Reply To: Lotus sanctuary

Darren Tompkins

“The demand for Lotus’ services far outpaced the growth. Lotus had 1600 vulnerable homeless people on a waiting list for housing, who unfortunately will not be housed due to the significant delays from the councils.”

This always reminds me of the film Field of Dreams and the whispered message “If you build it, they will come”. I find it odd that providers always claim to have a demand for accommodation, and then manage to find people to fill them even though there doesn’t seem to be the demand beforehand.

Unfortunately, if LA’s are to do appropriate due diligence on the provider and on the claims, it’s going to take time. It is frustrating that now LA’s are attempting to do due diligence the providers quickly start complaining about the delays.

We have a new provider in our LA taking over from a collapsed provider – with mostly the same staff, premises and properties. 2 months in and we still don’t have any signed leases, the correct rent breakdown is full of errors as are the licences, and many of the properties already fail to meet the decent homes standard (our Environmental Health teams were already inspecting). Yet, they have already complained to the Chief Exec regarding delays from the LA.

Even though we are still not satisfied that they have a right to rent the properties, we have agreed to move onto the next stage and advised we want to carry out several support reviews to satisfy ourselves that the residents do need support and support is being provided. This isn’t a quick process – we have estimated that giving notice to the residents, carrying out support visits, requesting support documentation, and then reviewing all this and producing a report (with just 2 team members and other outstanding work) will take at least a month – longer if the provider delays providing the information. We’re fully expecting another complaint to follow.