Abbeyfield Scotland

Abbeyfield Scotland is another housing provider working in Dumfries and Galloway.

Abbeyfield Scotland provides safe, secure quality accommodation where older people can maintain their independence but benefit from a little help and enjoy companionship and company – when they want it.

The accommodation is slightly different to an independent tenancy, as living in an Abbeyfield House means you have your own private en-suite accommodation, but that there is also plenty of shared spaces for dining and entertaining - plus meals are made for residents on site.

In Dumfries and Galloway, Abbeyfield Scotland operates from two sites: one in Dumfries and another in Lockerbie.

Click here to download the Abbeyfield Scotland housing application.

For more information please contact us on 0300 303 3196 or email info@abbeyfield-scotland.com

Integration

​Welcome to the housing and health and social care integration homepage for Dumfries and Galloway.

Here you will find all of the information you’ll need to either make the right application, or guide a client through the process of making an application for housing. You’ll also find all the contact details you might need to help you along the way.

Check out our sections below to find the answer to your question:
How does housing fit into integration?
What is Homes4D&G and what can it do?
What does an RSL provide?
Integration and housing FAQs
Contacts

Integration FAQs

What does housing bring to integration?

Housing has a key role to play by providing and maintaining safe and appropriate homes for people to live in, independently, for as long as possible. Through adaptations, such as wet rooms, housing provides the infrastructure for care to take place more effectively – which supports the recipient and the care providers.

If you are an NHS worker, in what way can housing help you?

The information in this section will help you to understand what services housing currently provides and also the key contacts. This may help you deal with patient needs and hospital discharge more effectively

If you are working with clients who require Equipment & Adaptation work to improve their quality of life etc – what process should you follow?

For major adaptations such as ramps, wet rooms, level access showers etc the first point of contact should be the Community Occupational Therapy Service. They will assess the needs of the client and make referrals where needed to the housing association or Care & Repair. Care & Repair is managed by Loreburn, for private sector owners.

For minor adaptations, such as grab rails, the first point of contact should be the NHS Occupational Therapy Service

For key safes and home safety and security items for eligible clients, D&G HandyVan may be contacted directly

How can someone with complex medical needs access housing through an RSL?

Applicants in Dumfries and Galloway should go through the route of Homes4D&G. Find more information here.

If someone has complex medical needs they will be referred by Social Services to the Health and Social Care Panel to go onto the Strategic Needs Group section.

What might we do differently in the future?

An example of what is being piloted to develop future integrated services is at J.M. Barrie House, Dumfries, a step up/step down/respite flat facility, being developed to support older people. This will help people who are perhaps ready to be discharged from hospital, but their home environment is not suitable for them, until work is carried out. It will also help people coming out of hospital who just need a bit of additional support to regain their confidence. The facility includes a bedroom with en-suite, accessible bathroom/shower and basic kitchen. It also benefits from a lunch club and foot-care clinic.

How is housing being integrated?

Housing is involved in all levels of the integration process including membership of the Joint Strategic Planning Group, Locality Groups and Management Teams. Another suggestion is to invite housing professionals to NHS Team meetings to facilitate inter-professional working.

What does an RSL provide?

What accommodation options are available through an RSL?

  • General needs accommodation is open to anyone aged 16 or over
  • Sheltered Housing is designed for older people, with access to support and alarm-call systems. It is also open to people under 60 years with a disability who would benefit from the support provided
  • Housing specially adapted for those aged 5O years or older
  • Housing specifically designed or adapted for a wheelchair user or other person with a disability
  • Transitional homeless accommodation. This is for homeless families who initially require support to manage their tenancy and learn the life skills to move on to a permanent general needs tenancy.
  • Supported accommodation can be self-contained or shared housing where support is linked to the properties.

Services provided by the RSLs

As well as providing social housing, the RSLs in the region offer slightly different levels of support services, however in the main these include –

  • Supported Accommodation
  • Sheltered Housing
  • Outreach services
  • Supported transitional tenancies

All RSLs will offer slightly different mainstream services, however, in general these include:

  • Housing Management
  • Repairs and Maintenance
  • Housing Support
  • New-build accommodation
  • Equipment and Adaptations
  • Neighbourhood Management services

A number of issues which will be required to be considered further as the integration takes place include –

Adaptations

Available to tenants of RSL’s, the annual funding programme allows Occupational Therapist to refer adaptations to take place within tenants’ current properties. Adaptations are delivered to the private sector through Care and Repair, the HandyVan and Food Train Extra. There will be a future requirement to ensure that all adaptation services are fully integrated to provide efficient services in the private and social rented sectors.

New-build programme (Strategic Housing Investment Programme - SHIP)

This delivers around 140 new units of affordable housing a year. There is a need to review how these houses are designed in future to ensure that as many as possible are able to allow people to remain in their own home for as long as possible.

Re-modelling existing housing stock with a focus on sheltered accommodation

Minor additions to existing housing stock. There is an opportunity to develop a range of trusted assessors to deliver minor adaptations to people’s homes. This will relieve the current pressure on our Occupational Therapy Services.

Other housing support services

Neighbourhood Management services

Staff are in an ideal position to spot people experiencing difficulty in their home at an early stage and to put in place measures to support people to live at home.

Services for home owners and private tenants

Two key service areas are support for private homes that breach the tolerable standard and support for major adaptations for disabled and older people to help them to stay living in their own home. The document is available at the Council’s website at www.dumgal.gov.uk Contact Michael Goldie, Private Sector Housing Assistant on 01387 273156 for more.

Care and Repair

Care and Repair in Dumfries and Galloway is a service managed by Loreburn Housing Association in partnership with the Council for adaptations in the private sector. These include items such as ramps, wet rooms, level access showers and curved stair lifts. Care and Repair also works in partnership with D&G HandyVan, a voluntary sector organisation based in Lockerbie. D&G HandyVan deliver the Council funded Small Repairs and Home Support Service throughout the region.

Housing Support Services provided by RSL’s also help support people in private tenancies.

What is Homes4D&G?

What is Homes4D&G?

Dumfries and Galloway’s four main Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), along with Dumfries and Galloway Council, make up Homes4D&G.

Homes4D&G is the Common Housing Register for Dumfries and Galloway and is the single route for applying for social housing across participating landlords.

Housing applicants in Dumfries and Galloway only have to complete one application form to apply for social housing with all four participating RSLs. Once the application form reaches the Homes4D&G team, the details are shared among the applicants chosen RSLs and included on a single housing list. All four landlords use the same Common Allocation Policy, making the process streamlined.

The partners of Homes4D&G are looking to develop a Housing Options Service that is person-centred and that aims to provide advice on a whole range of issues that may have an impact on peoples housing circumstances.

Quite simply it means - one form, one access route, one housing list and a shared provision of housing information and advice.

More information is available by contacting Homes4D&G on 0300 123 1230 or at www.homes4dg.org.uk

Who are the partners?

DGHP is the largest housing association in Dumfries and Galloway, owning and managing 10,300 homes. Properties are spread across most of our communities in the region. DGHP began in 2003 when the transfer of Dumfries and Galloway’s housing stock took place.

Loreburn Housing Association own and manage around 2,500 homes in Dumfries and Galloway, serving many of the local communities. They have a particular focus on the provision of housing for people with particular needs.

Home Scotland owns and manages around 500 properties in Dumfries and Galloway.

Irvine Housing Association owns and manages almost 400 homes in Dumfries.

Dumfries and Galloway Council, although no longer owning or managing any social housing in the region, has the lead statutory responsibility for developing the region’s Local Housing Strategy and Strategic Housing Investment Plan. This sets out the strategic direction and priorities for housing-related matters. The Council also have the statutory responsibility for dealing with homelessness and its prevention.

The Council’s strategic housing service is currently undertaking a service review to ensure that future priorities for investment fully reflect the aims and objectives of integration.

Health and Social Care Panel/Nominations Protocol

Through the work of the above panel, vulnerable applicants to Homes4D&G will receive a consistent approach with housing priority.

The protocol is also used where people are ready to leave hospital but are perhaps unable to return to their previous accommodation as it is unsuitable and not feasible to be adapted for their needs.

It is also used to prevent people being admitted to hospital or residential care, where they are able to live independently if they are re-housed into suitably adapted accommodation.

Homes4D&G’s Occupational Therapist

Homes4D&G has a dedicated Occupational Therapist (OT), Tina Haddon.

The role focuses on assessing a person’s priority for medical housing points and also to identify any specific future housing needs, for example, wheelchair accessibility.

The assessment is made using a medical housing application form and the information is shared across all the RSLs –the applicant only needs to fill it in once - and, if appropriate, additional information is supplied by involved professionals.

How housing fits

Why is housing involved?

Housing has recently been included as a key consultation partner for Health and Social Care Integration.

Housing is hugely important to health and social care integration for many reasons and we hope through this bulletin to explain more.

In our region there are around 72,000 residential properties – with the majority privately owned.

The key providers of social housing are Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) and Loreburn Housing Association, who between them manage approximately 90% of the 14,000 social rented homes. Other providers include Home Scotland, Irvine Housing Association, Trust, Hanover, Key Housing and Cairn Housing.

These social landlords play a large part in the lives, health and wellbeing of the families living in these homes - with a single aim to allow people to stay there as long as possible.

What is housing?

Housing covers a wide range of services, including sheltered housing for older people and supported tenancies for vulnerable people and adults with disabilities.

It is largely because of the wide range of services offered that DGHP, Loreburn, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Strategic Housing Services and others have come together to work alongside health and social care colleagues to consider the housing dimension of integration. We have housing staff working out in the field in all localities across D&G including rural areas.

DGHP, Loreburn and Strategic Housing Services are actively working with locality teams to help develop the Locality Plans which will communicate how integrated services will be delivered in each of the four areas. Strategic Housing Services is also represented on the strategic planning work-stream building strong links between them and the locality plans.

The Public Bodies (Joint Working) Scotland Act 2014

This Act was brought in to allow the integration of local authority services with health services to address challenges with the current health and social care system in Scotland. It also allows us all to respond to an ageing population which puts an increasing strain on demand-led budgets and service. The key aim of integration is to shift the balance of care from acute to community-based settings and to ensure the services are flexible to meet people’s needs. It is, therefore, essential that there is suitable housing available in the future to help meet this aim

To illustrate, as you will see from our house diagram, a lot of the things that are provided by housing can help greatly with health and wellbeing.

test page

Universal Credit begins in Dumfries and Galloway on April 27, 2015.

This is a new benefit for people of working age on a low income. From this
date, it will only be single people who become new jobseekers who will have to
claim Universal Credit.

The government plans to roll out Universal Credit to other people in the
future and we will inform you of this when the full detail and dates are known.

Universal Credit will eventually replace six other benefits with one single
monthly payment. The benefits it will end up replacing are Jobseekers Allowance
(JSA), Housing Benefit (HB), Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Employment
& Support Allowance and Income Support.

Universal Credit will therefore include help with the cost of housing, children,
childcare and other living expenses. As those on Universal Credit will have the
element for their rent paid directly to them each month it means that they will
have to start paying their rent direct to DGHP rather than have the council pay
their housing benefit entitlement direct to DGHP.

This is one of the biggest changes to the government’s welfare reform plans
in years and, long-term, will have a significant impact on many people.

Saying thank you for a “great job”

DGHP tenant Lizzie Gibson, from Lockerbie, had a special reason to say
thank you to two workmen from DGHP repairs contractor Morgan Sindall Property
Services (MSPS) recently.

Lizzie, has said a special thank you to two members of staff from our repairs
contractor, Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS).

She says recent work the workmen carried out at her property has made a
“massive difference” to her life. Lizzie felt she had to put pen to paper and tell
us about the two workmen after they’d completed the work outside her Lockerbie home.

It was a fairly routine repair for the two workmen - John Graham, a
skilled labourer, and Alan Wells, a labourer - but little did they realise what
it meant to the lady who’d phoned in the work.

Lizzie, who has lived in her home since it was first built, said: “The
flagstones on the path from my house to the pavement had started to sink really
badly and the water used to sit in them a lot.

“I was always very careful but my granddaughter was always telling me
that I should report the work for repair because I could trip and hurt myself.
So I decided to call the repair in and they sent someone out very quickly to
fix it.”

However, the main difference the work has made to Lizzie’s day-to-day
life is when she is out and about helping others - despite being 87 herself.

“I put everyone else’s bins out as well as my own - so the stones being
uneven really made it very difficult. The repair work that John and Alan did
has made a huge difference and made it so much easier for me.

“I can’t thank them enough - they did such a brilliant job, and they
were so quick. I could just cuddle them for what they’ve done.”

Rab Wight, DGHP Head of Repairs and Maintenance, said: “Because this was
a health and safety issue, we got
someone out to the work quickly. Scott Warner (DGHP Technical Inspector)
carried out a pre-inspection of the work required and instructed our contractor
to carry it out.”

Michael Roberts, Area Supervisor with MSPS, added: “It has been really
good for the guys who carried out the work to come back and meet the tenant who
reported the work.

“It might just seem like fixing some paving stones but to hear from
Lizzie herself what a difference it has made, makes it all worthwhile.

They’ve really had the chance to see for themselves what effect it has
had. “As repairs and maintenance contractor, we want to provide the very best
service for all of DGHP’s tenants. This is a perfect example of the guys having
carried out a great job and made a real difference to someone – through excellent
customer service.”

Taking the first steps to a new career

A group of students have taken their first step to a new career in
construction as the latest recruits on a training programme.

The programme is being provided by DGHP and Dumfries and Galloway
College, with 12 students from across the region signed up. The BTEC
Introduction to Construction course started in early March.

