Reasons for refusing offers of social housing

Brendan Burgess

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A good article in the journal

Relocation costs, unsuitable houses...'no bee-keeping prospects': The reasons people give for refusing social homes

Several applicants with Sligo County Council turned down accommodation for even stranger reasons, with reasons for refusal there including:

  • “Tiny shower space”
  • “Want a house – have accumulated a lot of fishing gear, gardening equipment”
  • “Needs a bigger back yard to develop bee-keeping prospects”
  • “My son wouldn’t be happy there, no one to play with as it’s an old person”
  • “Does not want an apartment with electrical heating”
  • “Household needs a second toilet”
Other applicants sought more car parking space, with one individual on Meath County Council’s waiting list seeking a driveway for two cars.
 

Folsom

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All of which would suggest that their current accommodation arrangements, be it in a hostel or hotel, living with parents and/or other families, be it location to family, friends , community, work, school etc are superior to the accommodation being offered.
Presumably, having turned accommodation, they go to the bottle of waiting list? And those that are not so particular get offered, and take the accommodation.
The main query I have is, if after refusing accommodation do the county councils assess their continued need for housing?
It would seem like a reasonable time to make that assessment considering the size and length of time to get through the lists.
 

Saavy99

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422
They may very well be quite valid reasons for turning down offers but some of those outlined by Brenden above are plain ridiculous and I would question the accuracy of the social housing waiting lists.
 

Folsom

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Of course, there will always be those who try to exploit, manipulate, take advantage etc.
This is not to be condoned at all. But I assume they move to the bottom of the list and the property is then offered to next in line?
 

Futurelookin

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Of course, there will always be those who try to exploit, manipulate, take advantage etc.
This is not to be condoned at all. But I assume they move to the bottom of the list and the property is then offered to next in line?
Different county councils operate different systems. Some allow two refusals before affecting your place on the list for example.
Others, including SDCC operate a system called 'Choice based letting' which I think is far better. The council list houses that are available weekly, with the address and description posted on the CBL website. Each person on the list has a log in for the website and can view the properties posted each Friday. They are then invited to 'express an interest' in one or more properties. Of the noted expressions of interest between the Friday and the cut off on Tuesday, the property is offered to the next person on the list. That way there is far less time wasting.
 

Peanuts20

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The vast majority of reasons seem to be legitimate, in particular estates and areas with significant anti-social behaviour and where there is little or no public transport or a significant cost/time for kids to get to schools etc. Sadly the focus will be less on those and more on the extreme reasons for refusal

You also have to question the housing depts and some of the offers they make, for example why offer families who have no transport of their own houses in places where there is no public transport or why offer a house with steps going into it for a wheelchair user? It seems to be a case that the next on the list gets an offer regardless of whether it is suitable or not.
 

demoivre

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2,650
When we entertain people in Tipperary who refuse €300,000+ houses because the houses don't have an additional half an acre per house to keep horses, we've lost the plot. The cost of a 3 bed semi in Tipperary is about €150,000, many of which would be occupied by hard working people. There's something radically wrong if we have to provide better houses to some people who don't work. Isn't it a shocker that if you can't afford to fund your own pad that you might have to settle for just a little bit less?
 
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