Choice of areas for housing.

Waiting for an internal review by Dumfries and Galloway Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

This request refers to people who make homeless applications and are subsequently accepted as Homeless and not Intentionally Homeless. At this point a Notice under Section 5 is issued in order for accommodation to be obtained.

In preparing the Section 5 Notice people are required to list the places, or areas, they would select to live in. The information required is as follows:

What is the council's policy on the choice given to people to select areas for this purpose? Do people have the right to say where they want to live, plus where they don't want to live?

Can they council insist on certain areas being included even when the person has made it clear they don't want to live in these places? What is the statutory authority for this?

When a person has a disability and mobility limitations, can the council insist on an area being included despite the fact the person cannot access this due to said health problems?

The Equality Act 2010 is applicable here and the terms of this are not being adhered to be staff in the Homeless Service. Are they aware of the requirements of this please? Why do they fail to comply with it?

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 29/04/2019 which we are dealing with in terms of the above legislation. We have given your request the unique reference 407596 and we would appreciate it if you could quote this on all correspondence to us.

Under the terms of the legislation, we have an obligation to respond to your request within 20 working days from the day after your request was received. We will therefore aim to respond to your request by 28/05/2019.

Please be aware that, in some circumstances, a fee may be payable for the retrieval, collation and provision of the information you have requested. If this is the case, a fees notice will be issued, which would need to be paid in order to progress your request.

If your request for information is considered and deemed as a 'business as usual' request, it will be responded to by the appropriate Service within the Council.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please contact [email address].

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Please find below the Council's response to your request 407596 which was received on 29/04/2019.

Details of request: This request refers to people who make homeless applications and are subsequently accepted as Homeless and not Intentionally Homeless. At this point a Notice under Section 5 is issued in order for accommodation to be obtained.

In preparing the Section 5 Notice people are required to list the places, or areas, they would select to live in. The information required is as follows:

What is the council's policy on the choice given to people to select areas for this purpose? Do people have the right to say where they want to live, plus where they don't want to live?

Can they council insist on certain areas being included even when the person has made it clear they don't want to live in these places? What is the statutory authority for this?

When a person has a disability and mobility limitations, can the council insist on an area being included despite the fact the person cannot access this due to said health problems?

The Equality Act 2010 is applicable here and the terms of this are not being adhered to be staff in the Homeless Service. Are they aware of the requirements of this please? Why do they fail to comply with it?

Response:

The Council does not have a Policy on choice as it is a legislative requirement following assessment of the person?s Homeless Application under Part II of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (as amended), which places a duty on local authorities to secure permanent accommodation for persons who are homeless and who did not become homeless intentionally.

Housing Associations have an obligation under Sections 5 & 6 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to give reasonable preference to homeless households and to provide accommodation for those households assessed as being unintentionally homeless.

When completing a Section 5 Referral Form, the Housing Options & Homeless Service along with the client will consider all areas of Dumfries and Galloway in relation to permanent housing; however, if the client indicates that there are legitimate reasons why an area should be included or excluded; this will be taken into consideration when completing the Homeless Application and when making the referral to Homes4D&G and Loreburn Housing Association. The Officer will monitor the progress of the referral and keep the client informed throughout the process. Clients will be asked to review areas of choice if for example the original referral had specified areas in which there is a low turnover of available properties.

Where a person has a disability and mobility limitations and this has been evidenced in the Homeless Application, this is then taken in to consideration when making the referral regarding the housing type that would be suitable and not the suitability of an area. In such cases, a medical form would be completed advising of the disability and mobility limitations and how this affects the housing needs of the client. The medical form is sent along with the referral to Homes4D&G and the medical information is included in the referral to Loreburn Housing Association as they do not have a separate medical form. We can also refer clients to Occupational Health to be assessed in relation to disability and mobility limitations.

Diversity and Equality training is mandatory for all staff within the Service to develop the knowledge and skills they require to consider and promote equality. Staff recognise the general duty for their role, and how, in doing their role, they are expected to take equality matters into consideration and protect people in society who are most vulnerable to discrimination. Refresher training in Diversity and Equality is also available via on line learning for all staff.

Please be aware that the Council holds the copyright, where applicable, for the information provided and it may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material not being used in a misleading context. The source of the material must be acknowledged as Dumfries and Galloway Council and the title of the document must be included when being reproduced as part of another publication or service.