The students, ranging from teenagers to men in their 40s, will get a
taster of a variety of different trades as part of their course, with the
chance to secure full-time employment at the end.

Sean Black, Wider Role Co-Ordinator, at DGHP said: “The course is a mix
of on-site training and classroom learning. It’s the perfect combination of
both sides and the students get the chance to try different things during their
time on the course.”

All of the new recruits will also have the chance to interview for their
chance to secure full-time employment. Director of Investment and Regeneration
for DGHP, James Shirazi, added: “We are delighted to work with Dumfries and
Galloway College to provide this fantastic opportunity to our new students.

“We are continuing our extensive new build programme across the region
and this course is part of our ongoing commitment to the people of Dumfries and
Galloway.

“It’s hugely satisfying that by working together with DGHP and Dumfries
and Galloway College, we are offering something that not only benefits our new
students and their futures, but also keeps the construction trade alive in our
area.”

All 12 new recruits received their new uniforms from DGHP during a
special opening ceremony in Dumfries recently.

Meanwhile in Stranraer…

A group of school leavers from Stranraer Academy who started a one year
BTEC course in late 2014 have reached the monumental halfway point of their
course.

The students were the first to sign up to an innovative new construction
skills course provided by DGHP and the college.

By the time they complete their course in June, the students will have
gained basic skills in brickwork, joinery and plasterwork as well as working in
a real-life environment on DGHP’s regeneration contract in Stranraer.

Prestigious housing award

The dedication and hard work of a DGHP staff member has been recognised
at a prestigious national awards ceremony celebrating excellence in housing.

Evie Copland, DGHP’s website and communications assistant, scooped a top
award at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Scotland awards.

Evie, who is 24 and from Dumfries, picked up the Bob Allan Young
Achiever in Housing Excellence Award and was absolutely delighted.

“I was so honoured to have made the final shortlist but to then pick up
the award was just amazing!

This is a fantastic achievement for me and I couldn’t be more proud of
it.”

The Bob Allan Young Achiever Award, which was open to anyone under the
age of 30, was awarded in recognition of Evie’s passion, commitment and flair
in putting the human aspects of tenant and client services first.

Evie was nominated by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Home
Scotland, Irvine Housing Association and Loreburn Housing Association.

She was nominated specifically for her work on DGHP’s website;
Homes4D&G website; for her role in building a reference website for the Armed
Forces personnel who return to the area looking for housing; for all her work
with young people in putting together DGHP’s first ever Youth Conference as
well as helping out many of DGHP’s Sheltered Housing residents in ‘getting them
digital’ through her Silver Surfers sessions.

In addition, Evie has on many occasions gone above and beyond the call
of duty – even attending in the middle of the night to help tenants affected by
flooding during the festive period.

Jayne Moore, Director of Housing Services with DGHP, said: “It is clear
that Evie possesses the qualities and attributes that make her an ambassador
for the housing profession - she’s just got ‘it’. Her genuine desire to deliver
an excellent service has meant that she has carved a unique role for herself
that makes people want to get her involved in what they are doing.

“She brings with her a breath of fresh air that enthuses, and inspires
others, to do well.”

David McMillan, Chairman of DGHP, added: “Evie is such a hard-working
and dedicated individual and she thoroughly deserves this award. She is always
so enthusiastic and determined to do well and we are very proud of her.”

Jenny Gardner, of Home Scotland, added: “Evie has been so enthusiastic
in her dealings with everyone she meets, it is difficult not to smile and feel
energised around her. Her award is thoroughly deserved.”

Glen Graham, of Loreburn Housing Association, commented: “A huge well
done must go to Evie for all her great work.”

Nicola Thom, of Irvine Housing Association, added: “Evie’s work to
support the partnership has been immensely innovative and ensures that our
customers can access high quality information from our website in a format that
will suit every need.”

Introducing Morgan Sindall Property Services

As a DGHP tenant, you should have received a letter telling you that
DGHP’s repairs and maintenance contractor, Lovell, have rebranded to Morgan
Sindall Property Services.

This change came into effect from February 2015 and you may already have
seen their new branded vans and uniforms across the region.

Although the name has changed, it remains business as usual for you and
the service you receive will not change. We will, jointly with Morgan Sindall
Property Services, continue to deliver the highest level of service to you, our
customers.

The team members, who you will be familiar with, all remain the same -
only their clothing, vehicles and identity badges have changed.

To be absolutely clear, this is a name change only and DGHP and Morgan
Sindall Property Services will remain focussed on the delivery of the very best
services to you as our customers.

If you would any like further information or should you have questions,
please contact DGHP’s Customer Service Centre on Freephone 0800 011 3447.

Take part in a survey and you might win some money

DGHP’s two main contractors Saltire and Morgan Sindall Property Services
(MSPS) have been continuing to carry out their customer satisfaction surveys.

By sparing just a few minutes of time to fill one in, some lucky DGHP
tenants have won vouchers from our contractors.

The surveys have been carried out after staff have visited your property
and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for taking the time to fill
these in. Both MSPS and Saltire have started carrying out the surveys (after
they have visited your property) and we greatly appreciate the time you took to
take part.

These will continue and we will be holding a £50 prize draw each month –
for each contractor – and winners will be notified and names printed in each
edition of the newsletter.

So make sure you take part to be in with a chance of winning.

As well as giving you the chance to win some vouchers to spend locally,
this will greatly help DGHP get feedback on the performance of our contractors.

The lucky winners from the last few months are: Saltire surveys

October winner - Ms Davies, Glenluce

November winner - Mr Bartlett, Newton Stewart

December winner - Mr Smith, Stranraer

January winner - Mr Irving, Castle Douglas

MSPS surveys

October winners - Mr R Simons, Dumfries

Miss A McNairn, Newton Stewart

November winners - Miss M Frost, Castle Douglas

Mrs B Hurley, Dumfries

There was no tenant draw held in December by MSPS.

Working with – and engaging with - you

The opinions of our tenants matter a great deal to us here at DGHP and
we want you to help shape services.

Since October last year (when your last newsletter was issued) we have
engaged with a total of 1461 people from across Dumfries and Galloway.

From the start of October to the end of December we met with 532 people,
and a further 929 between January and the end of March.

Putting our tenants at the centre of everything we do is very important
to us and we love to hear your opinions and thoughts about DGHP as an organisation
– so thank you for coming along to these events.

Your comments are crucial to what we do, and we want to make sure you
have, at every opportunity, the chance to engage with us.

Monthly breakdown

October - In October we met with a total of 227 tenants through various
events including a drop-in day at Langholm which involved various agencies and
focused on energy and heating efficiency. There was also an event with our
tenant Scrutiny Panel, some training for tenants and residents of our DMC’s and
the Federation.

In addition we also held an allocations consultation, we attended a
mental health awareness festival, we met with tenants to prepare for, and held,
a Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Scotland) event. We also attended
various Tenants and Residents Association (TARA) meetings as well as organised
Sheltered Housing events.

November - In November we met with 161 tenants and attended events
including Annan

Young People’s Support Service, Kelloholm Community Council, Gretna
TARA, TPAS Conference as well as several other external groups and school
talks.

December - was a quieter month when we engaged with a total of 144
people through school presentations, the Federation meetings, various TARAs and
the scrutiny panel meetings.

January - was again a little quieter with 136 people engaging with us at
events including DMC meetings, school projects, TARAs and consultation events
on rent increase and community participation action plans.

February - was a busier month with us meeting with and engaging with 316
tenants in total. We held several different events in February including an
allocations/letting event in Kelloholm in partnership with Home Scotland as
well as a heating and energy awareness event in Wigtown.

As well as many school presentations, we also had events for tenants
including DMC meetings and sessions on AGM papers for tenants involved in
groups. We also held several focus groups looking at priorities for the year
ahead as well as holding our regular newsletter editorial group and tenant conference
planning group.

Training has also been held for tenant groups on welfare reform and the
upcoming changes linked to Universal Credit.

March - has been the busiest to-date with 477. The events held include
meeting with TARA members, school presentations, Credit Union meetings,
community resilience events, Silver Surfer digital sessions, training sessions and
engaging with under-represented groups through our tenant District Management Committees.
During March we also held two events specifically aimed at tenants and applicants
whose preferred language is not English.

Some interesting figures show that, in this entire period, we again
engaged with more women than men at 793 to 668 respectively.

A total of 694 of those we engaged with were under the age of 25 and 301
were between 25 and 60. The over 60s made up 466 of those we engaged with. A
total of 192 people who engaged with us were disabled.

If you would like to find out more about any of our community participation
events, or if you would like the opportunity to engage with us, please get in
touch on Freephone 0800 011 3447 and ask for the Community Participation team.

DGHP’s 2015 Tenant Conference plans unveiled

DGHP tenants from across the region are busy working on plans ahead of
this year’s annual conference – planned for Thursday September 24 at the Easterbrook
Hall in Dumfries – put the date in your diary!

There was no large conference last year – instead we held a series of
smaller events in various places across the region – but plans for this year
are already underway.

A group of tenants have met several times already this year to discuss
the theme and plans for the day – which saw almost 300 people attend in 2013.

The theme this year is “Empowering Tenants for the Future” and will
focus on giving tenants the skills and knowledge they need to prepare them for
the future.

There will be stalls and workshops on basic IT skills to help you set up
an email address (needed for all future benefit claims), an education programme
on energy efficiency in the home (with tips to really help you save money) as
well as a fun workshop on how to upcycle clothes and items in your home as well
as a look at some good old fashioned remedies to help you in your house.

In addition, DGHP staff will be showcasing some innovative new projects
that will shape – and change – the way in which you and DGHP work together in
the future. We will tell you all about the message of ‘Rent First’, as well as
looking at the possibility of an incentive/ reward card scheme. We will also
tell you about the latest technological advances for the company and you.

There’s only one thing to do – come along and find out more. If you
don’t, you’re really missing out.

Also this year we will be inviting all housing applicants to the event
and we will be showing you some examples of properties currently available for
rent with DGHP – in an area near you. This year, following feedback from
previous years, we will have more time allocated for you to look round the
stalls and all the exhibitors will be able to help you ‘on the day’, with
private consultation rooms available on request.

The group – made up of around 10 tenants and residents from across the
region. They said: “We really enjoy putting together the conference for DGHP
tenants – it’s quite hard coming up with something different each year but it
is a great challenge. We all work really well together as a group and, although
it’s really hard work, we have great fun during the planning and on the day
itself.

“We hope that people will come along again this year and support the
event – it is a great chance to meet other tenants, staff and find out about a
lot of important things.”

Grass cutting trial in Lochside

As technology advances, bringing with it an increasing pressure on us to
reduce waste, DGHP is being instrumental in running a trial of some new
equipment - for grass cutting.

We have started a trial, which will run through until the end of May, in
the Lochside area of Dumfries to see if the new, advanced machinery will make a
difference long-term to DGHP, and our tenants.

Rab Wight, Head of R epairs and Maintenance with DGHP, said: “We need to
look at reducing waste, and doing so in a cost efficient manner for our
tenants.

“The new machinery is much more efficient in that the grass is cut much
lower, and more regularly, leaving very little waste cuttings - resulting in there
being no need to lift and dispose of the cuttings.

“We will look at the results at the end of the trial and see if it will
be suitable for us longterm. We will update everyone in a future edition of the
newsletter.”

The end of the ‘Right to Buy’ in 2016

The ‘Right to Buy’ is ending for all tenants of social housing in
Scotland on 1 August 2016. This is part of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.

Tenants who are eligible to buy under the scheme can apply to do so up
to 31 July 2016 (the notice period). Any application made after that date will
not be accepted as there will no longer be a ‘Right to Buy’.

The basics

The ‘Right to Buy’ was introduced under the Tenants’ Rights, Etc
(Scotland) Act 1980 and later consolidated under the Housing (Scotland) Act
1987. It was then further amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. There are
currently two schemes in operation - the preserved ‘Right to Buy’ and the
modernised ‘Right to Buy’. Eligibility for these schemes will depend on you
meeting the following criteria –

The preserved ‘Right to Buy’ –

• Your tenancy started before 30 September 2002 and you have not moved
after that date

• You have occupied a house, or a succession of houses, with a
Registered Social Landlord or Housing Association or a Local Authority for a
minimum of two years

• The maximum discount takes 30 years to acquire for a house and 15
years for a flat

• The maximum discount is 60 per cent of the market value for a house
and 70 per cent of the market value for a flat

The modernised ‘Right to Buy’ –

• Your tenancy started on or after 30 September 2002

• You have occupied a house, or a succession of houses, with a housing
association or council for a minimum of 5 years

• The maximum discount takes 20 years to acquire

• The maximum discount is 35% of the market value of all properties and
is capped at £15,000

Further restrictions – the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010

Further restrictions on the ‘Right to Buy’ were introduced by the
landlord (Scotland) Act 2010. These affected new tenants to the social rented
section and houses built, or acquired, by social landlords (new supply) after 25
June 2008.

These changes were -

New tenants - If you became a tenant of a social housing for the first
time after 1 March 2011, or if you returned to social housing after a break,
you no longer have the ‘Right to Buy’ that (or any other) house.

New supply - If you became a tenant of a ‘new supply’ house, on or after
1 March 2011 then, in general, you will not have the right to buy the ‘new
supply’ house.

Pressured area status

Local authorities/councils have the power to designate areas or types of
house as pressured, where the need for housing or a particular house type is, or
is likely to be, much greater that the housing available.

In terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010, Dumfries and Galloway
Council was given powers to make, amend and revoke pressured area status. In
2011, the council decided to extend the pressured area status for a further five
years.

