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Fussy applicants may prompt housing policy review

Housing Minister Samantha Sacramento has indicated that she may review policy after finding that some applicants had been on the housing list for 18 years having continuously rejected offers.
This, she said, is in spite of a government policy which should see applicants removed from the list should they reject three offers from the Housing department.
This follows a question and answer session of Parliament in which shadow Housing Minister Edwin Reyes asked about the house size requirements of applicants who joined the waiting list prior to December 2011 and have still not been handed keys to a new home.
According to Ms Sacramento, 266 applicants have yet to receive keys and their house size requirements range from 1rkb to 6rkb.
Of that total, 26 applicants joined the list between 1999-2004, including one applicant who has remained on the list since 1999.
The bulk of applicants however joined the list between 2005 and 2010 and a further 110 joined the list in 2011.
This prompted Mr Reyes to query the date range.
Ms Sacramento said she herself had questioned why there had been applicants on the list since 1999.
“It seems like there are people who, for some reason, have been on this list for a long time and are continuously offered houses and continuously reject them,” she told the House.
Government policy, she added, has always been that applicants are offered three chances and if they do not accept one of those they are removed from the list.
In respect of the applicant from 1999, Ms Sacramento explained that having reviewed the file, that individual had been made a lot of offers and had rejected them all because that person wants a particular flat in a particular area.
She said: “And apparently that is the case for quite a number of the historic applications, so it may be that those need to be reviewed and policy may need to be reviewed.”

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