If you require any further clarification, please contact us. However, if you are not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with, you can request us to carry out an internal review of the decision by emailing [email address] or writing to us within 40 working days of receiving this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, you have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision. Appeals to the Commissioner can be made online at www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal or in writing to: The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9DS.

Kind Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Thank you for your detailed response dated 23 May 2019. From experience of an individual known to me, the contents of this are more appropriate to the fiction section in the library.

1) The Section 5 referral form was completed by the Housing Officer without reference to the person involved. They were not asked about areas and the officer ticked boxes on the form. The person was not kept informed about developments in the process.

2) Disability and mobility limitations, the reality is that these were ignored and when the person advised that they couldn't manage to access some areas, they were told that these would have to remain on the form. The officer was advised this breached The Equality Act 2010 but took no notice at all. This was despite there being medical evidence of the mobility problems.

When the person discovered some of the areas the officer had entered on the form, they made representations about these being unsuitable. They were advised these would have to remain as, in effect, they had no choice in the matter.

3)I am sure that there is training for officers on diversity and equality but they choose not to operate a lawful approach in the Homeless and Housing Options Team. Rather, they engage in Disability Hate Crime and breach The Equality Act 2010. Do they really have any knowledge this exists? The manner in which they deal with this breaches Article 14 Human Rights Act 2000. The attitude that prevails seems to be of total disregard of the law and abusive towards service users.

4) The manner in which this person was dealt with can only be described as unlawful and uncaring. When this was pursued with them the responses comprised false statements and abuse. Since the person was of an older age the conduct of the officers (including Team Leader) can only be described as elder abuse and Disability Hate Crime.

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Choice of areas for housing.'.

The information you have provided does not answer the FOI request fully.

1) What is the statutory authority for the council's housing officer to state that a person has no choice in areas on Section 5 referral?

2)When a person has limitations on mobility and a disability, how is it that the housing officer can insist on unsuitable areas being included on the Section 5 referral form?

3)Why do housing officers (and the Team Leader) fail to comply with The Equality Act 2010?

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Dumfries and Galloway Council

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002

Thank you for your request for a formal review which was received on 03/06/2019 and is being dealt with. We will respond within 20 working days from the day after the request was received. A response to your request will be sent promptly, and in any event not later than 01/07/2019.

If you have any queries in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact [email address].

This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed.

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies. If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited. Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached. It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002. For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please go to https://www.dumgal.gov.uk/privacy

FOI, Dumfries and Galloway Council

Thank you for your email dated 1 June 2019 regarding our response to FOI Case Reference 407596 Choice of areas for housing.

As your email refers to details relating to an individual, albeit known to you, and not to you directly we would not be able to comment further under either Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 or through a Subject Access Request.

Regards

FOI Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Council

Disclaimer:
This email, from Dumfries and Galloway Council, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. 

If you are not the intended recipient of this email (and any attachment) please inform the sender by return email and destroy all copies.  If you are not the intended recipient or responsible for delivering it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, disclosure, review, dissemination, distribution or reproduction of this email is strictly prohibited.  Please be aware that communication by internet email is not secure as messages can be intercepted and read by someone else.  Dumfries and Galloway Council do not accept liability for any loss or damage which may result from this email or any files attached.  It is your responsibility to scan this email and any attachments for computer viruses or other defects.

Any email including its content may be monitored and used by the Council for reasons of security and form monitoring internal compliance with the policy on staff use.  Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used.

Any email message sent or received by the Council may require to be disclosed by the Council under the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  For further information and to view the Council’s privacy statement please click  here

P SAVE PAPER - Please do not print this e-mail unless absolutely necessary

show quoted sections

Dear Dumfries and Galloway Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Dumfries and Galloway Council's handling of my FOI request 'Choice of areas for housing.'.

I acknowledge receipt of your reply of 12 June 2019.

The information being sought is in general terms and is not specific to one individual as you claim. In any case, you are incorrect when you state this relates to one specific individual known to me. This is an unfounded allegation and has no basis in fact.

It is a request for information made lawfully and I insist you provide this without further delay. I reject the grounds of refusal you have claimed are appropriate here.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

Yours faithfully,

Susan Murray

Looking for an EU Authority?

You can request documents directly from EU Institutions at our sister site AskTheEU.org . Find out more .

AskTheEU.org