In effect this means that if you have the ‘Right to Buy’ your home, your
entitlement has been suspended for another five years and therefore you will
not now be entitled to buy your home until after 4 June 2016.

Pressured area status only affects those tenants that have the
modernised ‘Right to Buy’. If you have the preserved ‘Right to Buy’ then you
will still be entitled to purchase despite your property being within a
pressured area.

Meeting the standard

DGHP has, as of March 2015, met the Scottish Housing Quality Standard
(SHQS) for our homes. All Registered Social Landlords were required to bring
all of their homes up to the standard set by the Scottish Government by March
2015.

We agreed with tenants a package to fund this programme of works – which
included installing energy efficient heating systems and installation measures
that will reduce your ongoing living costs.

As part of these works we have also installed new kitchens, bathrooms
and doors. Over the last 10 years DGHP has been working hard to deliver in the
region of £150m of investment into our homes and upgrade the housing stock to
reach the Scottish Housing Quality Standards.

We are pleased to say this work has now been carried out and our role is
now to maintain these standards over the coming years.

Opening the doors at DGHP and Home Scotland

DGHP and Home Scotland recently held an ‘open house’ event in Kelloholm
to show people the types of properties often available for let in the area.

The event – which was supported by Kirkconnel and Kelloholm Village
Pride Furniture Project – saw many people come along and speak to us about
various issues.

After attending the event, held in Hillview Leisure Centre in Kelloholm,
everyone had the option to visit a furnished property for themselves.

Sybille Trimble, a DGHP tenant who helped with the event, said: “By
opening the houses up it allows everyone to see if they could imagine themselves
living there. The local furniture project helped make the houses a home by
furnishing them with items, available in their shop in Kelloholm.

“This lets people see that furnishing your home doesn’t always have to
be expensive – there are ways to do it cheaply and that can make all the difference
between a successful tenancy and one that doesn’t last.”

Staff from DGHP and Home Scotland were on-hand with information about
current waiting list positions, available properties and representatives from
the Scottish Welfare Fund were also able to offer advice on grants.

Those attending, including many who were housing applicants, travelled
from Dumfries and Ayrshire to view the properties and speak to staff on the
day.

Repairs Scrutiny Panel

DGHP tenants have been working incredibly hard over the last year as
part of a Scrutiny Panel – and they recently presented their findings to staff
from DGHP and repairs contractor, Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS).

The focus of the Scrutiny Panel was on DGHP’s Repairs and Maintenance
service with a view to making recommendations for improvement.

Jayne Moore, Director of Housing Services with DGHP, said: “The main aim
of the panel’s work was to take an already good repairs service and make it an
excellent repairs service. That’s what we all want.

“Time and time again our tenants tell us that the most important service
to them is repairs – so we’ve placed a focus there.

“Having tenants scrutinising the service is an excellent way of making
sure what we do is right for everyone. It’s difficult to keep focused on the
fact that there are 45,000 works issued and worked on every year – inevitably
at times we’ll get it wrong.

“However, the point of this is to look at the ones we don’t do so well and
see how we can make it better.”

Gary Lester, Managing Director of Morgan Sindall Property Services,
said: “The work the Scrutiny Panel have done is excellent – they really embraced
the point of it and got into the heart of the repairs service. We have worked
with them, and DGHP, along the way and were pleased to hear their findings.

“We look forward to the future and working together - with DGHP and
customers – to shape an even better repairs service for everyone.”

The panel is made up of DGHP tenants from across Dumfries and Galloway.
They are Dorothy Grant, from Troqueer; Mary Muir, from Gretna; May Hogg, from
Dumfries; David Wilson, from Lochmaben and Willie Kirsopp from Glenluce.

The group worked intensively on the process, supported by TPAS
Scotland’s Colin Cassie and several members of staff from DGHP and our contractor.

As a result of the scrutiny group work, and issues previously identified,
a number of measures have been put in place. A joint project board aimed at
taking the repairs service to the next level in terms of customer service and efficiency
has been in place for some months now.

In addition, a member of staff has been identified to take forward
complaints specifically about repairs. This will help us establish the reason
for a complaint in the first place, and ensure we resolve it to the tenant’s satisfaction.

The tenant group had already taken part in a pilot scheme, back in March
2013, to look at the development of a single housing application form for the
new Common Housing Register.

Their work was a great success, and they even collected a prestigious
award from Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Scotland for their
work.

DO YOU Use your mobile to call us? If so, read on…

Due to recent changes in legislation for customer service telephone
lines, our 0845 number has had to change. You might have called this number
previously from a mobile phone.

If you are calling from a landline, the best number to call us on is
still Freephone 0800 011 3447 number. However, if you are using a mobile, you
can call us on 0345 606 3447 and if you have a package with free minutes
included, they can be used for this number.

Contents Insurance - Worth thinking about

As we move into the summer months, the thoughts of torrential storms,
flooding and burst or frozen pipes will be far from everyone’s minds.

But there are other factors that could put your home – and contents - at
risk. Threats, such as fire, could leave your home, and everything in it,
completely destroyed – having home contents insurance in place could make all
the difference.

We want to do everything we can to help our tenants get protected and we
would always encourage

you to think about taking out insurance.

That’s why we’ve enlisted the specialist insurance services of Thistle
Tenant Risks. Thistle Tenant Risks has created a special rate for DGHP tenants and
you can insure items such as your furniture, television, carpets, clothing and
electrical items with premiums starting from £1.11 a fortnight for under-60s
and £1.53 a fortnight for over 60s.

Premiums vary depending on the sum of items insured and your postcode.
If you would like to discuss home insurance or request an information pack and application
form, please call our Customer Service Centre on 0800 011 3447.

Federation Office Bearers announced

At the recent AGM of the Dumfries and Galloway Federation of Tenants and
Residents the new Office Bearers were elected. They are Treasurer Diane Currie,
of Annan; Chair Mary Muir, of Gretna; Secretary Dorothy Grant, of Troqueer, and
Vice- Chair Mark Shaw, of Dumfries.

Focus on antisocial behaviour

DGHP receives many complaints in relation to our tenants’ behaviours -
many of which include people leaving their wheelie bins in the street and dogs
barking. And top of the more unusual list of complaints has been one for loud
‘extra-curricular’ activities.

However none of these are actually antisocial behaviour under law - they
are classed as nuisance complaints.

While we appreciate these matters will be annoying and difficult for
people, we are also bound by law in the way in which we can deal with them.

DGHP’s Neighbourhood Managers work tirelessly with our tenants to try
and help resolve these problems - and often a bit of thought for neighbours,
and talking to each other, is enough to resolve the matter.

Other common ‘nuisance’ complaints received at DGHP include normal
domestic noise, someone running the washing machine, opening and closing doors
and people parking in the wrong place. Again, though, these are not classed as antisocial
behaviour.

DGHP has four dedicated antisocial behaviour officers (ASB) and a team
manager, who cover Dumfries and Galloway.

The law defines antisocial behaviour as ‘someone acting in a way that
causes, or is likely to cause, alarm or distress’.

Or, ‘If someone follows a path of behaviour that causes, or is likely to
case, alarm or distress to at least one other person who is not in the same
household’.

Christopher Watt, DGHP Housing Services in-house solicitor, said: “Our
tenants should not have to live in fear. We take antisocial behaviour very
seriously.

“We currently have 14 ASBOs in operation against tenants at the moment.
And last year we also had to end a tenant’s lease for antisocial behaviour.

“ASBOs are a last resort for us and may take a while to build up a case
to take to court. We have to work within the law.

“We have found them to be very effective. They are a sufficient tool to
stop bad behaviour towards a neighbour. ASBOs work. If anyone were to breach an
ASBO they would be automatically arrested and held in custody until the next court
date. That is enough of a deterrent. And they could also then be looking at
losing their home.

“DGHP meets all the costs of going to court to seek an ASBO, which is a
few hundred pounds in each case. Money has never been a consideration, we do
what we have to, to protect our tenants.”

Common examples of actual antisocial behaviour reported by DGHP tenants
include a party with loud music into the early hours, or people shouting on a
regular basis, screaming or fighting within communal entry ways, or so loudly
it can be heard out-with the property.

DGHP has now produced a new antisocial behaviour information pack which
is sent out to any tenant who reports a genuine ASB problem as defined by the
law, along with a follow up visit by an ASB officer. We also, as regular readers
of Open Door will know, publish names of those who have been evicted from their
homes as a result of ASB.

The new ASBO pack contains an incident diary which was suggested by its
tenant groups. Christopher says this is important as all incidents should be
recorded for potential use in bringing a case to court. There is also a quick guide,
and information on what happens when ASB is reported and what happens in court.

And so far we’ve had great feedback from tenants. One woman, who was
involved in an ASB case last July, said of the new packs: “The packs are great.
I was very unsure at the start of my case as to who to call and what to report,
the pack makes it very clear. It will prove very useful for those involved and
it provides a lot of assurance as the case progresses.”

One couple, who had reported ASB last year, added: “The packs are really
helpful, and they will help people report more often as they are so
straightforward. This will hopefully, in some cases, help reach a conclusion
sooner.”

As part of an investigation the ASB officers meet with the person
accused of antisocial behaviour. And as the law requires them to be given a chance
to mend their ways before seeking legal sanctions, they will be given a verbal
and written warning in the first instance, or sometimes two written warnings are
given.

The situation has to be monitored for improvement over a period of time
before seeking court action. It could be that the perpetrator may have mental
health or learning difficulties which could be a contributing factor to their behaviour
and needing a referral to social services.

Christopher said: “It is important they understand what is antisocial
behaviour under the law and what isn’t.

“If it cannot be resolved, it is going to end up in court. We would not
like to think that going to court would put people off from reporting antisocial
behaviour. The courts will take anonymous evidence and professional witness statements.

“All complaints raised are taken seriously and those that are not
antisocial behaviour but are passed to another appropriate officer within DGHP
to be dealt with.”

What is antisocial behaviour?

The most common examples of antisocial behaviour include -

• Someone having a party with loud music blaring late into the night or
early hours of the morning

• People shouting, screaming or fighting within communal entry ways - or
if it is so loud that it can be heard outwith the property

• Someone having a large number of people within their property, which
in turn causes an unreasonable level of noise, which can be heard outside the
property

And what is NOT antisocial behaviour?

Some examples of issues which are not classed as antisocial behaviour
include -

• Normal domestic living noise such as people opening and closing
internal doors or kitchen cupboards

• Running the washing machine or vacuum cleaner

• Normal levels of dog barking

• People parking in the wrong place

• Someone leaving their wheelie bins out in the street

It is very important that people who live in flats or semi-detached
houses must be aware of their neighbours and remember that noise can travel
through walls and floors. Please be courteous towards your neighbours in order
to prevent disputes from arising. If you feel you are affected by antisocial behaviour
please call us on Freephone 0800 011 3447.

DMC News

DGHP’s District Management Committees each hold an annual diversity day,
where they join forces with an under-represented group in their community and
spend time learning more about what DGHP could do to help these groups.

Annandale and Eskdale

This year, Annandale and Eskdale’s DMC chose to engage with the older
people living in our sheltered housing complexes in Annan.

The DMC members joined 30 tenants from five complexes at The Anglers and
spent the morning enjoying technological tasters, learning how to use iPads,
Kindle F ires and other pieces of tech many of us have at home.

David Wilson, an Annandale DMC member from Lochmaben, said: “This was an
excellent event. We had a great turnout and I think we’ve all learned
something!”

Nithsdale

The Nithsdale DMC spent an afternoon with Summerhill Parent and Toddler
group in Dumfries, even enjoying a visit from the Easter bunny.

The event gave members the chance to meet some of our tenants and their
families, taking part in arts and crafts, Easter activities and talking to the
group who came along.

John McCraw, Chair of the N ithsdale DMC said: “Local groups like this
are critical for people

with young families. It’s been a fantastic chance to learn more about
what our tenants need in this area.”

Stewartry

Members of the Stewartry DMC joined the Dumfries and Galloway Hard of
Hearing Group in Kirkcudbright for their monthly meeting in March.

The Hard of Hearing Group meets in Kirkcudbright once a month and the
members spent the afternoon taking part in an outreach session.

Wigtown

The Wigtown DMC members still have their diversity day to look forward
to. Look out for more information in the next edition of Open Door.

Tenant Community Fund

A number of projects across the region have celebrated their Tenant Community
Fund grant awards recently.

In Annan, Kate’s Kitchen’s MPowerU2 project was awarded £5,000 to
facilitate a selfsustaining life skills training programme for local people.
Diane Currie, DMC Chair for Annandale and Eskdale said: “We were delighted to
support this project that will help so many people get back into work.”

Annan CAN also received £5,000 from the Annandale District Management
Committee. The funding will provide furniture and household goods to DGHP
tenants in need. Alis Ballance from the project said: “It’s great to be working
in partnership with DGHP on such a worthwhile project.”

Over in the west of the region, the Apex Moving In project received
£4,600 to provide starter packs of non-electrical goods for new tenants setting
up home. Gary Small, manager of Apex Stranraer, said: “DGHP has been the largest
referral agency to this service and to receive this grant from them has been marvellous.”

The Stranraer Furniture Project also received a £4,600 grant from the
Wigtown DMC. This grant will provide essential furniture and electrical goods
to DGHP tenants. David Cohen, Wigtown DMC member, said: “It’s fantastic that so
many people in Stranraer will benefit from this funding and the support from
this project.”

