A HELENSBURGH woman has hit out at a housing association over the difficulties in getting a property she can call home.

Jeanna Kenney claimed she - and others in the area - have been repeatedly passed over by Loretto Housing Association in favour of other people moving into the area - a claim which the housing association denies.

The Advertiser recently told of tenants’ joy at the new Alder Gate development on moving into the homes - but Ms Kenney says the same cannot be said for everyone.

She told the Advertiser: “Helensburgh is lovely but there are many people within the area awaiting more suitable housing, who are being passed over.

“The housing association has never held homes in the area before so most local people have not been on their waiting list before. It’s a shame as so many local people would benefit from these homes.

“I have bid on every available property but have noticed via Loretto HA Facebook page that the homes have thus far been allocated to people who have never lived in, or considered living in the area.

“After emailing the association, I keep getting the same response - houses are allocated to those longest on the list.”

READ MORE: Housing chiefs accused of “missed opportunity” after Burgh homes are reportedly given to people from outside Argyll and Bute

Helensburgh MSP Jackie Baillie has spoken of her sympathy for Ms Kenney and hit out at the Scottish Government for “underfunding” councils.

Ms Baillie said: “There is a chronic lack of social housing across Scotland and I am all too aware of the problems which exist locally. I constantly hear from constituents in Helensburgh and Lomond who are struggling to find an appropriate house for their needs and size.

“Councils are already struggling to meet their budget due to underfunding by the SNP Government for 15 years. To top it off, the government cut 16 per cent from the housing budget in 2023/24 which is appalling.

“The SNP Government needs a proper approach to social housing to make sure that everyone has a secure roof over their heads.”

Councillor Math Campbell-Sturgess (SNP, Helensburgh and Lomond South), the ward which covers Alder Gate, explained he would be contacting Loretto Housing for clarification in the matter, adding that “letting policies should be fair to the local community”.

A Loretto Housing spokesperson said: “The way we allocate our homes is fair and transparent - with 50 per cent of properties available to those on the Argyll and Bute common housing register and the other 50 per cent advertised to customers on our housing website.

“Customers who register for a home with us are placed in a banding according to their housing need. Applicants then register a note of interest in available homes in their banding.

“We’d be happy to speak with the customer and discuss all of the options available to them for finding a new home, including with other social landlords in the area or a private rent.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The Scottish Government cannot comment on individual cases however we expect social landlords to work with people to support them into a home that meets their needs.

“It is not true the Scottish Government’s affordable housing budget has been cut by 16%. While funding for 2022-23 was around £80 million higher than the budget for 2023-24, we remain committed to investing £3.5 billion in total over five years.

"The next financial year’s programme budget will also be supplemented through other funding streams, including £15 million from our Heat in Buildings Fund and donations from our Charitable Bond Programme directing investment towards more social rented homes.”