Housing update

A FEW weeks ago we told how a Facebook page about homeless people had been set up by reader Lynsey Dakers.

We emphasised at the time that whilst the Review was not in a position to verify the comments, nonetheless we felt it was important to broadcast to a wider audience claims that are being published on the social networking channel.

There have been a number of comments on the article, all on Facebook, and all praising Lynsey for her initiative.

The following additional cases all refer to Angus Council’s homeless list.

One relates to a man who was in temporary accommodation and was offered a flat. “He packed up all his stuff and handed in his temp flat keys only to have the offer withdrawn because the new flat was in such a bad state it would take months to fix.”

The question is asked: “So why didn’t they realise this before they offered the flat to someone else? Luckily he was allowed to move back into his temp flat.”

The second case relates to a lady with two children who has been in Montrose for nine years. They had a private let, but the landlord wanted to sell the flat. She and her partner, with the children, became homeless because there was no suitable council dwelling for them. She continued: “Myself and my partner ended up sleeping in the car and my kids ended up with a friend sleeping on her sitting room floor.

She claims that after a month the council told her that her partner was on a suitable wage and they had to go private, and continues: “Now we are in a three-bed flat with loads of damp and my partner’s health had suddenly became worse and he is now on crutches and cannot manage the stairs.”

She concludes: “We were told last year we were seventh on the list, god knows how much longer we have to wait to get rehoused!”

Again we asked Angus Council for comment, and were given a detailed reply: “Angus Council makes every effort to ensure that people are housed in suitable accommodation that meets their needs as soon as possible and we keep all cases under constant review.

“Angus Council allocates houses based on a points system which takes into account housing need. This system is based on current legislation and guidance. We are sympathetic to tenants who wish to move house, but given the current levels of available affordable housing for rent in Angus, unfortunately some people do have to wait a considerable time for rehousing.

“No one who is homeless through no fault of their own would be turned away by Angus Council. The authority has a statutory duty to provide accommodation for those who have become unintentionally homeless.

“Angus Council has made strenuous and continuing efforts to tackle homelessness in the county, and we have already met our target of prioritising all unintentionally homeless applicants ahead of the Government’s 2012 deadline.

“To meet the housing needs of our citizens, Angus Council is making a significant investment in council housing in the county. This will provide 147 new council houses, to help reduce the housing waiting list. These include 10 houses which were recently opened in Carnoustie and 11 in Arbroath, followed by developments in Kirriemuir, Montrose, Forfar and Inveraldie.

“Unfortunately we cannot discuss housing needs through a third party, or via a social networking site, and would urge anyone with housing issues to contact their nearest housing office or call ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778.”