In Dumfries, two furniture projects had reasons to celebrate. SHAX F
urniture Project, based at the Crichton campus in the town, received £4,750 to
provide personal and household essentials to help those in crisis. The
Nithsdale Furniture Project was awarded £5,000 to provide low cost or free
household goods to DGHP tenants in need.

Anne Coupland, Nithsdale DMC member said: “There are some fantastic
services operating in our area and it’s a pleasure to be able to help both SHAX
and the N ithsdale F urniture Project to support our tenants.”

Tribute to former DGHP Chairman

Former DGHP Chairman, John Potts, sadly passed away earlier this year. John,
from Thornhill, was a qualified Master Joiner and a retired self-employed
building contractor. He had an extensive knowledge of the building trade.

During his years as Chairman of DGHP he was always at the forefront of
the company, getting hands on in any activities that took place. David McMillan,
Chairman of DGHP, said: “John was involved with DGHP from the very beginning and
the work he did over the years to make sure tenants are at the core of everything
we do will live on.”

John first joined DGHP’s Shadow Board during the pre-transfer period in
O ctober 2000. He was a tenant member of DGHP’s Board from April 2003 and became
Chairman in 2008. He remained in the position until October 2011.

He remained on the Board until September 2013 where he then moved on to
DGHP’s Nithsdale District Management Committee, where he was a member until he
died earlier this year.

Get involved with DGHP

Do you have an interest in DGHP? Would you like to be a bit more
involved? If so, we could have just the role for you.

There are many ways you can get more involved with your social landlord –
ranging from taking part in focus groups, once a year, to taking part in more
regular groups, joining our District Management Committees or even our Board.

If you’d like to get involved - there really is an opportunity for you
to do that. There is something to suit everyone.

If you are interested in getting more involved with DGHP, but not sure
in what way, contact us and we can have a chat. Call us on Freephone 0800 011
3447 and ask for the Community Participation team.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a member on our
Board of Management, please get in touch with us and ask for Brian Scott - on
Freephone 0800 011 3447 or email brian.scott@dghp.org.uk

We will -

• Give you all the support and help you need - every step of the way

• Pair you up with another ‘buddy’ Board member to support you in those
first few months

• Cover your expenses and any childcare costs (if required during your
attendance at meetings)

We look forward to hearing from you.

Investment works planned

As DGHP is now at the end of several investment programmes, which met
the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), some additional works are being
introduced.

Although several works have finished, the achievement of SHQS does not
end here. There is a requirement to keep social homes at this standard forever,
or until the SHQS is revised.

Several new contracts are being embarked upon – specifically for
replacing existing gas back boilers, door entry systems and aids and adaptation
works.

Affordable energy efficient heating is not only a priority for our
tenants, but critical to the success of DGHP. The new Energy Efficiency Standard
for Social Housing (EESSH) requires improved ratings for our homes by 2020, meaning
we will need to continue to improve our systems. The first part of these works
will include replacing all existing gas back boilers, of which we have almost
2000.

We have almost 1000 in Annandale, just under 500 in N ithsdale, 258 in
the Stewartry and 268 in the West. A further 922 non-gas homes will also receive
new condensing boilers where gas is available and we will also be updating storage
heating.

James Shirazi, Director of Invesment and Regeneration, said: “In the
last few years, we have seen an increasing number of people reporting faults
with the back boilers. Around 75% of all tenants with a back boiler reported at
least one fault and 56% reported two or more.

“The proposed works will upgrade the systems to condensing boilers with
new radiators.

During the works we will also incorporate low cost energy measures,
energy advice and full data for a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).”

We will also be looking at replacing some common front door secure entry
systems. New systems will allow tenants to be informed when a visitor has
arrived and will also allow an electronic mechanism to open the common front
door without someone having to go to the front door. This will apply where
there are four or more flats.

Initially, we will be looking at approximately 152 blocks/709 flats
across the region with 15 in Annandale, 98 in N ithsdale, 15 in the Stewartry
and 24 in the west. We hope work will begin in Autumn 2015 for 18 months.

All tenants have been offered - at least once – the chance to have a new
kitchen or bathroom installed. However, a small number refused (for various
reasons) and these will still need to be changed at some point in the future
(change of tenancy etc). This can, however, make it difficult to tender works
as we don’t know when they will take place.

For our main adaptation works we have, in the past, been able to use our
major investment programmes to undertake work quickly. However, with these
ending, we need to look at new provisions.

Again, this is also a very responsive service meeting tenants and their
changing family needs – and can range from handrails to full extensions. We will
make sure when reprocuring the works that a key requirement will be that the
contractor can react quickly.

We propose to combine the adaptations and legacy works into one
contract, or area contracts.

It has also been agreed, as a result of what we’ve learned in previous
years, that any new works will be grouped together to keep disruption to our
tenants to a minimum.

Rent increase feedback

As you will have been notified, DGHP’s Board of Management has agreed to
increase rents by 4.05% from April 2015 (3.3% for tenants in new-build properties
as previously agreed due to these houses already meeting Scottish Housing
Quality Standards).

You will already have received a letter telling you of the new rent you
will pay and if you need to speak to us about it you can do so by calling the
Customer Service Centre on Freephone 0800 011 3447. In addition, if you do not
currently claim housing benefit and you now wish to do so, contact housing
benefit staff at the council on 030 33 33 3000.

If you already receive housing benefit, you will also be notified of
your new entitlement. If your income or circumstances have changed you must inform
your local housing benefit office.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your
feedback and comments following the consultation period for the rent increase.

Regeneration programme step closer to completion

DGHP’s regeneration programme is nearing completion in Dumfries and Stranraer
with only 107 properties left to finish.

A total of 33 properties for social rent will be completed in Dickshill,
Stranraer and a further 20 for rent in Lochside, Dumfries. In Dickshill, there
will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom houses and flats available for
social rent.

In Lochside, due to high demand for properties for sale, 34 properties
will be completed and sold under the New Supply Shared Equity Scheme. In addition,
another 20 will be available on the site for Mid-Market Rent (MMR).

Important information on paying your rent

You can now no longer pay your rent at a Dumfries and Galloway Council
Customer Service Centre - following a recent review of council services.

The review was part of a wider change programme, with the first service
centres ceasing to take rent payments back in August 2013, with the final few
offices stopping this summer.

Regardless of where you are in the region, council offices will no
longer accept payment and it’s time to choose an alternative method of payment.

If you’ve got a bank account, the most convenient way to pay your rent
is by Direct Debit. If you want to set one up, please call us on 0800 011 3447
and an officer will make the necessary arrangements for you.

It’s hassle-free and doesn’t require any action from you – except from
making sure there is enough money available in your account to take the
payment.

OUT OF HOURS TELEPHONE PAYMENTS

If you are unable to pay by any of the methods above, and it is out of hours.
You can also make payments to DGHP using your bank debit card by telephone with
allpay’s automated voice recognition service.

This method is secure and can be reached by calling 0844 557 8321. You
will need your HomeCard so you can quote the 19-digit number across the centre
of the card.

Always have your DGHP HomeCard with you to pay your rent. Contact our
customer servic e centre on 0800 011 3447 if you have lost your HomeCard and we
will arrange a replacement.

In an open letter to all tenants, DGHP’s Chairman David McMillan said

I am sure that some of you may have read recent newspaper articles about
DGHP and its appointment of R &D to demolish and re-build new homes in
Lochside in Dumfries and Dicks Hill in Stranraer.

The Board and I have resisted responding to date. We have, however, discussed
the matter with the Federation of Tenants’ and Residents’ Association because
we want our tenants, who are after all THE most important people in DGHP’s operations,
to know the facts about R&D and its contract with us. We therefore feel the
time is right to set the record straight. We believe there are five key facts
that we need to clarify:-

1. Did we pay R&D £77million before it ceased trading?

No. This was the estimated cost of demolishing all the old properties
and building new ones in both Lochside and Dicks Hill – in other words, £77million
was the total value of the regeneration contract.

However, we only paid R &D for works it completed. For example, when
the foundations for a particular phase of properties were concluded, an invoice
would be submitted and checked for accuracy – and value for money – by our
Architects and Quantity Surveyors. Only once these thorough checks were
completed did we pay for that work. This is normal arrangement for a construction
contract.

In addition, and as part of managing risk, DGHP also retained monies
that acted as our “insurance” against any future losses we may have incurred. In
this case, the money retained covered the cost of having to re-tender the contract
after R &D ceased trading. This was good management because DGHP did not incur
any additional cost.

2. Has there been any loss of public money?

No. Funds for the regeneration work came from the Scottish Government,
Dumfries and Galloway Council, and DGHP’s own private finance. Every penny of
this funding is accounted for, and has been audited each year by our external
auditors as part of the preparation of our annual accounts. Our accounts are
published publicly every year.

3. Should R&D have been appointed?

Yes. When the Scottish Government, Dumfries and Galloway Council and
DGHP undertook this regeneration programme back in 2009, a detailed tender
process was undertaken in accordance with procurement law.

R&D’s tender was scored by all parties to be the best. At that time,
we carried out detailed financial testing to ensure that all tendering contractors
were financially stable enough to carry out a contract of this size. Like the
other contractors, R &D passed the financial tests.

These financial tests were recently reviewed – through an investigation
carried out by a respected firm of auditors – and it was found that DGHP acted
correctly by appointing R &D. This investigation report is on our website.

It is important to note that in 2009/10, the construction industry hit
an all-time low with the downturn in the economy and 1,750 companies across the
UK suffered the same fate as R &D.

4. Are our tenants’ new homes in poor condition?

No. Our tenants, in the main, are very happy in their new homes. To give
you some reassurance, we have had two independent structural surveys carried
out. These not only looked at the physical condition of the properties, but
also considered the level of day-to-day repairs that have been required since
tenants moved in. Both surveys came back saying that the houses were built to a
very good standard.

In addition, an independent market research company managed to speak
personally with 240 tenants living in these new homes:

• 99.2% of those surveyed were very satisfied or satisfied with their
home when they moved in

• 93% remain very satisfied or satisfied today. We have contacted those
who expressed dis satisfaction and, of the 16 tenants we talked to, 5 raised
issues that were not in fact connected to the condition of their property e.g.
location, garden etc and we have addressed all the remaining matters directly
with the tenants concerned.

• It is also good to note that over 98% of those surveyed felt that
moving to their new home had a positive impact on their life.

We hope to be able to build a lot more homes in the future so more
tenants can benefit in this way.

5. Who is submitting a petition about the appointment of R&D?

It is my thoughts that a number of unions are representing those
sub-contractors who lost money when R &D ceased trading.

We are, of course, sympathetic to anyone who lost money as a result of R
&D being liquidated, but DGHP did not employ or have any direct relationship
with any sub-contractor.

These sub-contractors entered into their own commercial terms with R
&D and we would have expected them to consider how they could protect themselves
against any risk – as DGHP did – especially at a time when the construction
industry was suffering as a result of the global economic situation.

R&D was a well-established, well-respected company and many of us
either worked for and knew someone who worked for it over the years. Their demise
was most unfortunate, but our priority is – and always will be – to protect your
interest and that of your 10,300 fellow tenants. We believe we have done that.

I hope this information clarifies matters for you. If you would like to
speak to us about any of these matters please email us at customerservice@dghp.org.uk

Best wishes

David McMillan

DGHP holds heating and energy efficiency event

DGHP held an energy efficiency and heating awareness event recently, in
the Machars town of Wigtown.

The event – which took place in partnership with several support
agencies – saw many people receive tips and advice on how best to save money
and energy around their home.

DGHP tenants and housing applicants came from Stranraer, the Machars and
as far away as Ayrshire to the event. Many said the day was the “ideal opportunity
to learn more about how to save money in their home.”

With more and more people struggling to pay their heating and energy
bills, DGHP organised the event to provide people with real, tangible advice
and tips when it came to saving money.

One woman who attended the event, Mrs Harwood, said: “It was really good
to be able to come and speak to everyone involved, under the one roof. Everyone
helped me so much and I got some really good advice about how to save at home -
things that I can really go and do right now.”

People attending spoke to DGHP and others about various matters,
including housing applications, available properties to let, heating systems
and energy advice.

During the day one visitor even managed to save around £150 on her
annual heating bills through doing some checks.

DGHP are currently carrying out a number of home heating checks and if
any of our tenants would like to book one, or talk to us about anything heating/energy
related, they can contact us on Freephone 0800 011 3447.

Homes4D&G update

It is almost 10 months since the launch of Dumfries and Galloway’s
Common Housing Register (CHR) – Homes4D&G.

Applicants now complete one single application form for housing with all
four Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in Dumfries and Galloway.

If you’re looking for a new home, there are a few simple things you can do
to make finding somewhere new to live even easier.

Apply for a transfer

You can apply to Homes4D&G for a transfer by simply completing an
application form available from any area office of one of the Homes4D&G
partners. Alternatively, you can apply online anytime at

www.homes4dg.org.uk

The partners include DGHP, Home Scotland, Irvine Housing Association and
Loreburn Housing Associations.

Make the most of your choices

When you apply to Homes4D&G for a transfer, make sure you have indicated
property types and areas you would be happy to live in. If you don’t want to
live in a flat, and you have a flat selected on your application, you could be
matched for one.

Ensure that your selections are as wide as you would be happy to live in
- that way you’ve given yourself a much larger area to be rehoused in.

List your property for an exchange

If you’re currently in a DGHP property, you can exchange with another council/housing
association tenant nationally.

However, Homes4D&G runs a local exchange board online - you can add your
property, browse other available properties and look for a new home nearby or
further away.

Visit www.homes4dg.org.uk to register your home.

