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I am high priority medical for a bottom flat with my RSL and yet they publish a 19% annual allocation for general transfer list and a 4% allocation on high priority medicals why not equal amount of turnover.
This combined with 9 / 10 lists one with new amenity housing when i asked about it i was told it was for aged 55 and over so if you are in a worse condition and say 54 you are gubbed, i was also told it was only way they would get a grant which seems strange all round and i feel in breach of equality act and European human rights act.
This combined with a 53% majority voting for demolition during transfer and being ignored and there refusal to make good reasonable requests under the Scottish housing bill and equality act given royal ascent in December 2010. I do not have faith that all previous neglect will be made good or reasonable requests by disabled tenants are being carried out. It is about time a blind survey was carried out on transferred tenants to gauge a more realistic view on RSLs and transferred tenants.
It seems that much consideration has been given to the homeless but in my opinion a much more vulnerable group are those with physical disabilities.
People with physical disabilities even with the highest priority for housing have very little prospect of being housed due to a lack of adapted or adaptable properties.
Even when the disability means that person is living in conditions which do not meet their basic human rights they will not be rehoused until a property becomes available.
I have been on the waiting list for almost a year and I am no nearer being rehoused, even though my daughter has very complex needs which means she has the highest level of priority. South Lanarkshire council do not have a suitable property in Rutherglen for us, meaning my daughter is too disabled to live in Rutherglen forcing us to consider other areas, although the chances of being rehoused their is also extremely slim.
Never mind informed choice their is no choice at all, definitely no meaningful say in the type of house or where you want to live without being brandished "unreasonable" which the council then use as the reason they cannot find a suitable house for you.It needs to be definitive as to what is reasonable and what is not, certain number of areas, types of houses.
Council housing departments to my knowledge do not communicate with with social work to find solutions for people with specialised needs, they do not have a time limit for how long people with the highest priority should have to wait(could be forever)even though these are the people with the greatest need, they do not review these cases at regular intervals to my knowledge and they do not cross reference them to see if they could be considered homeless due to the unsuitabilty of their current homes, they do not consider human right implications and my council's housing department does not consider Getting It Right For Every Child places any additional statuatory requirements on them.
Getting priority is also a battle. It took me 6 months of appeals and fighting with the council before getting the highest level of priority that should have been awarded from the start. I also had to complain 3 times and my case is currently being investigated by the ombudsman. All of this is hassle after hassle when life is hard enough, especially when you are most vulnerable and needing help and what you get is problem after problem and a year on nothing has changed.
When having difficuly with a housing application I found it hard to get help when it was going wrong,Social Work nothing they can do rehousing is the only solution, M.P. hopeless, MSP did not even reply to email, Getting It Right For Every Child, nothing, Children's Rights Commisioner useless, just had to keep fighting on my own, then complain after and then go to the ombudsman and by then its too late.
In my experience the housing department lacked empathy and humanity and just wanted to process data and get us in the system and the computer would do the rest, you need to be on the list to be considered for a house. Even when awarded top priority you only get 1 offer at that priority which removes your safety net if you wanted to consider other areas or types of housing meaning you cannot take the chance of putting them on your application which then restricts you for fear of making a mistake, remember that the lack of suitable properties means the likelyhood of another move non existant so you just cannot afford to make a mistake.
We welcome the Housing Charter as we feel this will help benefit our membership and the work we do and the work of the housing provider and look forward to the Housing Charter’s introduction and development.
The satisfaction of outcomes, Petra feels that landlords may not be able to collate all the results together with in all the outcomes, this having an adverse reaction on the quality of services provided. One customer’s expectations may be a lot higher or lower than another person’s.
By removing the customer satisfaction "wording" and a good independant monitoring system across the board should be put in place that allows the landlord to provide good quality services and have the outcomes and customer satisfaction levels independently monitored that doesn’t incur high costs to recruit extra staff levels to monitor and collate the customer satisfaction and will give landlords the ability to focus on and achieve good quality services across the board.whilest increesing the customer satisfaction with the services that are of good quality and good value for money.
The charter should strike a balance between what customers expect and what landlords can effectively provide and this giving the levels, guidelines and out comes that customers are satisfied with and that landlords can achieve to provide the good quality services and housing that customers need and can be proud to live.
It needs to be clear on the face of the Charter or in accompanying notes that tenants must be involved in all landlord self-assessments.
To measure satisfaction of customers we would welcome tenant / customer inspections and consultation / scrutinising landlord to ensure that customers are satisfied with the services and housing provided.
The key is Tenancy Sustainment. Failing tenancies are bad news for people and bad business for landlords. There should be indicators published of the costs of failed tenancies.
Landlords could be asked to provide regular information on the trends of failed tenancies - by neighbourhood, household types, customer profile, source of referral. This would create better benchmarking information for other landlords to examine and the regulator to monitor.
A dilemma faced by most social landlords is the pressure placed upon them by the performance indicators of re-letting empty (void) properties. Many failed tenancies could have been prevented through better pre-tenancy preparation of people - many of whom have never been responsible for running a household before.
Landlords try hard to re-let void properties as quickly as they can to satisfy one set of performance information and fail to take the time and the care needed to support many people BEFORE the tenancy begins. The best way to deal with failure is to prevent it happening in the first place.
The cost of prevention can be counted as an investment into the tenancy. A week or two longer to re-let could save £tens of thousands. The latest eviction figures of over 3,000 tenants indicate the cost to social housing in Scotland of around £26 million. This is just rent arrears! (My figures based on the average of a £8k loss for every eviction carried out).
Make tenancy sustainment a corporate responsibility with corporate duties and reporting mechanisms.
Social housing cannot afford to fail.
One of the major causes of homelessness is mental health problems / disabilities and yet there is no mention of mental health in the draft document. Mental health championing is very much in its infants and falls way behind Learning Disabilities and yet Scotland is very much into following and encouraging people with mental health disabilities into "Recovery".
There is no denying that mental health is still heavily stigmatised and people with mental health disabilities also need help to be included if stigmatising and exclusion are to be ended.