Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Great news: Mr Meakins can stay in his home

Great news broadcast on the Barnet council Facebook page:
24/08/2010

Barnet Homes has given a written assurance to Edward Meakins, of Cloister Road, NW2, that he will be able to remain in his current home.

The Chief Executive of Barnet Homes, Tracey Lees, wrote to Mr Meakins yesterday (Monday 23 August).

Barnet Council’s allocation policy stipulates that if a relative (non-spouse or partner) applies for succession to a tenancy and the property is deemed larger than the succeeding tenant requires, then steps may be taken to rehouse them in a smaller home.

Barnet Homes has agreed that this will be waived in Mr Meakins’ case, in light of his age and the length of time he has lived in the property.

The letter repeats Barnet Homes’ preference that Mr Meakins consider moving into a smaller home of his choosing, and so free up the three-bedroom council house for a family in need of this kind of accommodation.

Ms Lees said: “All cases of this kind are very difficult. We have to weigh up our sympathies for the individuals concerned against the number of families who have applied for council housing and are in need of a larger home.

“Given Mr Meakins’ age and the length of time he has lived at his property, we do not feel it right or proper that we should pursue any eviction proceedings against him.

“However, taking into account the intense pressure on council housing in Barnet, we have repeated our offer that Barnet Homes would support a move to a smaller property. Such a move would only take place if Mr Meakins is happy with this property and its location.”

Barnet Homes offers a Fresh Start scheme, whereby tenants are offered up to £4,000 to move to a small property. Around 70 households each year take up this scheme, which helps to ease pressure on council housing in the borough.
"Barnet Homes has agreed that this will be waived in Mr Meakins’ case, in light of his age and the length of time he has lived in the property." I think what Ms Lees meant was "in light of the public disquiet and campaign".

Another victory not for common sense - because Barnet Homes needed to be reminded what that is - but for concerted public action. Now, does this decision set a precedent? How many more Mr Meakins are there out there? We still need to campaign for more council homes so that no more elderly people need to go through an ordeal like this!

9 comments:

Daniel Hope said...

There is clearly merit in Mr Meakins case but it does make a mockery of 'arms length' ALMOs!!!!

Anonymous said...

It seems Mike Freer only supported Mr Meakins when the announcement was about to be made!

Anonymous said...

But Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, i refer you to some of your views and blogs on the issue of Council Housing. To enlighten a clever boy, ALMOS'ts were a Tory idea. Not last one Brian Salinger who held the Housing portfolio prior to becoming a leader (ousted).

Some of us have very long memories! Mr Meakin should never have been put under the stress

Anonymous said...

Daniel may like to clarify what his point was.

Should Barnet council have no involvement?

Could Barnet Homes come to this decision on its own? Or would this humanitarian action violate its terms of reference, which are purely financial?

(I'm asking without knowing the answers.)

Hammond's Lot said...

Anonymous1/3

Daniel WAS a Councillor! no matter, you ask a very important question.

Apology! Hands did not work hence " Anonymouse2"

vickim57 said...

It certainly does make a mockery of the ALMO idea (and it deserves to be mocked).

I'm saying as much in a public question to the Cabinet meeting on 6 September. You've still got two hours to submit a question! Email Nick.Musgrove@barnet.gov.uk!

Anonymous said...

So will the Tenants & leasholders get a free open ballot before the ALMO'st becomes the landlord and a partner of those Housing Association Partners of Barnet that now build "Affordable" to whom houses for sale from public grant? ALMOst canonises Rachman!

Rog T said...

I'm afraid the ALMO was mmade a mocery of long ago

Anonymous said...

A mockery twice over. The first mockery was when all the original Tenant Board members and Directors, No names mentioned some gone, some still licky botty, sided with many an officer including Reynolds and Brian Salinger, well before their status, They mocked the many who said No to ALMO. Thank you for your foresight!