Check our ‘Available Properties’ from all partners

Each week a list of available properties from each partner landlord is
published on the Homes4D&G website. This list changes week to week, but
there are bungalows, flats and houses available in various locations across
Dumfries and Galloway.

Once you have identified a property that you are interested in, you can call
0800 011 3447 to note your interest.

Please note, you must have a current active housing application to be
considered for any available properties - normal allocation rules apply.

Bogus callers

Bogus callers, or doorstep crime, can affect anyone and it is something
that many people, quite rightly, fear.

When staff from DGHP, or any of our contractors, call at your home to
visit or carry out a repair, please check they have ID with them.

There are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself, and your
home, safe. As the better weather, and lighter nights, arrive, more fraudsters
take their chance on doorsteps across the region.

To help keep yourself safe, follow these simple steps

• Check ID - If you are unsure of any caller’s identity, check their
identification carefully. Photographic ID provided by any organisation such as

Dumfries and Galloway Homes

Dumfries and Galloway Homes offers alternative rented accommodation and is managed by Loreburn Housing Association.

A full list of available Dumfries and Galloway Homes properties can be found here.

For more information, to view or to apply, please contact Seonaid Hislop on 01387 321300.

HomeSwapper

HomeSwapper is the UK’s largest property swap service. The service allows tenants across the whole of the country to make a mutual exchange rather than sit on waiting or transfer lists to move elsewhere.

This service is free to existing tenants if your landlord has signed up to HomeSwapper.

In Dumfries and Galloway, you can access HomeSwapper for free if you are a tenant of:

• Home Scotland
• Irvine Housing Association

The online system is easy to use. You register your own property, use photographs and an in-depth description of your home. You also need to enter information about where you would like to live and the type of property you would like to move to.

The system matches properties or swappers with any others that are online when criteria match up.

You can still use HomeSwapper if you are a tenant of Loreburn Housing Association or DGHP. However you will be charged for using the service.

Similar to a mutual exchange, once a tenant has found someone to exchange with, both parties need to contact their landlord to complete an exchange application form. Tenants cannot exchange homes until they have received permission from their landlord.

Complaints

If you are dissatisfied with the level of service you have received from Homes4D&G, e.g. regarding the actual allocation of a property not meeting our published service standards, each Homes4D&G partner has a complaints procedure that is simple and easy to use.

You can contact any Homes4D&G partner to ask for a copy of their complaints procedure.

If the complaint is about the way in which your application has been registered or anything that is directly associated with the Homes4D&G team/duties, you would follow DGHP’s Complaints Handling Procedure.

Our complaints procedures will explain each step of our process, and how you can appeal to the Public Services Ombudsman. You must generally use our internal complaints system before contacting the Ombudsman.

Please call us on 0300 123 1230 if you require any further assistance.

Applying for housing

Who can apply for housing?

Anyone aged 16 or over can make an application for housing to Homes4D&G. This does not mean, however, that an applicant has an automatic right to receive an offer of housing.

How do I apply for housing?

To apply for housing with Homes4D&G all applicants must complete a housing application form. Forms can be obtained either in person, over the phone, by post or online.

In person - from any open office of the partners - DGHP, Loreburn HA, Home Scotland or Irvine HA

Over the phone - by calling Homes4D&G direct on 0300 123 1230. We are open Monday to Friday, 8am - 7pm to take your calls.

By post - if you let us know you’d like one, we can send you out a form and you can return it to us at the freepost address -

Homes4D&G,
Freepost RTHU-YA SL-XCJC,
DG12 6AJ

Online - you can either download the form here and complete them by hand, or click here to complete online now.

Types of properties

Sheltered housing

Sheltered housing properties allow older people to retain a high degree of independence within their home.

You can make an application for sheltered housing if:

• You are over 60 or you have a current medical, social, safety or particular housing need that could be met by sheltered housing or if sheltered housing would benefit you in the future

If you live alone or as part of a couple, you are eligible to make an application. In the case of couples, only one applicant needs to meet the criteria above.

Amenity properties

Amenity housing is generally ground floor accommodation or barrier free properties that are built to certain standards making them suitable for older and/or disabled people.

Homes4D&G partners recognise that, in some cases, there are people of all ages who would benefit from this type of housing.

You can make an application for amenity housing if:

• You are over 50 or
• You have a medical condition and would benefit from the features of this type of accommodation

Adapted properties

These include houses purposely built for disabled people as well as homes that have been significantly adapted.

If you require a specifically adapted property because you have a particular health need or a disability, we will make a referral to the Homes4D&G Occupational Therapist to make sure that a full needs assessment is undertaken. When allocating adapted housing, the applicant’s suitability will be the determining factor so it is important that we fully understand the type of property you need.

Other property types

These include houses, flats, bedsits, maisonettes and bungalows.

Points system

We will award points to waiting list and transfer applicants based on your current living arrangements.

Overcrowding

You will receive points if you have less bedrooms in your current home than we assess your household to need. Points will be awarded for every bedroom you are short if you are moving to larger accommodation

One bedroom - 40pts
Two bedrooms - 80pts
Three Bedrooms or more - 120pts

Under-occupation

Points will be awarded to partner landlord tenants under-occupying properties in Dumfries and Galloway, if your home is too large for your needs and you are moving to smaller accommodation

One Bedroom - 5pts
Two Bedrooms - 10pts
Three Bedrooms or more - 15pts

Below Tolerable Standards (BTS)

If your current property has been declared as significantly Below Tolerable Standard (BTS) - 60pts

Insecure tenure

If you live in private rented accommodation and have a Short Assured Tenancy - 5pts

If you are under threat of losing your home through no fault of your own - 50pts

If you live in tied accommodation and you have been told you need to leave within 6 months - 50pts

Medical needs

Points will be awarded following completion of a medical housing assessment. Points will be awarded based on this assessment of your needs

Level 1 Low - 25 points
Level 2 Medium - 50 points
Level 3 High - 75 points

Sharing facilities

Points will be awarded if you have to share facilities with people who are not going to be re-housed with you, i.e. if you share a bathroom, kitchen or living-room

Sharing with family - 15 points
Sharing with non-family - 30 points

Providing or receiving help to live independently

Points will be awarded if you need to move to provide help to someone to allow them to live independently.

Points may also be awarded if you need to move so that you can receive help from someone to allow you to live independently - 10 points

Living in flats

If you have children, aged under 12, who are living in a flat, with a communal entrance and shared garden - 20 points

Processing applications

Our target for assessing your completed application is 10 working days from the date you submit the form to us. You will then be sent written confirmation of your housing application details, including the number of points you have been awarded.

If you do not give us enough information, your assessment may be delayed as a result. If required, we may request additional information from you.

We will carry out relevant checks to make sure that you have been awarded the correct number of points.

Applicant choice

When you make an application for housing you will be able to choose:

• The Homes4D&G partner(s) that you would prefer to be your landlord
• The areas that you would most like to live in and
• The property types you would most like to live in

There are no limits on the number of areas that you can choose.

We will provide you with clear information about the stock held by all four Homes4D&G partners, so that you can make informed choices when selecting your preferred areas that maximise your opportunities for rehousing.

Housing categories

Homes4D&G has four housing categories to allocate from. They are Strategic Needs group, Homeless group, Transfer applicants and Waiting List applicants.

Strategic needs group

This group is designed to meet urgent or exceptional housing need as quickly and successfully as possible. If you are placed in this group you may be given priority over other types of housing applicants because of the urgent circumstances you are facing.

This group can include applicants who are:

• Looked after and accommodated children
• People who have complex health and/or social care needs
• People at risk of/experiencing domestic abuse
• People at risk of/experiencing serious harassment
• Armed forces personnel leaving active service
• People who require to leave home as a result of regeneration activity
• Witness protection cases and
• Exceptional circumstances

These applications will be placed in date order, based on the date the decision was made to place your application in this group.

Homeless group

If the council finds that you are ‘unintentionally homeless’ it means you are homeless through no fault of your own and because of your circumstances you will be offered accommodation by one of the Homes4D&G partners. If this is the case, your application will be placed in this group and we prioritise your application, based on the date which you applied for a homelessness assessment.

Transfer applicants

Transfer applicants are current tenants of Homes4D&G landlords who live in Dumfries and Galloway and want to move to a new home.

Waiting list applicants

Waiting list applicants are those who do not qualify in any of the other housing groups (i.e. strategic needs or homeless), and who want to move into the social housing sector.

This group also includes applicants who are tenants of one of the Homes4D&G partners, but who do not live in Dumfries and Galloway.The housing needs of applicants in the waiting list or transfer list groups will be fully assessed and we will award points depending on personal circumstances and current housing situation.

If applicants on either the waiting list or transfer list share the same number of points, they will be prioritised based on date of application. This means that if two applicants have the same number of points, the applicant who registered first will be given greater priority, if a suitable property becomes available.

We award points for eight main reasons -

• Overcrowding
• Under-occupation (transfer applicants only)
• Below Tolerable Standard (BTS)
• Insecure tenure
• Medical needs
• Sharing facilities
• Providing or receiving help to live independently and
• Living in flats

Within the points system you can usually receive points in every category that applies to you.

Common allocation policy

DGHP, Loreburn HA, Home Scotland and Irvine HA all use the same allocation policy.

Because all partners use the policy, it is called a ‘Common Allocation Policy’. This means that everyone applying for housing will have their circumstances assessed in exactly the same way.

Because there’s not enough social housing to meet the needs of every applicant in Dumfries and Galloway, we must have a policy that sets out a clear framework giving priority to those in the greatest need of housing.

Homes4D&G operates a ‘group plus points’ system to allocate houses, meaning that points are awarded to applicants who show they are in housing need - e.g. if they are overcrowded or living in a private rented house that is Below Tolerable Standard (BTS). Once points have been awarded, an application will be placed in one of four groups, best reflecting circumstances.

Most applicants will be placed on either the waiting list or transfer list. Applicants on the waiting list could be from the private rented sector, they may be owner occupiers or they could still be living in the family home.

Transfer applicants will be from all partner landlords with Homes4D&G, living in Dumfries and Galloway, who are looking to move to another property.

The remaining lets will go to people, recognised as homeless by the local council. They will go through an assessment and if they are deemed unintentionally homeless, or have been threatened with homelessness, they will be placed in this category.

Some lets will also go to those in the strategic needs category (including applicants discharged from long-term hospital care, domestic abuse, armed forces etc).

What if my circumstances change and I no longer need help?

You may find that you may not need Dumfries and Galloway Council’s assistance. You may find your own accommodation, or decide to remain where you are, or you may have reunited with your family, partner or spouse.

Whatever the reason, if you decide not to go ahead with your homeless application, just let the council know. You can re-apply at any time if you need any help in the future.

If your circumstances change in any other way for example your contact details, who will be moving with you, your income then please contact the council or your homelessness officer as soon as possible.

The final part of the guide looks at other agencies who can help you, click next to learn more

Next >

< Back to finding your local office

How long will it take before I am offered a permanent home?

Homes4D&G have a limited number of properties available in Dumfries and Galloway. The amount of time it takes before you are made an offer of housing varies and will depend on the number of vacancies, the area in which you require housing, the size and type of accommodation you require.

Your officer will keep in touch with you on a regular basis to provide you with an update.

Click next to find out where your nearest office of Dumfries and Galloway Council is

Next >

< Back to what’s next if I’m assessed as homeless

What’s next if I’m assessed as homeless?

If you are unintentionally homeless and have a local connection in the area, the council will refer you to Homes4D&G for permanent housing.

Homes4D&G is the new common housing register for Dumfries and Galloway which came into effect in June 2014.

Your details will then be shared among four landlords who are Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Loreburn Housing, Home Scotland and Irvine Housing Association.

Your homeless application will be placed into the Homeless Group. Your application will then be prioritised based on the date you presented as homeless. If more than one homeless applicant has an equal need for a property, Homes4D&G will offer the property to the homeless applicant who presented as homeless first.

Homes4D&G will make one offer of accommodation.

In the meantime, you will either be entitled to stay in temporary accommodation if the council has placed you there, or you will be offered temporary accommodation if you need somewhere to stay until permanent accommodation is secured.

Click next to learn more about how long it will take to be offered a permanent home

Next >

<Back to how is my application assessed

What happens if I disagree with the decision the council makes?

If you do not agree with the decision the council makes, or you think that a mistake has been made, speak up and get some independent advice.

Under the terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, the council have a legal duty to review their decision if you ask them to.

You have the right to appeal any decision relating to your homeless application within 21 days of your decision being reached.

If you wish to appeal against the council’s decision, you should write to the Homelessness Manager clearly stating the reason for your appeal.

You can also access independent advice from Citizens Advice Bureau who can act on your behalf. The council will then invite you to come to an interview to discuss your appeal.

< Back to what’s next if I’m assessed as not homeless

< Back to homeless homepage

Finding your local office

Report to nearest homeless team if you need assistance:

If you are in Annandale and Eskdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Annandale & Eskdale
High Street
ANNAN
DG12 6AQ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessannan@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in Nithsdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Nithsdale
52-60 Queensberry Square
Dumfries
DG1 1BF

Tel: 030 33 33 30000

homelessdumfries@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in the Stewartry:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Stewartry
Council Offices
Daar Road
Kirkcudbright
DG6 4JG

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelesskirkcudbright@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in Wigtown:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Wigtown
Council Offices
Sun Street
Stranraer
DG9 7JJ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessstranraer@dumgal.gov.uk

Click next to find out more about what to do if your circumstances change

Next >

< Back to how long will it take before I’m offered a permanent home

What’s next if I’m assessed as not homeless?

