‘Too young’ Navy veteran denied a new home

Royal Navy veteran Jason Langton with son Thomas and wife Susan
Royal Navy veteran Jason Langton with son Thomas and wife Susan

A DISABLED ex-serviceman has hit out at the authorities’ attitude towards helping veterans after a mix-up involving social housing.

Jason Langton, who was medically discharged from the Royal Navy and now suffers from knee and back problems, spoke out following the misunderstanding with Your Housing Group.

Mr Langton claims he and his wife Susan were given verbal assurances from one of the housing association’s employees they would be able to move into a bungalow in Worsley Mesnes last week.

However, when they rang back a few days later they were informed this was not the case and the property would be put up for bidding at the online shop set up by Wigan and Leigh Homes.

The couple, who live in Worsley Hall, then had to endure further disappointment when they were informed they would not qualify for a bungalow anyway as Mr Langton is not aged 55 or over.

Mr Langton, of Ridyard Street, has now questioned the attitude towards those returning from the front line, following several high-profile public announcements from senior politicians that veterans would be treated as a priority.

Mr Langton, 43, said: “You keep hearing the armed forces are number one priority but they’re not, they’re not bothered.

“The way we’ve been treated is just wrong. Why can’t you have a bungalow because you are not 55? What’s the difference between being 43 and 55 if you’ve got medical needs?

“We’ve got an urgent need to move. We’re currently in a three-bedroom house and I can’t use the stairlift without smashing my knees on the bannister.

“It’s making me depressed and it’s made my son, who has learning difficulties, very anxious. It just feels like it’s all falling apart for us.”

Mr Langton says his wife was invited to view the bungalow on Snowden Avenue and sign paperwork in a phone call made on Friday April 17, but was then informed they would have to go through the usual bidding process the following week. Your Housing Group apologised for the breakdown in communication and said it was waiting to receive a nomination for the couple to be considered for the property.

Hayley Austin, regional director for Greater Manchester at Your Housing Group, said: “There appears to be a misunderstanding and for that we apologise. Property allocation is through a nomination process handled by Wigan and Leigh Homes on behalf of Wigan Council.

“As there is a waiting list for certain properties, the fairest way of allocating homes is through this process, where the greatest needs are considered first.

“This bungalow is a category one property for applicants 55 and over. As we believe Mr and Mrs Langton are below this age bracket, Wigan and Leigh Homes would have to determine if they would still meet the criteria for this type of property.

“A nomination for Mr and Mrs Langton has not yet been received, but once we have their application we look forward to helping them find accommodation that suits their needs.”