A DYING elderly woman who wants to spend her last months of life near her family has been sent to live in a filthy flat, relatives have claimed.
Violet Gallett, 79, applied for social housing in Weymouth last October so she could live closer to her remaining family after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
She was supposed to move into her new home in Leam-ington Road, Lane-house, on Thurs-day but her family found the ground floor flat to be in a ‘filthy’ condition. It is believed drug users used to live at the flat as needles were found.
Mrs Gallett, who gave up her home in Birmingham to move to Dorset, has to live with relatives in Weymouth until the Synergy Housing flat is cleaned.
Synergy has admitted the condition of the flat was ‘unacceptable’.
Amanda Bussell, granddaughter of Mrs Gallett, said: “It’s just not right. I’m fuming.
“My nan cried her eyes out when she saw it, we just couldn’t believe it.
“It was in an awful condition and she only has months to live.”
Mrs Bussell, of Norfolk Road, Weymouth, added: “When we first came to look, the cleaners wouldn’t let us in because one of the cleaners said there was blood up the walls and needles on the floor.
“We contacted the council on the morning my nan was meant to move in and they sent cleaners round. But even after it had been cleaned there was still dirt, mould and damp.
“The skirting boards and window sills were all cracked, chipped and broken off.
“What’s most worrying is that all the window locks were broken and there were open wires everywhere. It’s not even user-friendly, she needs a walk-in shower and she is only about four feet tall so she can’t even reach the light switches.”
Widow Mrs Gallett chose to leave her home of 40 years in Birmingham and move to Weymouth to be close to her daughter Jackie Robins and grandchildren.
Mrs Robins said: “Between the doctors and the family we managed to get her down here so she could live out her last days surrounded by loved ones.
“We are her only family able to look after her properly.
“She has been offered another property which wouldn’t be available until February 19, which still isn’t good enough.
“Synergy even had the nerve to send her flowers and chocolates to say sorry but that hasn’t helped either.”
Mrs Gallett said: “I’m really fed up.
“At the moment I’m living with my daughter but I want my own home. I’ve come all the way here and given up my home in Birmingham. It’s disgusting that pensioners are treated like this.
“They say they kill the old ones off first.”
Arthur Preece, who lives opposite to the flat in Leamington Road, said: “Lots of people have come and gone from that flat, I think there were drug users living there once. It’s been boarded up for ages.
“It seems a bit crazy that they would put an elderly and ill woman in a flat that is not fit to live in.
“I reckon it’s a problem with the Synergy system, they saw her on the waiting list and just wanted to fill the room.”
‘condition did not meet normal letting standards’
A spokesman from Synergy Housing said: “Synergy Housing has been liaising with Mrs Gallett regarding a move to one of our properties in Weymouth. “One of our lettings officers accompanied Mrs Gallett to view a property that had been allocated. “Unfortunately, when we viewed the property we were disappointed in the condition which did not meet our normal letting standards. “Synergy Housing has apologised to Mrs Gallett for the unacceptable standard of the property and we are rectifying this situation by undertaking a full redecoration of the property which will start on Monday and is due to be completed by Thursday so that Mrs Gallett can move in later next week. “Mrs Gallett will not be charged any rent until this situation has been resolved and will be reimbursed any other expenses incurred due to the delay in moving. “We are undertaking an investigation into why this situation occurred to ensure that this does not happen again.”
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council housing spokeswoman Amanda Legg, said: “The borough council runs the housing register and advertises properties available in the area.
“The council nominates applicants that are on the housing list to these properties. “Sometimes properties are left in unsatisfactory conditions. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure a property is a decent standard.”