Homeless turn down council houses - because they don't like the garden
PICKY homeless people are turning down Dunfermline council houses because they don't like the wallpaper and the garden is too big.
A report to the City of Dunfermline area committee revealed that nearly half of people offered council homes last year rejected their new accommodation.
Of the 242 people that refused council accommodation from 538 offers made, a high percentage of those were "predominantly priority homeless applicants".
Council area housing team leader Alistair Black told the Press that applicants didn't want to move into certain estates or streets offered to them and their expectations sometimes exceeded what the local authority could offer.
Mr Black said, "The reasons for refusal may be that applicants may not want a property in the estate or street offered to them and refuse on this basis.
"They may also not like the type of property offered. It may be due to decoration or too large a garden or even no garden and refuse on this basis.
"Also housing applicants' expectations exceed what the council can realistically offer - generally flats or four in a block accommodation."
Before 5th December last year it was Fife Council policy that priority-need homeless applicants could be made two offers under homeless legislation.
Mr Black continued, "Sometimes applicants felt that they would hold out for a better 'second' offer and refused the first offer as a result.
"After 5th December, council policy was changed and priority-need homeless applicants can only receive one fair offer under homeless legislation.
"If this offer is refused they can still receive a second offer but only as a mainstream housing applicant and the homeless priority is removed."
However, there is currently a large backlog of applicants whose priority need was assessed before 5th December and who can continue to receive two offers at the present time, because of the low turnover of council accommodation in the Dunfermline area.
A prevention-first initiative has been introduced in Dunfermline aiming at a higher level of intervention and support by a range of housing agencies to homeless applicants.
This has reduced the need to re-house homeless applicants by around 30 per cent in Glenrothes, Levenmouth and Kirkcaldy.
Mr Black added, "It is hoped that the project will have a similar impact on the Dunfermline area, thereby reducing pressure on housing lists and demand for available properties."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 16, 12:07
Clearly if these reports are accurate and at the outset I must state I have no data to disprove them, I hope they are not merely exaggerated as some form of cover for the relevant council officers; if they are accurate it is clear too many have bought into the benefit culture.
Donít like a garden swap them with those currently living in flats; Iím sure there are flat dwellers who would opt for a gardened property!
Donít like the wallpaper; move them down the list!
Donít like the area; move them down the list!
Time for a reality check for those housing refuseniks who are holding few bargaining chips.
Time for the other side of the argument from those who have rejected offered properties; can you refute these claims?
Recommend? Yes 37 No 9
Mar 16, 23:59
Sounds like Tradesman should get a job for the council to sort out all this mess. I can't see how his black and white ways are really going to solve the homeless problem.
The opening paragraph in this Press article is particularly judgemental and can only be described as propoganda at it's finest.
My family and I had a 3 bedroom house and the Fife Housing Association decided they would knock the whole street down. We were decanted in May 2010 and have been on the homeless list ever since. The only offer made to us so far was a 3 bed ground floor flat in Halkett Crescent. Initially we were pleased with the offer until we seen the state of dis-repair the property was in. Broken fences, rubbish strewn across the garden. Then other residents of the street warned us about the homeowners in the upstairs flat and their anti-social behaviour. I certainly didn't fancy moving my young children in there. The offer was withdrawn by the Council because the neighbours refused to pay their share of the money required for the renovation work to the building. Saved us having to refuse the offer (which we probably would have), leaving us with two offers still in tact.
We will use our two offers wisely. The system created by the Council is there to be used and I won't rest until my family are restored to peaceful living we had before being de-canted. That is the 'bargaining chips' us 'refuseniks' have.
Recommend? Yes 16 No 26
Mar 17, 21:35
Mar 18, 16:57
Mar 19, 11:16
Well i don't agree in refusing a property because of decor or the garden, these things can be done to make it your own over time. People shouldn't expect the council to decorate a house and landscape a garden to your taste!! It's laziness and expecting everything handed to them on a plate. I do think the council should at least have the property in reasonable condition though and not expect people to be grateful for being offered a complete dump. I also don't blame people for refusing properties in certain places, if i was offered a house or flat in some junkie and crime ridden place i'd refuse it, i'd rather be homeless than live among that. Just because someone is homeless doesn't mean they should show gratitude for somewhere like that!!
Recommend? Yes 36 No 0
Mar 21, 13:44
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Mar 22, 08:00
I was homeless at one time, and refused a flat I was offered in a certain area for various reasons, one being that the front 'security' door was completely broken, and so utterly useless. There seems to be an attitude that those on the homeless list should be grateful for what they can get, and we are all tarred with the same brush; we arent all junkies that were evicted for anti social behaviour.
I don't see why those on the homeless list should be forced to take a run down dump. Apart from anything else if there are extensive repairs needing carried out, Fife Council will never get round to it, no matter how many recorded delivery letters you send them (I speak from experience here).
If the council kept their properties in a state of good repair, and made an effort to 'clean up' certain streets/areas, they wouldn't have this problem. Of course, selling the majority of the housing stock, and not replacing it hasn't helped.
Recommend? Yes 10 No 1
Mar 23, 12:05
I decided to downsize my council house last october and was surprised to get offered a house in december, I was shocked as thought it would take months or even years. Well I went to see it, it was disgusting, now I had a home visit to see what my house looked like, it is in good decorative order, no broken doors or cupboards, garden is well looked after so how they would offer this house to me was a shock. I obviously refused it. Before anybody jumps down my throat I am 65yrs old and could never have taken the work on, I have done it in the past with two other houses. My point is, private owners who rent out their houses make sure they are in a livable condition why can't the council. They couldn't even be bothered to take out he rubbish from the front and back garden. I also think they should make 6monthly visits to see their houses are looked after if not throw the people out. By the way the house is still empty, it is Inchkieth drive if anybody is interested in it.
Recommend? Yes 6 No 0
Mar 24, 01:40
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Mar 24, 14:59
Apr 12, 13:07
Good point, cheepcheep.
This smacks of Council Officers scapegoating vulnerable homeless people to deflect responsibility for properly maintaining council housing stock and for dealing effectively
with antisocial tenants.
I have the luxury of living in a decent flat in a quiet area, but I have suffered from antisocial neighbours in the past.
I agree that people should have the right to basic dignity in their housing. Homeless people are in a desperate enough position as it is. They should not be blackmailed into accepting a council house in an unacceptable state and/or in an undesirable area.
I am disappointed in the tone of this article in the Dunfermline Press, too. The angle taken is that of a sensationalist tabloid: unbalanced.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0