On 30 Steve Norman, as Anthony Palmer’s representative, wrote to Housing Service Director, Nick Hooper. Here’s one section of the letter:
Thirdly, the preferences for ex-servicemen that automatically takes Mr Palmer up a band from band 2 to band 1: I noted with interest the comments made by the housing support officer where she stated that this did not apply because Mr Palmer had left the Army some 7 yrs ago and that Bristol City Council had set the criteria for this at 5 yrs.
I challenged this and I was informed this was set down in the Housing Acts (1996) and the (2012) amendments by government allowing local authorities to set there own criteria and length of time between discharge.
To this end I have been unable to locate such a clause within the Acts. Can you please advise as to what section of the Acts covers this statement for my reference?
Here’s Hooper’s response to that letter. Has anyone any idea why Hooper has avoided Steve’s simple question?
Dear Mr Norman
Thank you for the authorisation form sent to my colleague Mary Ryan, which we note means that you can act on Mr Palmer’s behalf.
I have checked the conversation which you had with Linda Tasker and she feels that you may have misunderstood what she was saying. She merely advised you of the alternative possibilities the Council has with regard to providing temporary accommodation – she wasn’t actually offering Windermere, which as you note is generally used for larger families than Mr Palmer and his son, though we do occasionally use it for smaller households. I understand that Mr Palmer does not wish to be offered Windermere.
There is no question of us bullying you or Mr Palmer. We have over 300 households in temporary and emergency accommodation, some of which is very expensive, so we try to make best use of what we have access to, and need families to recognise that they must actively seek a move, which Mr Palmer has been.
I think your reference to the amount of time families should stay in hostels relates to government policy that families with dependent children should not stay in non self-contained temporary accommodation longer than 6 weeks (this is the Homeless Suitability of Accommodation Order 2003). However as Mr Palmer’s current accommodation is self-contained this does not apply.
I have investigated your allegations of sewage at North St, which have been referred to the owners. Apparently the photos are of a basement area, which residents are not allowed access, and there are signs stating this. North Street is inspected regularly by the Council, last visited 3-to-4 weeks ago, but I am arranging for it be inspected again.
Now that we have Mr Palmer’s service number in the armed forces, I am getting this checked and will contact you again.
Since your last e-mail Mr Palmer has moved into different accommodation at North St, which I understand he had requested and which meets his needs better. Meanwhile I am pleased to see that he has continued to bid regularly on HomeChoice and he is very close to being successful, on his last bid he came 5th. I am optimistic that he will be successful soon if his pattern of bidding is maintained.
Service Director – Housing Solutions & Crime Reduction
We shall be doing a full analysis of Hooper’s letter in due course ….