Concerns addressed over housing issues

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Kirriemuir residents who have complained about anti-social behaviour blighting their neighbourhood for months got the answers and re-assurances they were looking for at last month’s meeting of the town’s community council.

Problems have been reported in one particular area of town, although other problem areas have been identified.

Ian Kennedy, Angus Council housing manager for Forfar and Kirriemuir, gave details on the process taken by the council for allocating housing.

He referred to “A Guide to the Allocation of Housing in Angus” which is adopted by the council as well as the Blackwood, Caledonia and Hillcrest Housing Associations.

He stressed the council adhered to the same allocation policy as its partner agencies, a policy which he said was well publicised.

He said: “Our houses are allocated in an open and transparent way.”

Community Councillor Alan Bell raised concerns over claims of people being moved in to the town from outside Kirriemuir, some of whom were alleged drug dealers and users, whilst community council chairman David Milne stated there was a perception among some residents that people from outside Angus and Tayside seemed to be getting housing before others.

He referred to one area in town which had a number of anti-social tenants who had moved into the area.

He stated: “People are now frightened to come out of their houses. There are dogs defecating all over the place in what were once good areas.

“I have lived in Kirriemuir for 14 years and it does seem to me that the number of people who are dependant on substances is increasing. I don’t know what the alternatives are but I don’t want to see a “not in my back garden” attitude.

Mr Kennedy disputed the notion people were being “bumped up the housing list”.

He explained there were eight housing officers and that if problems arose they would manage them. He stressed dealing with problem tenants did take time adding: “It would make my job a whole lot easier if everyone was a good tenant, but when things happen we have to deal with them.”

He urged anyone experiencing issues to report them to the Angus Access office and stressed any decision to evict a tenant had to be made by a sheriff.