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View Article  Appeal of Mr & Mrs Holland
Appeal of Mr & Mrs Holland

Dear Lynda Stevens
I understand from your letter and statement below from Mr & Mrs Holland, that it appears the Trust is not upholding the appeals procedure that Haig Homes has in place, and would appreciate your comments on this?
I understand that you cannot comment on individual cases, though you can comment to reassure myself and residents of Haig Homes that you are carrying out correct procedures within given time scales.
I believe this is unlike you not follow procedure, and would think there is good reason why the deadline has been missed on more than one occasion.
I would hope that you take this enquiry seriously as part of tenant participation, and helping to provide a better service to those who the charity is set up for.
We now have a growing Face book group for residents and interested parties of Haig Homes, to keep in touch, share ideas and help one another.
I am sure this would be a hot topic if it were to be aired !!
I look forward to hearing from you
Regards
Paul McDonnell (Chairman HH (M) RA)
 
“I have once again put in an appeal 3rd time and received a letter to state that Lynda Stevens would be in touch within 15 working days to inform me how to proceed. Needless to say that 15 days has passed and we have received nothing back.”
 
Dear Mr Holland

I write further to my letter of 9th July and your email of 14th July. I received copies of the Occupational Therapist’s two reports concerning her assessment of Mrs Holland’s needs on 15th July. Our aim is to respond to correspondence within 10 working days and I apologise for not having met that deadline. You have however been advised that we would be responding as soon as possible.

I would remind you that you do not have the right to housing assistance from the Trust, but I acknowledge that you have the right to be considered for help because you have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The OT’s reports are general reports and do not relate specifically to 10 Gheluvelt Park as we had requested. I have taken her recommendations concerning property requirements into account in considering your application.

I have also now received our Surveyor’s comments on 10 Gheluvelt Park following his inspection earlier this week on its suitability for accommodating a person with disabilities and who needs the use of a wheelchair. His conclusion is that it is not suitable due to the restricted sizes of the bathroom and kitchen, the widths of passages and doorways and the construction of the staircase. Furthermore the costs of adapting it to make it suitable would be prohibitive and may not be technically possible.

You have stated that you are not prepared to give a written commitment to make permanent alternative arrangements for one of your dogs, should you be offered housing by the Trust. Moreover I understand that in telephone calls to staff you have expressed your very low opinion of the Trust. I have to question whether your expectations of the Trust are realistic.


/Continued ……


-2-


In view of the foregoing I am upholding the Housing Needs Manager’s verbal decision to reject your application for an exchange of tenancy with our tenant at 10 Gheluvelt Park and/or to be placed on the Trust’s Waiting List. My reasons are as follows:

1. The property that you would like to move into by way of a mutual exchange is not suitable for your wife’s needs and cannot be made suitable at a reasonable cost. There are also significant doubts as to whether it is technically feasible to modify the property even in the unlikely event of funding being provided by someone.
2. You are not prepared to give the written commitment we have requested, namely that you will comply with the Trust’s policy and make permanent alternative arrangements for one of your dogs.

If you are dissatisfied with my decision under the Trust’s Tenant Selection and Application Policy you have a right of appeal to Trustees. If you choose to appeal you should write to me within twenty eight days of receipt of this letter giving full details as to why you believe my decision is wrong.

I would advise you to contact your current landlord to see if they can help you move to other accommodation. I would also strongly advise you to contact the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund to ask for the specialist housing option you seek.


Yours sincerely

Lynda A Stevens
General Secretary


View Article  Charitable Trust profiteering from injured soldiers or not!

Charitable Trust profiteering from injured soldiers or not!

Over two years ago Haig Homes residents association questioned the motives of Haig Homes management, an Ex-Servicemen’s housing Trust on a Shackleton project that was highlighted by Guardian reporter Be Thompson.

The Shackleton Project was ill thought out, and was intended to benefit our severely injured Forces personnel who were in Headley Court or Selly Oaks, where properties on Haig homes would be kept void until the injured soldier/s were able to take the property over. And while the properties were void to eligible applicants, they would be commercially let out on a short term lease to the private sector at private rates making up to £800 per calendar month over and above normal rent income.

Now we are all ex forces on this estate and would be the first ones to help our injured comrades, though we saw through what the Trust were implementing as the project was going against its own constitution, and we questioned the motives behind it.

We argued that the family members of the injured soldier/s could take the property over as soon as it became available, so they would be close to them while they were rehabilitating in Headley Court, and also give the family a chance to settle in before their loved one joined them.

