Thursday, 25 October 2012

Birmingham MP calls for Director of Housing to resign over alleged cover-up

Birmingham Hall Green MP, Roger Godsiff, will today raise in an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, the issue of the treatment of this constituent, Nicola Shipley, and the way individuals in the Housing Department in Birmingham ‘conspired’ to deliberately  withhold information about the anti-social behaviour of one of their tenants who subsequently became a ‘neighbour from hell’ and made Ms Shipley’s life a misery. 

Mr Godsiff said: “In essence, certain officers in the Housing Department dumped this problem on the Housing Association by omitting to tell them the true facts –while wrecking the life of this young lady and causing misery to her and her neighbours. I am calling on the Director of Housing to resign over this alleged cover-up.”

He went on to say: “The officers who approved the transfer deliberately and wilfully conspired to ignore the Council’s own ‘mutual transfer procedures’ and did not tell Moseley & District Housing Association about previous appalling record of this particular tenant despite the fact that this information was in the public domain.  These officers knew that Moseley & District Housing Association would not have allowed the transfer to proceed had they known – and the Housing Association have made this abundantly clear to me.”

Nicola Shipley said:  “I am a homeowner and had previously lived peacefully and quietly in this respectful family community and neighbourhood for five years.  Since October 2010 I have felt unsafe, vulnerable, harassed, intimidated and threatened in my own home.  The constant extreme noise from the playing of loud dance band music, the intimidation and anti-social behaviour has severely affected my quality of life and those of my neighbours.”

Ms Shipley has lived at her current address for the last five years and her problem neighbour moved in under ‘mutual exchange’ arrangements where tenants exchange properties. Housing officers are however required to check out the housing file of prospective tenants to ensure that there is not a history of rent arrears or any breach of tenancy conditions – such as anti-social behaviour.

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