Council housing shortage highlighted

There were concerns this week about the lack of housing offers being made to residents on East Dunbartonshire Council’s waiting list.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor John Dempsey says there is a low percentage of housing offers for waiting list applicants and he has written to the local authority about the problem.

There are currently more than 3500 people on the council’s waiting list.

Councillor Dempsey said: “Two recent examples I had in Lennoxtown were an 82-year-old woman, who has medical priority, has points for under-occupying her private house and has been on the waiting list for nine years.

“She has virtually no chance of an offer as a result of the low percentage of waiting list offers.

“The second case is a young man living with his parents, who has points for sharing facilities, and has been on the waiting list for three years.”

Councillor Dempsey added: “I understand that the Scottish Government lists the applicant’s needs as the priority and this is reflected in the percentage of offers to the relevant lists. But I feel the waiting list candidates’ needs are not being addressed with the low percentage of offers.”

East Dunbartonshire Council says it does have an acute shortage of affordable homes.

Kenny Simpson, head of housing and community services at the council, said: “If the housing service is presented with the details of the applicants we can of course examine what housing options they have and advise.

“Inevitably, where someone already has a private home of their own, a greater level of priority is very often given to those who have no home of their own.

“New homes for rent are currently under construction across the district and we are presently letting new houses at Allander Park, Bearsden. The council has also made a bid to the Scottish Government for grant funding to assist more council houses to be built. All of this will help those on our waiting lists, but will not address the full shortage.

“Also, where private housing developments occur, the council has a policy of insisting on a percentage being provided as affordable housing which will normally mean rented housing.”