its long-term energy deals coming to an end, adding that customers had been protected to this point, but the impact was “unavoidable”. 

The increase is set to come into place in July, but some residents, depending on their tenancy agreement, have already begun paying the higher rate.

Mr Chapman said it was particularly concerning given the ongoing heating problems that he said many tenants dealt with, and called for those who were already paying to be rebated.

There were persistent problems with the intercom, dim lighting, and the cost of the service charge, Mr Chapman explained, and on top of that Sanctuary was “difficult to get hold of”. 

He said: “When I moved in there in the mid-1990s we had a housing officer who really kept an eye on the place, but now they have several other estates in London to look after, we hardly ever see them.”

A spokesperson for Sanctuary said: “For several years our customers have been protected from the significant price increases experienced by most homes nationally because we have been able to purchase energy in advance. 

“Unfortunately, many of our long-term energy deals have ended this year, leading to an unavoidable increase in our service charges.

“We can reassure our customers that any future reduction in the energy prices we pay will be reflected in their charges and we would also encourage any customers with financial concerns to contact us directly so we can offer support.”

Mr Chapman has also raised the issue with Haringey Council, which has shown sympathy for residents.

Council leader Cllr Peray Ahmet said: “I was concerned to hear from tenants at Page High who are faced with significant increases to their heating bills at a time when the cost of living is already putting pressure on people’s finances. 

“As local ward councillor I’ll be urgently taking this matter up with Sanctuary Housing.”