If after considering your application the council decide that you are not homeless under the terms of the legislation, or that you are intentionally homeless, it means that the council do not have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation.

The council should come to a decision within 28 days. After that time, you should receive a decision letter which explains the reasons behind the decisions and what happens next.

If you were placed in temporary accommodation while your application was being assessed, the council will give you reasonable notice to leave, and offer you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to stay.

If you’re not happy with the decision, click next to find out what to do if you want to challenge it

Next >

< Back to homeless homepage

How is my application assessed?

Your application will be assessed against current homeless legislation and the Scottish Government’s Code of Guidance on Homelessness

These say that the council must consider:

• whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness;
• whether you are intentionally homeless;
• whether you have a local connection with Dumfries and Galloway

The council will issue you with a formal written decision usually within 28 days of the date of your application.

The decision may be delayed if the council do not have all the relevant information they need.

Who else will the council contact to get information about your application?

The council will only contact people and agencies who can provide relevant information relating to your homeless application, such as:

· other council departments, including Social Work Services and Revenue and Benefits
· your landlord
· mortgage lenders
· police
· solicitors
· healthcare professionals
· support services

Your officer will not speak to anyone you don’t want them to, for example, your parents, an ex-partner or an abusive neighbour.

You don’t have to stay in temporary accommodation while the council make their inquiries. Staying with friends or family will not affect your application.

Not everyone is assessed as homeless, click here to find out what to do next if you are not deemed to be homeless.

If your assessment deems you to be homeless, click next for information on what happens next

Next >

< Back to what will the homelessness officer ask

What will the homelessness officer ask?

When you go for your interview, you will be asked some questions about your situation and about how you became homeless.

The questions will be things like:

  • how many people there are in your household and who they are
  • where you have been living more recently
  • why you left or will have to leave your accommodation
  • if you will be able to return there or not
  • if there is anywhere you can stay on a short term basis, perhaps with relatives or friends
  • any health problems or disabilities you or anyone in your household has
  • any problems you have had with domestic abuse or other forms of harassment
  • your financial circumstances (covering things like your income, the benefits you receive and any employment)

Some of the questions might be difficult to answer and there might be things you don’t want to tell the member of staff. The officer needs to have the full extent of your situation to make the best decision for you.

Click next to learn more about how applications are assessed

Next >

< Back to how do I apply as homeless

How do I apply as homeless?

The most straightforward way of making a homeless application is by going to an office of Dumfries and Galloway Council and explaining that you are there to make a homeless application.

Once you’ve had your initial housing options interview {see What happens when you come to the council for help} and you want to proceed with a homeless application, you will be interviewed again and an application will be completed for you.

It helps to be prepared when you come to your interview – the member of staff interviewing you will need to make a decision on your application and your circumstances. If you bring all relevant paperwork with you to the interview, it will allow your homelessness officer to assess your application as quickly as possible.

This might include bringing:

• a copy of your current tenancy agreement
• proof of identity such as birth certificate or passport
• proof of your national insurance number
• details of your income, including benefits, bank statements and wage slips etc
• if your home is being sold, confirmation of the sale of the property
• if your home is being repossessed, the court summons for repossession
• if you are presenting as a household with children, then your children’s birth certificates and confirmation of custody arrangements if applicable
• if you are pregnant, your maternity certificate (MATB1)
• if your current tenancy is ending, any documentation relating to the tenancy and the ending of it.

This may include: a copy of your lease or contract (if tied accommodation), legal Notice to Quit, AT5, AT6 or Section 33 notice.

Don’t worry if you can’t get all of the information together that you need before your interview – Dumfries and Galloway Council will give you time to gather the relevant documents that they need to process your application.

At the interview

You may bring a relative, friend, support worker or other representative with you. You will also be asked if you wish to be interviewed by a member of staff of the same sex if you would feel more comfortable with them.

Dumfries and Galloway Council will keep your details confidential and will only use your information to assess your application under the conditions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

During the interview, the homelessness officer will explain the application to you clearly, check if you have anywhere to stay and arrange emergency accommodation for you if you need it.

An assessment will be carried out based on the information you have provided.

The council will issue you with a formal written decision and this will take place within 28 days of the date of your application. The decision may be delayed if the council do not have all the relevant information they need.

Click next to prepare for what the homelessness officer will ask

Next >

< Back to what happens when you come to the council for help

What happens when you come to the council for help?

Before any help to find you a home can start from Dumfries and Galloway Council, you need to make a homeless application.

When you present yourself as homeless at one of the council offices across the region, the council will arrange for you to have a private interview with a trained member of staff.

Dumfries and Galloway Council interviews homeless applicants as quickly as possible. You may be offered an interview straight away, or the council may make an appointment for you to come back.

If you don’t have anywhere to stay, you should be interviewed on the same day. Interviews are usually held at the council offers and are the first stage in the process for you to access help and support as a homeless person.

Initially, you discuss your current circumstances in a housing options interview. If you decide that you wish to proceed with a homeless application, you will be interviewed by a homelessness officer who will help you through the process.

Click next to learn more about making a homeless application

Next >

< Back to nowhere to stay

Nowhere to stay tonight?

Nowhere to stay tonight? Dumfries and Galloway Council operates an out of hours service that you can call on 0800 811 505 – if you have nowhere to stay tonight, the Emergency service will help you find somewhere to stay.

If you then decide to decline the offer of accommodation that the council makes to you, it’s still very important to make contact with the homeless service as soon as possible. Even if you are staying with friends or family, the council will work with you to resolve your housing problems.

Wherever possible, Dumfries and Galloway Council will do everything they can to prevent you becoming homeless.

If you need to apply to Dumfries and Galloway Council as a homeless person, click next to find out what happens when you approach the council for help

Next >

< Back to what is homelessness

What is homelessness?

Homelessness means not having a home. You can be sleeping on a friend’s couch, or crowded in with family – you don’t need to living on the streets to be without a home.

Homelessness can happen for all sorts of reasons. It might be because you have health problems, relationship problems, eviction, loss of employment, harassment by your neighbours or a disaster like a fire or flooding.You might be homeless if you are:

· sleeping rough
· staying with friends or family with no home of your own
· staying in a hostel or a bed and breakfast
· living in poor conditions that affect your health
· at risk of violence in your home
· living in overcrowded conditions
· living in a home that is not suitable for you because of illness or disability

If you are homeless in Dumfries and Galloway, you need to contact Dumfries and Galloway Council who will assess your situation. Getting advice as early as possible can really help – Dumfries and Galloway Council might be able to help you stay in your home, find a new home more quickly or assist you to apply for social housing.

Not got anywhere to go tonight? Click next to learn more about the Emergency Out of Hours service

Next >

Dumfries and Galloway’s Homeless Service

Homelessness is something that can happen to anyone, from all walks of life. Dumfries and Galloway Council is responsible for the statutory homelessness service throughout the region.

Your legal rights regarding homelessness are mainly contained in three laws Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003.

The homeless service can provide housing information and advice, temporary accommodation and arrange housing support services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Dumfries and Galloway Council may be able to help you. The council can help: • Prevent you losing your home • Assist you to find other accommodation • Offer you somewhere to stay on a temporary basis • Put you in contact with other people who could help you

Dumfries and Galloway Council offer a homeless out of hours service to anyone who is homeless and find themselves with nowhere to stay when the council offices are closed.

What should I do in an emergency if I do not have anywhere to stay tonight?

Call Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Out of Hours Emergency Service on 0800 811 505.

If you decline the offer of accommodation and find a place to spend the night with friends or family it is still very important to make contact with the homeless service in your area. The council will work with you as quickly as they can to resolve your housing problem.

Wherever possible the council will do everything they can to prevent you becoming homeless.

Return to top

I’m worried that I might lose my home, what should I do?

If you are homeless, or are likely to become homeless within the next two months you should make an appointment with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s homeless service. In some circumstances the council can arrange to visit you in your own home.

The council services are confidential and understanding. Staff are fully trained to offer information and advice you may need.

It is important you get help as early as possible. This makes sure that you and the council have as much time as possible to find solutions before you actually become homeless.

Return to top

I live in Annandale and Eskdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Annandale & Eskdale
High Street
ANNAN
DG12 6AQ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessannan@dumgal.gov.uk

Return to top

I live in Nithsdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Nithsdale
52-60 Queensberry Square
Dumfries
DG1 1BF

Tel: 030 33 33 30000

homelessdumfries@dumgal.gov.uk

Return to top

I live in the Stewartry:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Stewartry
Council Offices
Daar Road
Kirkcudbright
DG6 4JG

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelesskirkcudbright@dumgal.gov.uk

Return to top

I live in Wigtown:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Wigtown
Council Offices
Sun Street
Stranraer
DG9 7JJ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessstranraer@dumgal.gov.uk

Return to top

What happens when I come to the council for help?

When a member of staff meets with you from the council, they will offer you an interview, in private with one of their trained members of staff.

Initially you undertake a housing options interview where your current circumstances would be fully discussed. If you decide that you wish to proceed with a homeless application, you will be interviewed by a member of staff who will help you through this process.

During your interview, staff will help you to complete a homeless application form. The member of staff will ask a number of questions in line with current legislation in order to process you application. The member of staff will explain what happens next, including:

• the interview process;
• how the council considers homeless applications;
• how long it will take to make a decision;
• what the possible decisions are, and what they mean for you;
• your legal rights under homeless legislation, including your rights to an appeal or review

To help the member of staff make a decision on your application they will need to see evidence of your circumstances. If you bring all paperwork with you to the interview it will allow the staff member to assess your application as quickly as possible. Please bring with you if applicable:

• a copy of your current tenancy agreement
• proof of identity such as birth certificate or passport
• proof of your national insurance number
• details of your income, including benefits, bank statements and wage slips etc
• if your home is being sold, confirmation of the sale of the property
• if your home is being repossessed, the court summons for repossession
• if you are presenting as a household with children, then your children’s birth certificates and confirmation of custody arrangements if applicable
• if you are pregnant, your maternity certificate (MATB1)
• if your current tenancy is ending, any documentation relating to the tenancy and the ending of it. This may include: a copy of your lease or contract (if tied accommodation), legal Notice to Quit, AT5, AT6 or Section 33 notice.

You may bring a relative, friend, support worker or other representative with you. You will also be asked if you wish to be interviewed by a member of staff of the same sex if you would feel more comfortable with them.

Dumfries and Galloway Council will keep your details confidential and will only use your information to assess your application under the conditions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

An assessment will be carried out based on the information you have provided. The council will issue you with a formal written decision and this will take place within 28 days of the date of your application. The decision may be delayed if the council do not have all the relevant information they need.

Return to top

How is my application assessed?

Your application will be assessed against current homeless legislation and the Scottish Government’s Code of Guidance on Homelessness

These say that the council must consider:

• whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness;
• whether you are intentionally homeless;
• whether you have a local connection with Dumfries and Galloway

Return to top

Who else will the council contact to get information about my application?

The council will only contact people and agencies who can provide relevant information relating to your homeless application, such as:

• other council departments, including Social Work Services and Revenue and Benefits
• your landlord
• mortgage lenders
• police
• solicitors
• healthcare professionals
• support services

Return to top

What happens if I am assessed as not homeless?

If after considering your application the council decide that you are not homeless under the terms of the legislation, or that you are intentionally homeless, it means that the council do not have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation. If you are placed in temporary accommodation while your application was being assessed the council will give you reasonable notice to leave, and offer you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to stay.

Return to top

What happens if I am assessed as homeless?

If you are unintentionally homeless and have a local connection in the area the council will refer you to Homes4D&G for permanent housing. Homes4D&G is the new common housing register for Dumfries and Galloway which came into effect in June 2014.

Your details will then be shared among four landlords who are Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Loreburn Housing, Home Scotland and Irvine Housing Association.

Your homeless application will be placed into the Homeless group. Your application will then be prioritised based on the date you presented as homeless. If more than one homeless applicant has an equal need for a property, Homes4D&G will offer the property to the homeless applicant who presented as homeless first.

Homes4D&G will make one offer of accommodation.

In the meantime, you will either be entitled to stay in temporary accommodation if the council has placed you there, or you will be offered temporary accommodation if you need somewhere to stay until permanent accommodation is secured.

Return to top

How long will it take before I am offered a permanent home?

Homes4D&G has a limited number of properties available in Dumfries and Galloway. The amount of time it takes before you are made an offer of housing varies and will depend on the number of vacancies, the area in which you require housing, the size and type of accommodation you require.

Return to top

What if I do not agree with the decision the council makes?

The council member of staff will keep in touch with you on a regular basis to provide you with an update. Under the terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 the council have a legal duty to review their decision if you ask them to.

You have the right to appeal any decision relating to your homeless application within 21 days of your decision being reached.

If you wish to appeal against the council’s decision, you should write to the Homelessness Manager clearly stating the reason for your appeal. You will also be entitled to independent advice from Citizens Advice Bureau who can advocate on your behalf. The council will then invite you to come to an interview to discuss your appeal.

Return to top

What if my circumstances change and I no longer need help?

You may find that you may not need the council’s assistance. You may find your own accommodation, or decide to remain where you are, or you may have reunited with your family, partner or spouse.

Whatever the reason, if you decide not to go ahead with your homeless application, just let the Council know. You can re-apply at any time if you need the Council’s help in the future.

If your circumstances change in any other way for example your contact details, who will be moving with you, your income then please contact the council as soon as possible.

Return to top

Dumfries and Galloway’s Homeless Service

Homelessness is something that can happen to anyone, from all walks of life. Dumfries and Galloway Council is responsible for the statutory homelessness service throughout the region.

