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Single working mum, Housing benefit question.

(11 Posts)
Bestforbaby Thu 24-Oct-13 14:10:20

I am working full-time, and will continue to do so after the baby is born (apart from 3 months maternity leave).

I have put a deposit down on a one bed flat for us. A two bedroom flat would have been completely unaffordable on my salary once there is childcare to pay, and honestly even one is a push, but I am not eligible for council housing/housing association.

I know once I am back at work and paying childcare, I will be entitled to child tax credits.

My question is about housing benefit. As we will only have one bedroom (though technically 'entitled' to two), will I be entitled to the rate for a one-bed flat, or some other amount? I assume until the baby is born I am not entitled to anything? Even the rent on the one-bed flat is higher than the weekly allowance.

TIA

Rockchick1984 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:31:16

Put your details through turn 2 us benefits calculator as though the baby is already here, it will tell you what you can claim for. You can apply for tax credits as soon as your child benefit is awarded, you're still classed as working despite being on maternity leave smile

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 16:32:54

why a re you not entitled to social housing?

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 16:34:49
Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 16:35:43
Bestforbaby Thu 24-Oct-13 16:53:00

Custardo, I am in London, and when I called the council they said that there is a massive waiting list (nearly a million people waiting for homes in central London), and until I have had the baby, they can't put me on the list (or refer me to a housing association to be put on their lists, which is what would really suit us, as I could definitely manage a subsidized rent without claiming housing benefit) because I am currently renting privately, and the property is suitable for my current needs.

I can't have the baby in my current flat. If I deliberately make myself homeless I would not be eligible for the council list. I am not prepared to mess my landlord around - they have always been clear about no children allowed, it is not his fault I have ended up single and now with a baby on the way - so he makes me homeless. And if I did mess the landlord about and be made homeless, the council could only offer a B&B or similar, and I thought anything had to be better than that heavily pregnant or with a newborn.

I really don't understand what I could have done differently, and when I spoke to council people they just said there was nothing they can do until I have the baby, and even then I shouldn't get my hopes up.

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 16:58:48

check here i have no doubt that there is a long list and bugger all housing availalbe [insert political rant grr] does your tenancy say specifically 'no children'?

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 17:04:39

shelter advice about intentionally homeless

emergency accomodation advice from shelter

i would strongly recommend that you ring shelter and ask them for advice - they have people with knowledge about housing law and will be able to give you specific specialist advice, You can ask them to send their advice via letter, which you can then take with you to the housing options team at the council, don't assume people who work at the council know what they are talking about, and making it clear that you know your rights will make it harder for them to fob you off

speak to shelter also about your current tenancy agreement. not sure why you can't have your baby in your current flat - but my advice would be to phone shelter and not to leave your tenancy until you have to - if this is the tenancy you can afford

Bestforbaby Thu 24-Oct-13 17:09:51

Yes, no children and no pets. Which is why I have found somewhere else. Because the prospect of having a baby alone is frightening enough without having to worry about whether we have a roof or not. As long as we are housed, we can live very cheaply. And sharing a room is fine for a while.

It is just that looking ahead I do not see how our situation will improve, as I will not earn enough to rent a two bedroom flat and pay for childcare for a long time.

Bestforbaby Thu 24-Oct-13 17:16:17

Thank you for all the links.

Custardo Thu 24-Oct-13 17:27:10

no probs, does you line of work and wider family and social network mean that you could perhaps not move out of london?

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