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Applied for housing (London) and was rejected

(177 Posts)
PetitDiable Fri 23-Oct-15 11:49:54

I couldn't find a suitable topic to post this in, so I'm posting here.

I'm nearly 8 months pregnant and living with my mother in a 2 bedroom flat with my two other brothers because my XP threw me out 3 weeks ago. Come December, when baby is due , my two other siblings will return home from university. I am currently sleeping in my sister's box room.

I applied to join the housing register 2 weeks ago, but received an email telling me I'm not eligible. How can this be? Perhaps there are a lack of homes in my borough. It's a pretty affluent area so I wouldn't be surprised. But what am I suppose to do? I can't live in an overcrowded home with a baby. We would have nowhere to sleep once baby is here and my siblings return home.

I have no job. I've just set up a claim for income support. I can't get any help financially from my family. My mother is on a state pension and my siblings are on a low income.

Has anyone been in a similar position?

Waitingimpatient Fri 23-Oct-15 11:53:40

You may be eligible for housing benefit once your income support is sorted out then you could look for a private rent that accepts HB? I'm not sure what other options there are available

DisappointedOne Fri 23-Oct-15 11:54:09

Your status will change once your baby arrived, but you may find yourself in a hostel or b+b if there are no flats available.

ThruUlikeAshortcut Fri 23-Oct-15 11:54:15

You have to be homeless - according to the council you have a roof over you're head!

Your mum needs to throw you out - turn up at the council with a black plastic bag of belongings and tell them you are homeless - good luck and speak to Shelter to get further advice.

DisappointedOne Fri 23-Oct-15 11:55:39

Once baby arrives you'll also get tax credits, child benefit and maintenance from the father. If you're under 35 housing allowance will be at the shared room rate which may not be enough for a whole property to yourself.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 23-Oct-15 12:00:19

Unfortunately, this isn't surprising.

London has a massive shortage of housing, so much so that people in urgent need are being referred to other counties and leaving London.

You have somewhere safe to live, even if it's over-crowded. You are not homeless. You won't be out on the streets. The over-crowding will be a bit hellish to deal with but I'm presuming that your mum doesn't live in HA housing? Lots of homes in London are overcrowded and whilst there are laws and legislation, they are typically not enforced if it will make people homeless and there's nowhere to put them.

Practically, you're unlikely to be housed before you have your baby. The process is long. In your case, you'd need a letter from your mum saying that you can't stay, and giving you notice. The council would visit her a few times to pressurise her into letting you stay. Sometimes they issue incentives. If they did accept that she was making you homeless, they'd find you a place in a homeless shelter (because you're pregnant, otherwise you wouldn't be priority so they wouldn't guarantee finding a place). You'd stay there until they found you a B&B, or shared housing, and in London it's not uncommon to be there for a few years waiting for a suitable house to become available. When they do offer you a suitable home, you have to take it to remain high-priority on the list, and it probably won't be near where you are - it might not even be in London, depending on how your borough is dealing with the housing crisis.

You'd be likely to get help with housing. How old are you? That will affect how much they'll pay each week. The baby won't be entitled to a room of it's own for a while. Could you find a shared flat? Do you have a deposit? The council may do a bond scheme that could help if you don't.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 23-Oct-15 12:04:09

Instead of asking here why don't you give the council a quick call and ask them..........far more productive and practical.

I mean that kindly.

manicinsomniac Fri 23-Oct-15 12:04:11

This sounds very stressful, I'm sorry. I was in a kind of similar position years ago but I was in student accommodation and eventually moved straight from that into accommodation owned by my place of work and therefore with a subsidised rent so I admit I was very very lucky.

Your siblings will only be home for a few weeks won't they? Would your sister be prepared to sleep on the sofa/camp bed or something just for the uni holidays?

Does your housing have to be London? If employment isn't a consideration could you apply for housing in a less oversubscribed area?

ThruUlikeAshortcut Fri 23-Oct-15 12:10:01

Instead of asking here why don't you give the council a quick call and ask them..........far more productive and practical

You'd think so wouldn't you? But this is not the case sadly. You need to know your facts before you approach the council - Speak to Shelter first, once you know what you're entitled to - go back to the housing dept.

NeedsAsockamnesty Fri 23-Oct-15 12:12:24

You have to be homeless - according to the council you have a roof over you're head!

Your mum needs to throw you out - turn up at the council with a black plastic bag of belongings and tell them you are homeless - good luck and speak to Shelter to get further advice

Errrrrrr she's vulnerably houses in unsuitable accomadation, she would be much better of giving shelter a call.

Alfieisnoisy Fri 23-Oct-15 12:13:48

You've been rejected because although you are pregnant you don't currently have any dependants.

Once your baby is born that will change but despite overcrowding you might have a long wait sad

Be open with regards to areas and accept you might have to move some distance.

Also look at the private sector although this might be out of reach of you are in an affluent area.

Could you look outside of London?

ThruUlikeAshortcut Fri 23-Oct-15 12:14:48

Does your housing have to be London? If employment isn't a consideration could you apply for housing in a less oversubscribed area?

