Too many empty council houses says MSP
Published 14 Oct 2011 07:55 17 Comments
MSP Helen Eadie has hit out at the number of council houses lying empty in West Fife.
Figures she obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed there were 43 houses empty in Rosyth, three in Inverkeithing and 41 in the Lochs ward, which takes in Kelty.
Across her whole constituency the number of council homes lying vacant was 152.
Mrs Eadie said, "These are troubling figures and need to be addressed urgently.
"The statistics show that over 150 families could get a new home and that is something no-one should sniff at.
"This is a matter which Fife Council need to address quickly.
"Housing is one of the big issues on the doorstep in my constituency and I know folk in Fife want to see rapid progress being made.
"The recent SNP government spending review has cut the affordable housing budget by 50 per cent.
"Last week the SNP council in Fife accepted that budget whilst Labour councils opposed it.
"It's about time the SNP stood up for Fifers. In the meantime it's vital that no houses are left empty."
Chair of Fife Council's housing and communities committee Brian Goodall said the figures did not highlight the work being carried out to ensure the council continued to increase access to housing.
He said, "The figures are really only a snapshot and don't really give context or any indication of the work being done to address housing need, supporting transfers and helping homeless in Fife.
"We are constantly working to reduce the number of empty council houses in Fife and reports on our progress are scrutinised by councillors regularly at area committees.
"Over the past five years, the number of empty council houses in Fife has reduced and in addition, improved working practices are reducing the average time it takes to let a house.
"There are always a proportion of houses empty in the short-term due to turnover.
"If we didn't have turnover we'd never house anyone and the good news is that these figures show 150 families are in the process of getting a new house.
"It's worth highlighting some of the properties included in the figure for Rosyth are actually the second wave of our multi-million pound commitment to build new council homes as part of our new build programme, the first time in 20 years the council has built new homes.
"These new properties in Rosyth will be a great bonus to local families and will help to meet housing needs of the community as well as provide amenity houses and properties for wheelchair-users.
"The development, managed by Kingdom Housing Association, meets their design guidelines and in addition, the council has introduced enhanced features to the properties to prevent accidents in the home and improve energy performance.
"Older people in Mrs Eadie's constituency may also be interested to know that half of the 40 empty and available properties are sheltered housing.
"Although demand for this type of housing has fallen, any local person over 60 who would like a self-contained home with the bonus of on-call support should contact their Local Office if they are interested."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Oct 14, 21:34
Why would it be a surprise that houses are empty in Rosyth? Why anybody would be holding out to live there is beyond me! The council need to understand there are more important things to be getting on with and not listening to the likes of the hypocritical Hellen Eadie.
Recommend? Yes 16 No 52
Oct 15, 11:47
I THINK THIS IS TERRIBLE. WHY ARE PREGNANT WOMEN UNABLE TO GET A COUNCIL HOUSE IF THERE ARE SO MANY EMPTY? SO MANY YOUNGER PEOPLE ARE FORCED TO TAKE A PRIVATE LET IN WHICH THEY CAN NOT AFFORD TO LIVE AS THEY ARE MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE TO RENT . THE COUNCIL ARE NEEDING TO PULL THEIR FINGURES OUT AND GET IT SORTED!
Recommend? Yes 7 No 13
Oct 15, 20:50
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Oct 17, 21:12
I am honoured and humbled that somebody would take the time to set up a Facebook page pasting all my current and previous comments, thank you whoever you are. A lovely picture of Mrs Bucket!
Recommend? Yes 9 No 27
Oct 17, 21:51
Oh aye and there were never any empty houses when Labour were running Fife Cooncil.
If you're on the list and you get offered a house, you should take it or lose your place, simple.
Recommend? Yes 18 No 2
Oct 19, 12:10
Honoured and humbled are you so silly that you don't know when people are taking the proverbial. Oh well now you are on FB you are famous. I'm sure that's where all and sundry air their dirty linen, post biggoted comments and feel upset when others comment.
Recommend? Yes 21 No 10
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Jan 18, 17:39
I've been on the homeless list for over 1 year now and still haven't had an offer I work and have 4 children that I have brought up in Rosyth,I have called the council every time I've seen a house empty or knew of becoming empty but it dosent make a single bit of difference to them,I work I'm not on the dole I'm paying full rent in a private let so I can keep my family in Rosyth,I have had to phone the council and tell them I will take a flat in Fraser avenue because I'm finding it hard paying my rent which is £600 per month,Im entitled to a 4/5 bedroom and have told them I'd happily accept a 3 bedroom just to keep my kids in Rosyth but it falls on deaf ears everytime along with all the empty houses I've told them about ,I think it's a discrace and heartbreaking that I'm having to move away from the place my kids were brought up and go to school and where I work.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 0
Jul 13, 11:29
A waste of time unless you already live in either Cowdenbeath or Rosyth, hard to get past the woman manning the phone...
01383 412856 is the contact number for helen eadie's office
Recommend? Yes 0 No 0