As Lewisham/Lewisham Homes lost my forms for ''underoccupation'' back at the very beginning of May, it has taken until today for me get my application processed. But, because the council have evidence of me ''being on the transfer list for a suitably sized property'' they have awarded a Discretionary Housing Payment. It's not a full rebate on the unrebated amount but it gets me closer to survival, and staves off eviction.
The fact that back in 1984 the flat was not considered unsuitably sized, and the fact that I have to be actively searching for a smaller property that, more likely than not, will cost more in public subsidy than the present one is costing, that there are publicly funded grants for removal payments, redirection of mail, payments for removing and reinstalling cookers and washing machines, phone connection, an assistance payment of £300 for the extra room I'm giving up - in short, that all this extra public expense to move someone against their will to a more expensive smaller property - does not seem to have occurred to any of those with a responsibility to keep down public expenses.
Following the transfer list path won't solve everybody's problem but it may be worth it for some.
Housing policy: you know it makes no sense.
Mitie Major Works: follow up to this post (further posts about Mitie, here, here and here)
After the end-of-my-tether post about Mitie, Crosswhatfields received an email from Lewisham Homes' Corporate Communication Manager asking:
Please could you contact me to clarify the issues so that I can ensure this is dealt with properly?
So I did and wrote a partial list of of the surreal chain of events that had happened to me. And got absolutely nowhere. I even learn that I have not made a complaint. Mitie apparently agreed to deliver a report to her about the issues:
Mitie are delivering us a full report on all the issues you've detailed.
...but there again, the Tenant Liaison Officer and Site Manager agreed to produce a written explanation of why my door was left open and mail removed from the property to me, and I've heard from neither. In the end, I got a highly unsatisfactory
You have had an unfortunate run of luck it has to be said.
I'll give you a call on Monday to see how things are if that's ok?
As that call never materialised I assume she considers it job done.
The moral of this is that, if you experience problems with Mitie, they won't consider it a complaint unless you go through the ''official'' complaints procedure, which is
1 contact resident liaison officer who will endeavour to resolve the issue
2 if still unhappy contact the Lewisham Homes' Project Coordinator (0800 028 2 028) and ask for major works (or email email@example.com)
3 Still unhappy, step 3 is the Customer Relations team (0800 028 2 028) and ask for customer relations (or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whatever you do beware of people offering to get things ''dealt with properly'' or dealing with Mitie's Property Services people. Their interest is not the tenants, job done for them is circumventing the complaints procedure and managing reputation.
At least go through the ''proper'' complaints channels or email the blog and we'll try to help.