The leader of Fife Council Labour group Alex Rowley is calling for a review of housing allocation policy which he claims is ‘creating needless disruption for families’ as a result of its failure to recognise the ‘value and importance of family and community’.
Mr Rowley has written to Executive Director of Housing and Communities Mr Steve Grimmond requesting a meeting to discuss his concerns and present the arguments as he sees them.
Mr Rowley said: “Too many young families are being told that they must not restrict their choice of location by asking for a house in the place they have always lived. So people feel they have no choice but to agree to apply for housing in other towns and villages away from where they live.”
He continued: “For some people this will not be an issue but for people who need the support of their immediate family and friends, a move to another town and a few bus journeys to get there can create stress, anxiety and isolation as well as being expensive. The Council seem to know all about bricks and mortar but don’t give a great deal of acknowledgement and consideration about the needs of people, families and young children.”
The Lochs councillor said he was highlighting a number of cases where the council have deemed to have given a fair offer of a property even when it would have meant disrupting children from schools, taking young mums who need support from their wider family away to a community where they have no one and would be left in isolation.
He concluded: “I have asked for all the housing waiting list figures for the Cowdenbeath area as I want to understand why it is that people, for example, from Kelty are being told to apply in Lochgelly and people from Lochgelly are being told to apply in Cowdenbeath. I have also come across people from Dunfermline who were told that their best chance of a house was to apply for Kelty. We seem to be playing musical houses with no real understanding of the needs of families and I want this to change.”