Homeless pensioners want answers from the metro

Jennifer Dixon (right) had to move in with her sister Daphne von Hagen while she waits for municipal housing.

Two pensioners have been left homeless by what they say is lack of response and help from the metro’s housing department.

Jennifer Dixon and her friend Jean Button have been waiting for accommodation in municipal flats for a long time.

Jennifer has been waiting for almost a year and Jean for over a year.

Every time they contact the metro to find out what is happening with their applications and where they are sitting on the waiting list they are treated rudely.

“Yet there are flats open in a number of blocks and they remain empty for months while we have nowhere to live,” said Jennifer.

Jennifer added that she feels the waiting list can be manipulated to serve the officials own purposes due to the fact that when you apply you do not get a waiting list number.

“You never know where you are on the waiting list.

“You could be moved right to the bottom for all you know depending on how the officials are feeling,” she said.

She added that the lack of feedback from the metro is extremely frustrating and the rudeness that goes with it is not acceptable.

“I made a number of email enquiries regarding flats standing empty at two municipal blocks of flats and I am still waiting for a reply,” Jennifer said.

“As I am homeless it concerns me greatly that even though I have been waiting for almost a year and my friend for longer than that we have not been offered these vacant places.”

Jennifer added that the metro does not seem interested in helping elderly citizens and would appreciate some assistance from them.



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The GCN sent the matter to the metro numerous times for comment and only after making a personal appeal to the metro’s city manager, Dr Imogen Mashazi, did the newspaper finally receive a response.

Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the metro said, “The allocation of housing is done in accordance with a separate waiting list of pre-qualified applicants, which is kept at the human settlements department regional offices.

“The applications must be renewed by the applicants every year to ensure the waiting list reflects true need.

“Staff members work strictly on this waiting list as dictated by the policy for the Administration of Council Owned Public Rental Housing Stock.

“Generally, when there is a vacant flat the applicant at the top of the waiting list will be invited to come and complete the lease agreement.

“Often there are a number of circumstances that make it that the unit cannot be immediately occupied.

• The unit has to be refurbished first.

• The new applicant having selected a delayed date to occupy the unit.

• Cancellation of the lease agreement by the new applicant etc.

“The two women were communicated with via email and telephone and were informed that they were not on top of the waiting list to be allocated units.

“They will be allocated units when there are vacant and appropriate units available.

“It is expected that every official should treat all applicants in terms of Batho Pele principles (openness and transparency, courtesy etc).”


Have a story?

Contact the newsroom by emailing: Melissa Hart (Editor) [email protected]or Leigh Hodgson (News Editor) [email protected] or Kgotsofalang Mashilo (journalist) [email protected]

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Melissa Hart

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