Temporary B&B Accommodation will be outside London more than likely. There used to be a limit of 5 weeks but I hear councils are no longer adhering to that policy. If you work you will be offered a temporary home in London, although possibly not in the borough you applied to.

I had to take my local council to court as the offered me a home in east London, back in the day when legal aid was available! I won my case and the next day was offered a home in Westminster.

Which borough are you in?

PolterGoose Fri 23-Oct-15 12:20:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PetitDiable Fri 23-Oct-15 12:21:47

I'm presuming that your mum doesn't live in HA housing?

She's in a council house. Been there since I was born.

How old are you? That will affect how much they'll pay each week. The baby won't be entitled to a room of it's own for a while. Could you find a shared flat? Do you have a deposit? The council may do a bond scheme that could help if you don't.

Mid 20's. I wasn't aware that lanlords would accept a baby. No deposit.

Could you look outside of London?

I would be completely isolated. I'm feeling vulnerable right now, I don't think it's something I would consider.

Which borough are you in?

Ealing.

TheCuriousOwl Fri 23-Oct-15 12:22:46

Previous posters are right. While you are pregnant you have no dependents and as such are not a high priority as you physically have somewhere to sleep NOW. (I'm a midwife in London and see this a lot).

You need to get your mum to write a letter saying that you can't stay at her house any more after X date. The council will then have a duty to house you. Once baby is born they move quicker but I've known people be rehoused to B&B accommodation AFTER the baby is born and not necessarily nearby to friends and family. Certainly in some of the larger London Boroughs you might find yourself 3 buses away from where you're from. That's my experience anyway. You might get lucky and get somewhere near to your mum. I'd contact Shelter, and get it as sorted as possible before baby actually arrives. Good luck. It sucks I know.

PetitDiable Fri 23-Oct-15 12:23:00

have you applied to the general register?
When I applied, it was a homeless application that I filled in.

cleaty Fri 23-Oct-15 12:24:14

Are your siblings only coming home for the holidays? If yes, then you are not officially overcrowded.

PolterGoose Fri 23-Oct-15 12:25:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cestlavielife Fri 23-Oct-15 12:26:59

the living room counts as a bedroom for housing purposes so presumably it could be you and baby in one bedroom/the living room. your mum in another, two brothers in another. when older ones come back from uni its temporary so you will all make do. eg they share with mum.

you can live in an overcrowded home, many do, espec in London. for first few months you dont need much more than small cot for baby. ...

if the alternative is grotty b&b or hostel it might even be preferable - known location, familiar surroundings for you, no unknown or dodgy new neighbours, plus mum on hand to help, etc.

BoffinMum Fri 23-Oct-15 12:27:00

Anyone is eligible to be on a housing list. However if you haven't got lots of points (awarded for need) you might be on there your whole life. I also think you have been misinformed and should ring Shelter for help. It might also be worth ringing a couple of housing associations and seeing if anything is possible.

ThruUlikeAshortcut Fri 23-Oct-15 12:28:24

When I applied, it was a homeless application that I filled in

As far as the council are concerned you were not homeless - however overcrowded you are! You do literally need to be homeless sad

Booyaka Fri 23-Oct-15 12:31:19

Don't call the council. Contact the CAB or a housing charity and get proper advice on how to move forward. It will probably involve going homeless.

I would caution against calling the council until you've got proper advice, because you could potentially say something which they might be able to use to turn you down again once you've got advice and can move forward. There are a few ways that could happen, but if, for example, you said something like your mother wouldn't throw you out they could use this. Get some good advice from professionals.

ComtesseDeSpair Fri 23-Oct-15 12:32:10

I work in social housing. In my London Borough we have almost 20,000 people on the waiting list and approximately 1,500 properties coming void each year - and the list just keeps on increasing. We allocate with choice-based letting and the average property receives 320 bids - a very large one or one in a particularly desirable area can get double that. We have families with 2 or 3 children who have been in temporary accommodation for years - a whole family living in one ensuite bedroom and sharing kitchen facilities with other families, in a hostel-type scheme. We have nowhere else to put them - there are not enough council or HA homes and they don't want to rent in the private sector. So they choose to wait it out in the hostel, hoping that eventually they'll get lucky.

By all means ask Shelter for advice, but the above is the reality. You might be overcrowded, pregnant and unemployed, but in terms of vulnerability, your situation wouldn't make you among the most vulnerable and poorly housed on the list. Ultimately, if you want to move anywhere fast you'll need to consider private renting - have you asked the council whether you'd be eligible for a deposit bond scheme?

PolterGoose Fri 23-Oct-15 12:34:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teenagetantrums Fri 23-Oct-15 12:34:22

your mum needs to throw you out, write a letter and you need to turn up at town hall as homeless and they will house you in a hostel or B &B but you could be there for years, also it might be outside London. I'm lucky enough to have a council flat that I got 18 years ago but friends with small children who lost their private rent have now been in b and b for 18 months there just are no homes available they are in your borough. You should be able to get a depoist paid by the council for private rent if you not in a postion to funf it yourself. If you are not working you might find it hard to get a flat most landlords do not accept benefits. Might be easier for your siblings to leave home than you, after uni.

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