Letters to the Editor

Home truths

In response to your article ‘House move is tight squeeze’ (Advertiser, March 3), there is a number of areas which your readers might like clarified.

Providing affordable homes for rent is one of Midlothian Council’s priorities. We are on track to meet our new build commitment of delivering up to 1,000 houses for rent in Midlothian.

This is possible as the council has committed to spending a further £163 million on affordable housing.

Even though we have allocated all 550 houses in our new build programme there are still over 4,500 people and families on our waiting lists.

There are over 100 people on the relevant lists who are in greater need of new accommodation ahead of Mr Burgess.

Houses are allocated on a points-based system where points are awarded to reflect a range of household circumstances, not just overcrowding.

This ensures that the council allocates housing which is appropriate to applicants’ needs and choices.

As you reported, Yvonne Harley moved from West Lothian with her three children.

There is no system in Scotland for transferring housing point allocations across local authorities.

According to our records Yvonne Harley has not received incorrect advice from the council when she chose to move from West Lothian.

Any new people joining the council’s waiting lists are made aware that existing Midlothian tenants take priority when new builds are allocated.

Following an assessment of who is now living with Stuart Burgess there is still no guarantee of a larger home.

The people higher on the housing list have a greater need for new accommodation.

The new build development in Hopefield is scheduled for completion this summer.

The people above Stuart Burgess and Yvonne Harley in the housing lists would be allocated these houses first in accordance with the council’s allocation policy.

Councillor Jim Muirhead

Midlothian Council cabinet member for Housing and Community Safety