Your legal rights regarding homelessness are mainly contained in three laws Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 and Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003.

The homeless service can provide housing information and advice, temporary accommodation and arrange housing support services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Dumfries and Galloway Council may be able to help you. The council can help:

• Prevent you losing your home
• Assist you to find other accommodation
• Offer you somewhere to stay on a temporary basis
• Put you in contact with other people who could help you

Dumfries and Galloway Council offer a homeless out of hours service to anyone who is homeless and find themselves with nowhere to stay when the council offices are closed.

What should I do in an emergency if I do not have anywhere to stay tonight?

Call Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Out of Hours Emergency Service on 0800 811 505.

If you decline the offer of accommodation and find a place to spend the night with friends or family it is still very important to make contact with the homeless service in your area. The council will work with you as quickly as they can to resolve your housing problem.

Wherever possible the council will do everything they can to prevent you becoming homeless.

You are worried that you might lose your home, what should you do?

If you are homeless, or are likely to become homeless within the next two months you should make an appointment with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s homeless service. In some circumstances the council can arrange to visit you in your own home.

The council services are confidential and understanding. Staff are fully trained to offer information and advice you may need.

It is important you get help as early as possible. This makes sure that you and the council have as much time as possible to find solutions before you actually become homeless.

If you are in Annandale and Eskdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Annandale & Eskdale
High Street
ANNAN
DG12 6AQ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessannan@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in Nithsdale:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Nithsdale
52-60 Queensberry Square
Dumfries
DG1 1BF

Tel: 030 33 33 30000

homelessdumfries@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in the Stewartry:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service – Stewartry
Council Offices
Daar Road
Kirkcudbright
DG6 4JG

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelesskirkcudbright@dumgal.gov.uk

If you are in Wigtown:

Dumfries and Galloway Council - Homeless Service - Wigtown
Council Offices
Sun Street
Stranraer
DG9 7JJ

Tel: 030 33 33 3000

homelessstranraer@dumgal.gov.uk

When a member of staff meets with you from the council, they will offer you an interview, in private with one of their trained members of staff.

Initially you undertake a housing options interview where your current circumstances would be fully discussed. If you decide that you wish to proceed with a homeless application, you will be interviewed by a member of staff who will help you through this process.

During your interview, staff will help you to complete a homeless application form. The member of staff will ask a number of questions in line with current legislation in order to process you application. The member of staff will explain what happens next, including:

• the interview process;
• how the council considers homeless applications;
• how long it will take to make a decision;
• what the possible decisions are, and what they mean for you;
• your legal rights under homeless legislation, including your rights to an appeal or review

To help the member of staff make a decision on your application they will need to see evidence of your circumstances. If you bring all paperwork with you to the interview it will allow the staff member to assess your application as quickly as possible. Please bring with you if applicable:

• a copy of your current tenancy agreement
• proof of identity such as birth certificate or passport
• proof of your national insurance number
• details of your income, including benefits, bank statements and wage slips etc
• if your home is being sold, confirmation of the sale of the property
• if your home is being repossessed, the court summons for repossession
• if you are presenting as a household with children, then your children’s birth certificates and confirmation of custody arrangements if applicable
• if you are pregnant, your maternity certificate (MATB1)
• if your current tenancy is ending, any documentation relating to the tenancy and the ending of it. This may include: a copy of your lease or contract (if tied accommodation), legal Notice to Quit, AT5, AT6 or Section 33 notice.

You may bring a relative, friend, support worker or other representative with you. You will also be asked if you wish to be interviewed by a member of staff of the same sex if you would feel more comfortable with them.

Dumfries and Galloway Council will keep your details confidential and will only use your information to assess your application under the conditions of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 as amended by the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

An assessment will be carried out based on the information you have provided. The council will issue you with a formal written decision and this will take place within 28 days of the date of your application. The decision may be delayed if the council do not have all the relevant information they need.

Assessment

Your application will be assessed against current homeless legislation and the Scottish Government’s Code of Guidance on Homelessness

These say that the council must consider:

• whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness;
• whether you are intentionally homeless;
• whether you have a local connection with Dumfries and Galloway

Who else will the council contact to get information about your application?

The council will only contact people and agencies who can provide relevant information relating to your homeless application, such as:

• other council departments, including Social Work Services and Revenue and Benefits
• your landlord
• mortgage lenders
• police
• solicitors
• healthcare professionals
• support services

What happens if you are assessed as not homeless?

If after considering your application the council decide that you are not homeless under the terms of the legislation, or that you are intentionally homeless, it means that the council do not have a duty to offer you permanent accommodation. If you are placed in temporary accommodation while your application was being assessed the council will give you reasonable notice to leave, and offer you advice and assistance to find somewhere else to stay.

What happens if you are assessed as homeless?

If you are unintentionally homeless and have a local connection in the area the council will refer you to Homes4D&G for permanent housing. Homes4D&G is the new common housing register for Dumfries and Galloway which came into effect in June 2014.

Your details will then be shared among four landlords who are Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Loreburn Housing, Home Scotland and Irvine Housing Association.

Your homeless application will be placed into the Homeless group. Your application will then be prioritised based on the date you presented as homeless. If more than one homeless applicant has an equal need for a property, Homes4D&G will offer the property to the homeless applicant who presented as homeless first.

Homes4D&G will make one offer of accommodation.

In the meantime, you will either be entitled to stay in temporary accommodation if the council has placed you there, or you will be offered temporary accommodation if you need somewhere to stay until permanent accommodation is secured.

How long will it take before you are offered a permanent home?

Homes4D&G has a limited number of properties available in Dumfries and Galloway. The amount of time it takes before you are made an offer of housing varies and will depend on the number of vacancies, the area in which you require housing, the size and type of accommodation you require.

What if I do not agree with the decision the council makes?

The council member of staff will keep in touch with you on a regular basis to provide you with an update. Under the terms of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 the council have a legal duty to review their decision if you ask them to.

You have the right to appeal any decision relating to your homeless application within 21 days of your decision being reached.

If you wish to appeal against the council’s decision, you should write to the Homelessness Manager clearly stating the reason for your appeal. You will also be entitled to independent advice from Citizens Advice Bureau who can advocate on your behalf. The council will then invite you to come to an interview to discuss your appeal.

What if my circumstances change and I no longer need help?

You may find that you may not need the council’s assistance. You may find your own accommodation, or decide to remain where you are, or you may have reunited with your family, partner or spouse.

Whatever the reason, if you decide not to go ahead with your homeless application, just let the Council know. You can re-apply at any time if you need the Council’s help in the future.

If your circumstances change in any other way for example your contact details, who will be moving with you, your income then please contact the council as soon as possible.

RSL available properties

Cairn Housing Association

4 Nigel Henderson Court, Sanquhar DG4 6BG

One person ground floor flat, gas central heating, rent charge (including heating) is £348.03 per month

20 Nigel Henderson Court, Sanquhar DG4 6BG

One person upper floor flat (chairlift onsite), gas central heating, rent charge (including heating) is £348.03 per month.

Would you like to view one of these properties? Move for free this summer!* Click here!

Call Cairn Housing Association on 0800 990 3405

DGHP

A full list of DGHP’s available properties can be viewed here.

Home Scotland

A full list of Home Scotland’s available properties can be viewed here.

Loreburn Housing Association

A full list of Loreburn Housing Association’s available properties can be viewed here.

Trust Housing Association

A full list of Trust Housing Association’s available properties can be viewed here.

Please call 0131 444 1200 for further information or to request an application. Alternatively, you can complete an application online at www.homeforyou.org.uk. Please note Trust Housing Association is not a Homes4D&G partner landlord. Any enquiries must be direct to Trust at the number above.

Medical applications

​If your health, or the health of someone in your household, is affected by your current housing circumstances, you will be asked to complete a medical housing assessment form which will be assessed by the Homes4D&G Occupational Therapist.

We will add points to your application if this assessment confirms that your current home is unsuitable, the extent to which your home is unsuitable and whether your property could be reasonable be adapted to meet your needs.

It is important to make it clear, however, that the focus of the medical housing assessment is not on the health condition itself, but on the way it affects how you manage in your home - for example, you may have been diagnosed with a serious illness or condition, but you can live independently in your current home.

You can apply for medical points at any time throughout the duration of your application. Points can be awarded at three levels - low, medium or high, depending on the degree of unsuitability of your current housing. In some situations, it may be more appropriate to carry out adaptations to your current home.

You can download Medical Assessment forms here.

You can download Medical Assessment guidance here.

Mutual exchanges

If you are an existing tenant of one of the Homes4D&G partner landlords and you want to move, one of the ways to do this is by swapping with other partner landlord tenants in Dumfries and Galloway.

A mutual exchange can be an easy and convenient way to move and means that you can swap your home with someone else who is living in a property from a social landlord in Dumfries and Galloway.

There are several ways you can find another tenant that you would like to swap with:

You can sign up to the nationwide HomeSwapper scheme, which is a paid service. Click here for more.

You can register your property in the Homes4D&G swap shop and look for local properties. Click here to search our lists.

You can ask around and speak to your neighbours and find out if anyone is looking for a property similar to yours. You never know what’s on your doorstep.

Jeanette

link

Armed Forces applicants

Homes4D&G aims to assist Armed Forces personnel who have recently left or who are due to leave the Armed Forces if as applicants, they meet the following criteria:

• An applicant is serving with one of the recognised Ministry of Defence Armed Forced, with less than one full year to honourable discharge;
• An applicant has been discharged from one of the Armed Forces within the previous 6 months of applying for housing;
• An applicant has a local connection to Dumfries and Galloway;
• An applicant has completed at least a three year fixed term contract or has been/or is about to be discharged on medical grounds;
• An applicant is the surviving spouse/partner or a non-dependent child (aged 16 years or above) of a deceased Forces Personnel (either serving or served within the past six months)

Thanks to this opportunity, ex-servicemen and women are now being given a direct and priority route into affordable housing.

This initiative was first brought into the region by DGHP in 2011 and goes one step further than many registered social landlords across the entire UK by giving ex-Forces personnel a much easier and clearer route into housing.

If you are leaving any of the MoD Armed Forces, click here for advice on where you can access help and support in Dumfries and Galloway.

If you are making an application from the Forces and require some support or assistance with your application, please contact us on 0300 123 1230. You can apply for housing online here.

Appeals to Homes4D&G

You can appeal to Homes4D&G if you think that a decision we have made is wrong.

You have the right to appeal against:
• The points we award your application
• A decision to suspend you from receiving offers for housing
• A decision to cancel your application
• Any decision we make which you believe is not in accordance with the common allocation policy

There are two stages to the appeal process:

STAGE ONE An applicant can appeal in writing, or verbally, to Homes4D&G Registration Team.

STAGE TWO If an applicant still remains dissatisfied with a decision, a written appeal can then be lodged with the Common Housing Register Co-ordinator.

Ways to contact Homes4D&G

You can call Homes4D&G between the hours of 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday on 0300 123 1230.

You can send a letter to Homes4D&G at the address below:

Homes4D&G
Freepost RTHU-YA SL-XCJC
DG12 6AJ

You can also send us an email any time. Our address is enquiries@homes4dg.org.uk (Please note, our advisors are only available to reply during office hours)

Actions on your application

As an applicant to Homes4D&G, there are actions you can set on your application yourself ie deferral or merging an application which can assist you in making your application positively affect your circumstances.

However, there are also actions such as suspending your application, which are set by our Registration Team that may be unfamiliar to you.

Here is your guide to actions that can be put onto your housing application.

Deferral of your application

Who: Applicant

Summary: Deferring your application essentially means to put the date back for when you want your application to be active from.

When you apply to Homes4D&G for housing, you may want to defer your application so that you aren’t considered for offers in the immediate future.

You can ask to have your application placed on hold until a future date. This means that we will not make you any offers of housing during the period you have stated on your application.

Can an applicant reinstate their application early?

If you have deferred your application, you can contact us at any time and let us know that you now wish to be actively considered for offers for housing. Failing that, we will check whether an applicant wishes to stay on hold when we carry out our annual review of housing applicants each year.

Merging applications

Who: Applicant and another applicant Summary: Merging your application simply means to join it up with the application of another person.

Applicants wishing to be considered jointly for housing can merge their applications. In these cases, the date of application is determined by the date of the earliest application.

Applicants who wish to withdraw from a joint application will have their original date of application reinstated if they resubmit an application in their own right. Points will be allocated based on the household in greater need.

Removal of your application

Who: Applicant and/or Homes4D&G Implementation team Summary: Removal means that your application will no longer be on the Homes4D&G waiting list for housing.

There are other times when we will remove your application from the Homes4D&G register apart from failure to respond to the annual review.

We will remove an application from the Homes4D&G waiting list when:
• The applicant has been housed by one of the partners
• The applicant requests in writing that they want to be removed from the list
• The applicant fails to respond to our annual review
• The applicant fails to respond to two or more consecutive letters being sent out
• The applicant passes away

Reviewing your application

Who: Homes4D&G Implementation team Summary: Reviewing your application is our chance to make sure that your application is as up to date about your circumstances as possible.

Homes4D&G review applications on at least an annual basis. The date of review of your application is based on the date of your registration. We review your applications to maintain the most up to date, accurate information about our applicants to ensure that appropriate offers are made.

What happens when an application is under review?

When your application is under review, we will write out to you. We will then give you ten working days to advise us whether you want to remain on the Homes4D&G waiting list or not. You will receive a standard review letter which you must complete and return to us if you want to remain on our waiting list.

What happens if an applicant misses the first ten days?

