Currently empty council properties, location and homelessness

The request was successful.

Dear Ipswich Borough Council

1.Please state how many council owned properties in the Ipswich borough council are currently empty.
2. Please list them.
3. Please state how many homeless applications are currently active on gateway to home choice (in the ipswich area) at present.

Yours faithfully,

Ms Rochele Mutton

Ipswich Borough Council

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Ref No: FOI107493916

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Dear Ms Mutton,

Freedom of Information/ Environmental Information Regulations Request:
Acknowledgement 

Thank you for your request received on 28/02/2019 08:34:34 asking for
information about Current empty properties, location and homelessness.

This request has been allocated a reference number of FOI107493916.

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We are dealing with your request under the terms of either the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004,
and in line with the Council’s policy and protocols. In some circumstances
a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we will let you know.

More information about requesting information from the Council can be
found at:
[1]https://www.ipswich.gov.uk/services/data....

If you have any queries about this message, please contact me via email to
[2][Ipswich Borough Council request email] . Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

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Kind Regards

The Information Officer

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*** AUTOMATED EMAIL: This email address is unable to take replies ***
 
Date and time of enquiry: 28/02/2019 08:34:34

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Freedom of Information, Ipswich Borough Council

Dear Ms Mutton,

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested on 28 February 2019 about currently
empty Council properties, location and homelessness.

The information supplied has been provided by the department responsible
for the service delivery.

1. Please state how many council owned properties in the Ipswich borough
council are currently empty.

As at 13.03.2019 we have 35 empty properties.

 

2. Please list them.

I can confirm that all 35 properties are located within Ipswich. However,
we consider the addresses of empty Council dwellings to be exempt from
disclosure (please see below).

 

3. Please state how many homeless applications are currently active on
gateway to home choice (in the Ipswich area) at present.

There are 13 Accepted Homeless cases active on Choice Based Lettings in
Ipswich as of today.

The information supplied to you continues to be protected by the
Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your
own purposes, including any non-commercial research you are doing and for
the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial
publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

Refusal Notice – Under Section 31 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act
2000: Law Enforcement

The remainder of the information that falls within the terms of your
request is exempt from the right of access under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

2. Please list them (the empty properties referred to in Q.1).

Ipswich Borough Council response:

I can confirm that Ipswich Borough Council holds some information relevant
to your request. However, we believe that the exemptions detailed below
apply to all the information you requested and so we are withholding that
information.

Section 31(1) (Law enforcement) subsection 1 applies to the information
requested. Information is exempt if its disclosure would prejudice the
prevention and detection of crime.

A Freedom of Information Request response is a response available to the
whole world. It is therefore not just given to the requester but is
available to any other person who may request it. Whilst a requester may
have bona fides in requesting information, there are likely to be others
who have nefarious intent.

Publishing a list of empty dwellings would be likely to result in
criminals targeting the property and causing distress to residents in the
area.

Squatting is a criminal offence and to publish a list of empty properties
would be likely to lead to squatting. Additionally, squatting is often
associated with other crimes such as criminal damage and anti-social
behaviour. If this happened to an empty Council property, it would cost
the Council significant sums of money to repair the damage and having to
take action through the courts to evict squatters. It would also be
impossible to rent the property until it was reclaimed and restored, which
would lead to longer delays in delivering housing for people in need.

In applying this exemption, we have had to balance the public interest in
withholding the information against the interest in favour of disclosure.

Factors in favour of disclosure:

•       The council’s commitment to openness and transparency

•       There is public interest in scrutinising the Council’s approach to
homelessness and its provision of housing

 

Factors in favour of withholding:

•       There is a strong likelihood of release causing crime

•       It is not in the public interest to increase the risks of crime.

•       A recent case held against disclosure and it is not in the public
interest to act against a decided case

•       It would not be in the public interest to expose the Council and
taxpayers to the costs of repairing damage and evicting squatters,

•       The loss of use of Council-owned housing

 

In all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining
the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number FOI10743916 in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to the Monitoring Officer, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell
Road, Ipswich IP1 2DE.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision.
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by the Council.

Kind regards,

The Information Officer
[Ipswich Borough Council request email] 

Ipswich Borough Council

Grafton House

15-17 Russell Road

 

 

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Dear Freedom of Information,

Thank you for responding to my previous request, furthmore can you please provide me with the number of current active bidders for 3 and 4 bedroom properties in Band A and B on gateway to homechoice.

Also the duration of the longest wait for Band A and B participants requiring these accommodations.

Yours sincerely,

Rochele Mutton

Ipswich Borough Council

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Ref No: FOI114210887

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Dear Ms Mutton,

Freedom of Information/ Environmental Information Regulations Request:
Acknowledgement 

Thank you for your request received on 2019-04-16 09:33:38 asking for
information about Gateway to Homechoice bids.

This request has been allocated a reference number of FOI114210887.

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We are dealing with your request under the terms of either the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004,
and in line with the Council’s policy and protocols. In some circumstances
a fee may be payable and if that is the case, we will let you know.

More information about requesting information from the Council can be
found at:
[1]https://www.ipswich.gov.uk/services/data....

If you have any queries about this message, please contact me via email to
[2][Ipswich Borough Council request email] . Please remember to quote the above reference
number in any future communications.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kind Regards

The Information Officer

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*** AUTOMATED EMAIL: This email address is unable to take replies ***
 
Date and time of enquiry: 2019-04-16 09:33:38

show quoted sections

Freedom of Information, Ipswich Borough Council

Dear Ms Mutton,

I am writing to confirm that the Council has now completed its search for
the information which you requested on 15 April 2019 about Gateway to
Homechoice bids.

The information supplied has been provided by the department responsible
for the service delivery.

Your request:

Can you please provide me with the number of current active bidders for 3
and 4 bedroom properties in Band A and B on Gateway to Homechoice.

Our response:

On 17 April 2019 on Gateway in Ipswich there were:

2 active applicants in band A wanting a 4 bedroomed property  the oldest 
effective date is 13th July 2018

14 active applicants in band A wanting a 3 bedroomed property the oldest
effective date is 20th Feb 2015

 

35 active applicants in band B wanting a 4 bedroomed property the oldest
effective date is 23rd January 2010

212 active applicants in band B wanting a 3 bedroomed property the oldest
effective date is 5th August 2013

Also the duration of the longest wait for Band A and B participants
requiring these accommodations. The information supplied to you continues
to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are
free to use it for your own purposes, including any non-commercial
research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other
reuse, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of
the copyright holder.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number FOI114210887 in any future
communications.

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to the Monitoring Officer, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell
Road, Ipswich IP1 2DE.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for a decision.
Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the
complaints procedure provided by the Council.

Kind regards,

The Information Officer

[Ipswich Borough Council request email]

 

Ipswich Borough Council

Grafton House

15-17 Russell Road

Ipswich

IP1 2DE

 

 

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