Problems with the upkeep of estates, management, and anti-social behaviour have resulted in some local authority houses being refused up to seven times by prospective tenants, according to councillor and chair of the city’s housing committee Derek Nolan.
Labour’s Cllr Nolan has called for urgent action to be taken on the issue in the New Year, especially as the waiting time for people on the housing list continues to get longer.
“Housing applicants are waiting anything up to 10 years for a local authority house, so they do not refuse them lightly. We have some houses being refused up to seven times and this is totally unacceptable. It is often the case that the house itself is not the issue, but the behaviour of a specific neighbour, the upkeep of the estate or wider antisocial behaviour. The council has accepted that these are real issues in a minority of council estates. Now we need to put in place a strategy to deal with this problem once and for all,” said Cllr Nolan.
In October the council’s housing committee passed a strict anti-social behaviour policy which established tough penaties. However, Cllr Nolen explained that more needs to be done if the housing issue throughout the city is to be tackled properly. He said that all council departments, from roads and parks to housing and community, need to work together and that a strategy must be developed in order to create a “benchmark below which no estate may fall, and this benchmark should cover all the relevant concerns”.
The housing committee is due to begin work on the strategy in January.