Your Onchan

Shared Housing Waiting Lists - Press Release


Onchan District Commissioners are aware of statements made during a sitting of the House of Keys on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 in relation to shared housing waiting lists.

Onchan District Commissioners have extensively debated and researched the roll-out of regional shared housing waiting lists to further consider the potential impact and true value to the residents of Onchan and to understand the long-term meaning of joining such a scheme.

Onchan District Commissioners, as a housing authority, has in excess of 500 social housing units within its stock. The Authority has always worked closely with other housing authorities around the island and will continue to work with other providers on individual cases to achieve the best solution for complex housing needs.

The Authority is proud to be delivering a valuable service to the people most in need within our community and the Board of Commissioners recognise any potential change to the way this service is delivered needs to be carefully scrutinised.

Chairman of Onchan District Commissioners, Mr Macfarlane said

"The Board continue to monitor developments and feel more clarity is required in order to make a reasonable decision as we are proud of the service we deliver to our tenants and strive to maximise the benefit of the stock in our custody. As an example, we recently completed a stock rotation project to ensure tenants are housed correctly to their current needs – this project has resulted in an increased occupancy level within our stock while achieving a notable reduction to our waiting lists."

In November 2013 Tynwald accepted 25 recommendations within a report titled the Housing Review Recommendations Report with one particular recommendation relating to the creation of a 'small number' of regional Housing Bodies with responsibilities of Allocations and Lettings, Rent Collection, Housing Management, Maintenance management, Performance reporting and Implementation of Housing Policy.

The Department of Infrastructure Minister frequently neglects to mention that Douglas is not part of the combined waiting list policy that his Department is promoting, so it is not true to say that this is "An All Island Policy". Likewise, comments on Onchan not being part of a combined waiting list are also disingenuous as applications for elderly persons accommodation have always been taken from residents anywhere on the Island.

Mr Macfarlane continues:

"The Authority has been praised in the past by persons from central government for its effective housing stock management and pro-active maintenance – we need to be careful of any change to our service. The question "What is Onchan doing wrong?" has been asked of each DOI Minister since their policy was introduced – to date, no answer has been received."

"The Board strive for the long-term vision of the Department to fully understand their motive and any connection shared housing waiting lists has with the recommendations accepted by Tynwald in November 2013 – is this the start of developing a small number of regional Housing Bodies."

ENDS
Words: 518 Date of Release: 01 November 2018

Onchan District Commissioners
Hawthorn Villa, 79 Main Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1RD
Tel. (01624) 675564 or e-mail admin@onchan.org.im

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