Councillor's concerns over housing allocations for people with mental health issues

A Camelon councillor says mental health problems are not being properly dealt with when people are allocated council housing.

By Kirsty Paterson
Friday, 20th November 2020, 6:09 pm
Councillor Dennis Goldie
Councillor Dennis Goldie

At a meeting of Falkirk Council Scrutiny Committee, Dennis Goldie raised the case of one couple who say they're at their wits' end because of the behaviour of a neighbour in council-owned flats for elderly and disabled people.

The couple, who spoke following the meeting, do not want to be named.

But they say they have had to cope with a neighbour banging and shouting at all hours of the day or night for a year now - and they have had enough.

The behaviour has made life unbearable for the couple, who now think the only solution is to move away from a once-quiet home, and friends who offer good support.

However, finding a suitable new home won't be easy as the man is registered blind while his wife's health has deteriorated badly over the past year.

The couple say the behaviour is worrying for all of the elderly residents of the block of flats, who last year signed a petition to get something done about the situation.

"We don't wish him any harm. We think he's been put in the wrong place," the man said.

"I honestly believe the council know they've made a mistake and they just don't know how to get out of the situation.

"We understand they have to be confidential but we just feel like we are told nothing."

They say they have been supported by a housing officer who has asked them to keep a diary of the noise and how bad it gets - but they are now totally frustrated with the lack of any action.

At the Scrutiny Committee, Mr Goldie said he was not criticising housing staff.

But he said Falkirk Council is creating problems when they rehouse people "who are ill or whose life is in a downward spiral".

Speaking after the meeting, he said: "We have a massive problem here - and the problem is a lack of back-up.

"There are lots of examples where people like this are put in the wrong place.

"In my own ward, I know of people who are having to sleep with their clothes on every night because they are scared their neighbour will set fire to the place."

He added: “"I'm not a doctor, so I can't say if someone has mental illness but I can say for sure that the people causing the problems are ill and they are not getting properly housed either.

"Everyone is trying to resolve the problem - but you can't resolve the problem if you don't put money into it."

A Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership spokesperson said: “Staff from both the partnership and our housing service are in regular contact with residents to provide support and work to resolve any issues.

"The care and support of vulnerable people within our communities is our utmost priority and staff work to ensure adequate supports are in place.”

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