A block of flats in Fife tarnished by anti-social behaviour looks set to be torn down and tenants rehoused.
Fife Council wants to demolish the properties at 101-147 Martin Crescent in Ballingry after they became notorious for disorder and disturbances over the years.
Councillors on the Cowdenbeath area committee are due to consider a report from the council’s head of housing on Wednesday which will signal the beginning of the end for the block, and will begin the process of transferring existing tenants to other accommodation on a priority basis.
The block has been the scene of some serious incidents as of late, with one man having acid poured over his car, being threatened with a knife and paint thrown over his kitchen window within just a week of being allocated a property.
A couple with a child were also forced to flee their property after just six weeks due to anti-social behaviour and the fact the youngster was too scared to live there, while properties are frequently targeted for vandalism although the culprits are rarely caught due to fear of repercussions.
Rubbish is also continually dumped in communal areas and recycling bins are constantly contaminated, incurring substantial cost to the council each year.
In his report to councillors, head of housing John Mills said the housing service’s view is that the “only viable” option is to take the block out of housing management and transfer all existing tenants to more suitable accommodation.
“There is a historical stigma attached to this block,” he said.
“It is known locally as an undesirable place to live.
“There is a concern that any significant investment in the block would not be effective as it would be extremely difficult to regenerate due to the stigma and the ongoing issues highlighted in this report.
“The area housing team invest a significant amount of time attempting to respond to complaints from tenants but despite these efforts continuing, the officer time and ongoing costs cannot be sustained indefinitely.
“The constant turnover of properties resulting in failed tenancies indicates that the block is not suitable for tenants looking for settled accommodation and is not financially viable.”
Councillors will be asked to agree to suspend all housing allocations and approve the demolition of the block once it is emptied.
The properties in block 101-147 Martin Crescent consist of 12 lower ground one-bedroom flats and 12 upper level two-bedroom maisonettes.
Out of the 24 properties, 22 are in housing management by the area housing team and two properties are currently used for temporary accommodation allocations and are managed by Fife Council’s homeless team.
Four of the properties are currently void.
Every tenant being allocated another property will be offered a compensation package consisting of disturbance payment and a home loss payment.
The home loss payment is paid following deductions of outstanding rent and council tax owed to Fife Council.
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