Mother’s 10 year wait for housing

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AN ARBROATH mother claims she is forced to live in a tiny one-bedroomed flat with her husband and young baby depsite waiting 10 years for a larger council property.

Jilly Wight says she has been on the local authority’s waiting list for the past decade but has been unsuccessful in getting a larger home.

She is currently having to live in private rented acccommodation, which is too small but is all her family can afford.

And now with a four month old baby, Mrs Wight is desperate for a bigger house or flat.

She said: “I have been on the council’s waiting list for about 10 years and now I have told them my circumstances they still are not doing anything to help me out as they say it’s not their problem.

“The flat we are in is too small and is all we can afford but I have no space and have my baby’s toys and walker in the middle of the living room.

“My husband works full-time and I plan to go back to work part-time and we did try renting a two-bedroomed flat privately before.

“But it was hard going and we just couldn’t afford to pay the rent.”

Mrs Wight says she is in constant contact with Angus Council to see if her case is being given a higher priority.

But she hasn’t seen any success.

She added: “I e-mail the housing department every day and I am 25th on the list just now.

“It seems like they are not doing anything about it and now I have my four-month-old baby the situation has got worse.

“I have moved higher up the list since having my baby but 10 years is too long to wait.”

Angus Council responded by saying they are doing everything possible to accommodate people on waiting lists.

A spokesperson for Angus Council commented: “We don’t discuss individuals or their situations, but we make every effort to offer people on our waiting lists tenancies as soon as suitable accommodation becomes available.

“Waiting times are dependent on the applicant’s area, size and type choices as these will determine waiting times.

“If applicants are looking for accommodation larger than their housing needs they will be placed after those with a higher housing need for that size of accommodation.

“Anyone on the waiting list wishing to discuss their application’s progress can contact housing division by means of the council’s ACCESSLine on 08452 777 778.”

All local authorities across Scotland are suffering from the housing shortfall with demand outstripping the properties available.

However, in August the Scottish Government announced a new scheme worth £4 million called the Empty Homes Loan Fund.

The loan fund should enable the council and other local authorities across Scotland to access funding which will help private owners carry out essential repairs to their empty homes.

These would then be brought back into use as affordable rented housing.