If Homes4D&G receives no response from an applicant, we will issue a reminder letter which gives an applicant another ten working days to get in contact with us. If no response is received at the end of this period, we will remove your application from the Homes4D&G waiting list.

However, if an applicant contacts us within six months of their application being cancelled, we will reinstate their original application.

What is the review for?

We regularly review our applications to ensure a smooth and prompt process for applicants on our waiting list.
It is also a good way for applicants to tell us if there are any changes to their household’s circumstances as this could affect their chances of being rehoused.

Suspended applications

Who: Homes4D&G Implementation team Summary: Suspending your application is the action of putting your application on hold where you will not be considered for offers of housing. This can be for a number of reasons (see below).

Everyone has the right to have their application added to the Homes4D&G waiting list if they are over the age of 16. Sometimes there are circumstances where we may suspend applications. Applicants stay on the list, but won’t be considered for re-housing over a specific period of time. Homes4D&G aims to minimise the use of suspensions and will assess cases individually.

The reasons for placing an application on hold may include:
• An applicant owes a partner landlord, or another landlord, tenancy related debt which is more than one month’s rent and haven’t kept to a repayment arrangement for three months
• An applicant, or a member of their household, have behaved in an antisocial manner
• An applicant has given false information on their application form
• An applicant, or a member of their household has broken some condition of their tenancy agreement, such as causing damage to their home
• An applicant hasn’t provided information we need to assess their application despite reminders
• An applicant has refused two offers of housing and hasn’t reviewed their choices for housing when asked to do so

If we suspend your housing application, we will tell you the reasons, the length of time your application is suspended for and what needs to happen before we can consider you for offers.

Applicant advice

This section contains all of our help and guidance to assist you in making the best decision to suit your personal circumstances.

Actions on your application

As an applicant to Homes4D&G, there are actions you can set on your application yourself ie deferral or merging an application which can assist you in making your application positively affect your circumstances.

However, there are also actions such as suspending your application, which are set by our Implementation Team that may be unfamiliar to you.

Click here for more information on actions on your application.

Appeals to Homes4D&G

You can appeal to Homes4D&G if you think that a decision we have made is wrong.

You have the right to appeal against:
• The points we award your application
• A decision to suspend you from receiving offers for housing
• A decision to cancel your application
• Any decision we make which you believe is not in accordance with the common allocation policy

Click here for more information about appeals.

Armed Forces applicants

Ex-servicemen and women have a direct and priority route into affordable housing by Homes4D&G. A percentage of annual lets across all partners are ring-fenced for Armed Forces personnel to give service people an easier and clearer route into housing.

Click here for more information for Armed Forces applications.

Complaints to Homes4D&G

If something goes wrong or you aren’t happy with our service, you can make a complaint to us. We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve our service to applicants.

Anyone can make a complaint to us, including a representative for someone who is dissatisfied with our service.

Click here for more information about complaints.

Homelessness

Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. Dumfries and Galloway Council holds the legal obligation to help homeless people but a housing application for accommodation will be handled through Homes4D&G.

Click here for more information about homelessness.

If your home is unsuitable

There are lots of reasons why your home can become unsuited for you or your lifestyle. You could add to your family, your health could deteriorate, your children may move on after growing up – your property may not be up to scratch to live in any longer.

There are a variety of things you can do if your current property becomes unsuitable for you.

Click here for our guidance information on what to do if your home is unsuitable.

Medical applications

If you need to be rehoused for medical reasons, we will ask you to complete a medical application form. This is independently assessed by Homes4D&G’s Occupational Therapist.

Click here for more information about making a medical application.

Are you homeless?

Homelessness can happen to anyone at any time. Anyone can find themselves homeless or threatened with homelessness. Dumfries and Galloway Council holds the legal obligation to help homeless people but a housing application for accommodation will be handled by Homes4D&G.

Everyone who is found to be homeless is, at the very least, entitled to temporary accommodation for a place to stay if they need it. Dumfries and Galloway Council has a dedicated team of Homelessness support staff who will advise and assist people who present themselves as homeless.

Becoming homeless is a traumatic situation to find yourself in but there are various organisations who can help and support you to resolve your housing difficulties.

Homes4D&G has created this simple guide for anyone who finds themselves homeless. Use the questions below to access more information.

What is homelessness?
I’ve got nowhere to stay tonight, what should I do?
What happens when you come to the council for help?
How do I apply as homeless?
What will the homelessness officer ask?
How is my application assessed?
What’s next if I’m assessed as homeless?
What’s next if I’m assessed as not homeless?
How long will it take before I’m offered a permanent home?
What happens if I disagree with the decision the council makes?
I live in Annandale and Eskdale, who should I contact?
I live in Nithsdale, who should I contact?
I live in Stewartry, who should I contact?
I live in Wigtown, who should I contact?
What happens if my circumstances change and I no longer need help?
I’m worried I might lose my home, what should I do?
Who can help me?

Downloads

In this section, you will find electronic copies of Homes4D&G leaflets, policies and newsletters. You can download PDF versions of these documents here by clicking on the appropriate links.

If you need to install Adobe Reader click on the link here and follow the instructions.

Application Form

Click here to download the form.

To complete a PDF version to email, please click here. For maximum assurance that we have received your application, please save a copy and email it to enquiries@homes4dg.org.uk

Word version below.

Applying for social housing guide

Click here to download your copy.

Common Allocation Policy

Click here to download the policy.

Current waiting lists and stock profile

Summary of properties, demand and turnover in each letting area

This document has a summary of where our partners own properties, the type of properties, how many people are waiting for each property type and the turnover (the number of new tenancies started in the last 12 months) for each individual letting area.

Click here to view the summary of properties, demand and turnover for each letting area.

Detailed report of properties, demand and turnover in each letting area

This document is a detailed version of the above - where our partners own properties, the type of properties, how many people are waiting for each property type and the turnover (the number of new tenancies started in the last 12 months) for each individual letting area.

Click here to view the detailed report of properties, demand and turnover for each letting area.

Homes4D&G newsletter May 2014

Click here to download the newsletter.

Medical application form

Click here to download the medical application form.

Medical information form

Click here to download the medical information form.

Find a new home

In this section, you can discover more about finding a new home.

There are many ways you can seek alternative accommodation. Applying for housing through Homes4D&G is just one of the ways that we can assist you to find somewhere to live.

Applying through Homes4D&G

Dumfries and Galloway Council operates a common housing register with four partner RSLs. Loreburn Housing Association, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Irvine Housing Association and Home Scotland have all joined up in this scheme.

In basic terms, this means you only need to complete one application form to be considered for housing by all four landlords.

Click here to learn more.

Available properties

From time to time, some of our partner landlords have properties that no one is on our waiting list for. These properties come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes so it is worth checking up regularly to see if there is something to suit you.

Click here to learn more.

HomeSwapper

HomeSwapper is the UK’s largest property swap service. The service allows tenants across the whole of the country to make a mutual exchange rather than
sit on waiting or transfer lists to move elsewhere.

Click here to learn more.

Mutual exchanges

Mutual exchanges are when two or more tenants agree to swap properties. Their landlords must agree to the exchange, and they can only refuse permission if it is reasonable to do so. You can apply for a mutual exchange through your landlord.

Click here to learn more.

Search for a new property

You can join the ‘Homes4D&G House Exchange’, a home swap-shop feature unique to Homes4D&G. On this website, tenants of our partner landlords are able to add their own property to our swap board to look for potential swaps in Dumfries and Galloway only. Similar to a mutual exchange, if you find a property that you are interested in, you can contact the tenant who has advertised the property to discuss and exchange information.

Click here to learn more.

If you would like to swap you will need to contact your landlord to apply for a mutual exchange.

Our partners

Dumfries and Galloway Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s housing stock was transferred to Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) back in 2003. The council no longer owns or manages social housing, but it still has statutory responsibilities as the strategic housing authority for Dumfries and Galloway.

Dumfries and Galloway Council, alongside the four partner registered social landlords, has a key role to play in the development and implementation of Homes4D&G. You can find out more about the council’s responsibilities for strategic housing here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) is the largest housing association in Dumfries and Galloway, owning and maintaining more than 10,300 homes across the region.

In its short ten year history, DGHP has already invested almost £200 million in improving and maintaining the homes of their tenants and has undertaken one of the largest regeneration projects in the country, providing new affordable homes in Dumfries and Stranraer. You can find out more about DGHP here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Home Scotland

Home Scotland is part of the larger Home Group, which is one of the largest providers of housing in the whole of the UK. The group, now a social enterprise
and charity, owns and manages 55,000 homes across the UK, with approximately 600 properties in Dumfries and Galloway.

You can find out more about the work of Home Scotland here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Irvine Housing Association

Irvine Housing Association was established in 1993 and currently owns and manages more than 2,100 properties across Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway. Irvine Housing Association became a subsidiary of The Riverside Group in 2011.

You can find out more about what’s happening at Irvine Housing Association here.

__________________________________________________________________________

Loreburn Housing Association

Loreburn Housing Association was registered as a social landlord in 1982. Now, more than 30 years later, the Association owns and manages around 2,500 homes in Dumfries and Galloway. The Association also carries out a number of other activities in the region, including factoring for owner occupiers as well as a housing support function.

You can find out more about Loreburn Housing Association here.

Apply online

Welcome to the Homes4D&G online housing application. Please answer all questions as fully as possible. If you need support to complete this form, please call us on 0300 123 1230.

Once your application has been registered on our housing list, we will send you a registration letter. This letter will tell you your application number and how many points you have been awarded. Your application will be treated in confidence and in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

We will use the information you provide to Homes4D&G to process your application for housing. The information will be shared with the Homes4D&G partners.

With your permission we may contact others to get more information to help us process your application. This may include:

  • Your current or previous landlords
  • Medical and health professionals
  • Police
  • Others with relevant information


This information will be used to assess your application in accordance with the Homes4D&G Common Allocation Policy and match your requirements and preferences against any available properties. The information will also be used for statistical and monitoring purposes. We will not disclose your personal data beyond the Homes4D&G partners except where required to do so by law unless you have given your permission to do so.

Start your application

Contact us

There are several ways you can contact Homes4D&G.

In person

You can come into the open offices of any of our partner landlords and talk to advisors about Homes4D&G.

Click here to find out more about our partners.

By post

Our postal address to send mail to is:
Homes4D&G
Freepost RTHU-YA SL-XCJC
DG12 6AJ

By phone/fax

Homes4D&G can be contacted via our Customer Service Centre. Opening hours are 8.00am until 7.00pm Monday to Friday.
Our contact number is 0300 123 1230.

By email

You can send us an email any time. Our address is enquiries@homes4dg.org.uk (Please note, our advisors are only available to reply during office hours)

Making a complaint

To make a complaint to Homes4D&G, please click here.

Homes4D&G House Exchange

Homes4D&G House Exchange is a feature unique to Homes4D&G.

Here you can add your own property to our swap board to look for potential swaps in Dumfries and Galloway.

This service is free to all tenants of partner landlords, regardless of their own landlord and our online form to sign up is easy to use. You register your own property and once submitted, Homes4D&G will approve your advert. This service is only available to tenants of partner landlords in Dumfries and Galloway.

You need to keep an eye on the site yourself though, and search through the other available properties here to find a suitable new home.

You can subscribe to our weekly mailing by completing the form here.

Similar to a mutual exchange, if you find a property that you are interested in, you can contact the tenant who has advertised the property to discuss the swap, or the move.

Allocating properties

When you apply to Homes4D&G, we will register your application on the housing list according to the type and size of property that you require.

We will work out the number of bedrooms that you require using the following criteria, based on who will be living permanently with you in the household.

• No more than two people should have to share a bedroom;
• One bedroom for couples/partners;
• One bedroom for single adults/single parents;
• One bedroom for two children of different sex up to 8 years old;
• One bedroom for two children of the same sex up to 12 years old; and
• One bedroom for each child of 12 years or over

We will make common sense exceptions to these rules, depending on individual circumstances. For example, if you require an additional bedroom on medical grounds; if you provide foster care; if you have access to children who do not reside with you on a full time basis.

Please note - our size criteria for allocating homes is not based on the regulations set by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This means that you may not get housing benefit to cover any additional bedrooms you apply for.

If you are selected for a property, we will notify you if you will be under-occupying the property and therefore liable for the under-occupation charge. This will allow you to make an informed choice about whether you want to proceed with the tenancy.

About us

What is Homes4D&G?

Homes4D&G is the name of the new common housing register for Dumfries and Galloway. The common housing register launched in June 2014 and is a new streamlined process for applying for social rented housing in this region.

In simple terms, the common housing register is a single computer based waiting list which all four landlords in Dumfries and Galloway will use to register applicants for housing.

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP), Loreburn Housing, Home Scotland and Irvine Housing have all joined together with Dumfries and Galloway Council to start this new process, designed to make it easier, and quicker, for applicants just like you to apply for social housing.

Complete one application form and you can be considered for housing with all four registered social landlords working in this region.

Welcome to Homes4D&G

Welcome to the website of Homes4D&G, the new common housing register for Dumfries and Galloway. Homes4D&G launched in June 2014 and this website is your online guide to the entire application process from handing in your application to accepting an offer and moving into a new home.

Homes4D&G is all about you, the applicant. Complete one application form and you can be considered for housing with all four registered social landlords working in this region. It’s simpler, easier for you as an applicant and a more streamlined service across all of Dumfries and Galloway’s social landlords.

You can find more information here about Homes4D&G partners, applying for housing online and looking for new homes.

My Account is back up and running - if you’re having any difficulties, click here for guidance.