A document outlining proposed changes to the administration of local authority housing in the south has been criticsed by Port Erin commissioner Phil Crellin.
Castletown commissioners’ chairman Kevin Weir drew up a document that was discussed at a meeting of local authorities in the south, on August 2.
Recommendations include: forming a new board in the south of all housing authorities; means-testing those on the waiting list; requiring proof of need and earnings of those on the list (and removal if they exceed a set level); rents based on earnings; interviews of all tenants (to explain the agreement and consequences of breaching that agreement); first time tenants have a one-year probationary tenancy extended to five years; and those over 50 (unable to get a mortgage) would have an open tenancy.
‘We need to weed out and educate [the minority of bad tenants],’ Mr Weir wrote, ‘making sure they know whatever the problems they are causing will be dealt with.’ He added that laws should be strengthened to support local authorities dealing with the ‘blatant disregard’ of the tenancy agreement.
Mr Crellin said: ‘Housing is very dear to my heart, it’s something central government, local authorities and the department should be very proud of. Our provision is second to none.
‘Mr Weir had some points, but pre-allocation interviews? If you say you are not acceptable, go to the bottom of the list, who is it for me to say who is acceptable?
‘This is people’s lives, hopes and aspirations, to say: “weed out”, I did not read any further. It’s people, not cushag.’
Tony Wright said: ‘There are people who need social housing at the beginning, then things improve and they could move out. People think the house is theirs in perpetuity and it can be handed down to their children. It [the house] is ours, not theirs.’
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