Although he has stated his reasons for dealing with Housing at a Local level there are still implications which need to be tackle centrally in terms of the Housing shortage including smaller properties for those affected by the bedroom tax and want to move.
Just this week I was informed by a resident of a tower block in Hockley which is currently being emptied for demolition that wants to move, however, currently he has not been given a pin number as yet to bid for a property and as he says he is last in the queue.
He is a single man be is being charged bedroom tax as he has a 2 bedroom apartment.
Remember these blocks are over half empty as they are scheduled for demolition according to this gentleman later this year.
We need to canvass the Government in a strategic manner, not only on this issue, but also to improve the housing stock and not always be spending money on tenants that have to take legal action for lack of essential maintenance as it costs the City even more.
With reference to Local Welfare Provision, Ive been told of shocking stories, even where one person walked from Kings Heath to Sparkbrook to apply for funds, after being given incorrect information.
It is my understanding that currently there are no travelling expenses and its still Asda, although Sir Albert states that Officers are still trying to get others on board.
You be the judge of whether this is the best way top serve to the poor and vulnerable of this City?
Sir Albert response is below:
Thank you very much for your email. I do apologise for the delay in replying to you.
This administration came to power in May 2012 having given a manifesto commitment to significantly devolve hitherto centralised powers and to localise Council services. This commitment, reflects the fact that, in a city of Birmingham’s size, scale and diversity, it is neither appropriate or efficient to deliver services in a top-down, “one size fits all” manner.
For too long, housing management services were not accountable to the neighbourhoods they were seeking to serve and not properly integrated with other frontline local services. This did not serve the interests of the local communities and frustrated their ability to find genuine local solutions to local issues. This is why the District Committees now have executive responsibility for housing management. I believe that this is a far stronger and more sensible arrangement than centralising power and control in the hands of one single Cabinet Member.
With regard to Local Welfare Provision, officers are continuing to negotiate with a range of providers and will bring forward further proposals shortly. In accordance with the policy agreed by Cabinet in March, we are continuing to closely monitor the operation of the Local Welfare Provision scheme to ensure that the interests of the most vulnerable are protected.
Councillor Sir Albert Bore