We also argued that injured soldiers were less likely to take up residents in any Haig Homes property, as they would favour returning home than to set up a new one in unfamiliar surroundings where their extended family would not be able to help.

Given Haig’s historic contempt for its residents, all of these arguments fell on deaf ears and the project went ahead.

Two years passed and no sign of anyone from Headley court or Selly oaks were seen to be taking up residents in property’s on Haig homes, while commercial/private tenants remained in properties around the country for this period, while waiting list grew.

During a chance conversation, while inviting Headley Court to attend a resident’s fun day that was help on the 19th June, it now transpires that Haig Home had never had an agreement to house rehabilitated soldiers. We were told that the excellent charitable work from SSAFA and Help for Heroes, and donations from the public, meant that soldiers would have no need to be housed by Haig.

Now this reliable statement from a Major in Headley Court became very concerning, especially that Haig’s Management (Mr John Lau) had only recently reiterated that the Shackleton project was still ongoing, and that it had never been shelved.

Questions need to be answered by Haig Homes Management, and they need to be answerable for their decisions and actions. But who can that be?

All housing associations listen and actively assist resident’s involvement, not Haig Homes! They even take no notice of the governments Audit commissionaire or the Charities commission. So why not call them and ask for yourselves!

Why knowingly continue or start a project like this without the agreement by those they it was intended to help?

What happens to the money taken in rent by the commercial letting and charitable donations given to this project?

How many Ex servicemen in housing need have been affected while applying for housing in the last two years?

Why does the management of Haig Homes fail to listen to the concerns of its residents?

It may not be profiteering in monetary terms, though some in Haig Homes are over ambitious and prepared to sell their soul and residents to further themselves.

View Article  Injured Soldiers Angry as Homes go Private
Injured Soldiers Angry as Homes go Private





Former servicemen are furious over plans to start commercially letting homes on a Morden housing estate exclusive to ex-soliders.

Properties earmarked for the future use of soldiers undergoing rehabilitation from injuries sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan are being cleaned and repaired before being rented out privately.

According to Haig Homes, the properties are still reserved for soldiers undergoing treatment at Headley Court military hospital in Epsom and are only being let on a short-term basis.

But chairman of the Haig Homes residents association, Paul McDonnell, said: "It's a shambles. I find it disgusting that they're cleaning and refurbishing the properties so that they can rent them commercially but they're doing very little for the former servicemen living on the estate.

"Our claim is that there is no reason why they cannot move families of soldiers undergoing treatment straight into these vacant properties.

"We see this as a step towards commercialising the Haig Homes estate. This is supposed to be a charity exclusively for ex-service people in need of housing but they're doing this for profit."

He added: "There are a lot of issues here that are niggling and I'm angry with Haig Homes because they have dismissed everything that we have tried to say to them."

Residents are also concerned that the introduction of non-servicemen on the estate could cause an "unhappy mix" or even break up the community.

A spokeswoman for Haig Homes said: "Any commercial let will only be on a short term basis which is preferable to keeping the property empty as empty properties might, in turn, put pressure on other tenants' rents.

"Money being spent on putting the property into a condition to let, will also benefit the incoming Shackleton Project soldiers undergoing rehabilitation and is in line with any other void property preparation for re-letting."

She added that the top priority for Haig Homes is to meet the housing needs of severely injured servicemen and the only homes to be rented would otherwise be empty until the appropriate tenant moved in.

Original Link

Let your views and comments be known directly

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Haig Homes
Alban Dobson House
Green Lane
Morden
Surrey
SM4 5NS

Tel: 020 8685 5777
Fax: 020 8685 5778
Email: haig@haighomes.org.uk

Foxnwolf comment;

This was a 2008 issue, but it all went quiet. I believe that Nothing has changed, and that commercial tenants are still in place.

I also believe that residents concerns are growing and that they (commercial tenants) are responsible for the recent burglary & attempted burglaries

Haig Homes ought to be ashamed of themselves. Our soldiers after being cared for but still needing treatment so have to be close to Headley Court, could have their families with them for a short recuperative stay. The turn around of our injured would mean that the properties would hardly ever be empty at all. Plus, some of the able residents of Haig Homes would also be able to "pop in" have a chat etc and offer any help they could to make them feel welcome.

Sadly, Haig Homes operates by the £££££££ rule. And saying that it may contribute to the raising of residents rents is a disgusting comment. How about Haig Homes dips in to its pocket and do the right thing for a change. If Haig Homes is so "Potless" then maybe they could approach H4H for some assistance (if they dare).......