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AIBU to be upset at the council?

(212 Posts)
TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:05:02

Sorry, this is likely to sound like a rant, but here goes...

I've been registered as homeless for a year and I've been living in the temporary accommodation that was offered for nearly 6 months. They promised to do the repairs soon after I've moved in. They've not done anything. I've got a 2 month old baby in a severely damp, cold house, where I can't take a shower (due to broken doors, mouldy and broken shower unit). I was meant to be having disability rails installed but they decided they can't be arsed doing that either. The occupational therapist said in September that the house is unsuitable.

The midwives and health visitor weren't happy that I was stuck in a house in such a state of disrepair on top of a massive hill when I've got a disability. So my housing officer offered me somewhere else (another temp) back in November. I've never actually been allowed to move into there, despite her promising it will be definitely before Christmas.

Basically the damp is getting worse and half of my door fell in yesterday. I called up the council before and they said there's another temporary place that they can't get rid of over 10 miles away, but I wouldn't be moved back to the area in which I'm living in and is on quite a rough estate where I'd stick out like a sore thumb and be very isolated.

Am I being unreasonable to be upset that other people are being offered things that would have been suitable for my daughter and I and they're just trying to get rid of somewhere on me and not letting me move into the place where I was offered?

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:11:26

That sounds bloody awful Have you been to the CAB. Have you thought about speaking to your local paper.

Channel 4 news have been doing news items on the pressures faced by disabled people in #nogoBritain.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:15:48

The CAB office around here have closed down and their advice line seems pretty useless. I've tried shelter too, and they said what they're doing is legal so it couldn't be taken to court.

I've thought about the local paper, but they don't seem to take stories unless I want my name published, which I certainly don't. sad

MsJamieFraser Mon 16-Jan-17 20:16:51

It the way housing is at the moment, there is a national shortage of housing and budget cuts mean houses in disrepair aren't being repaired.

You have no idea the circumstances of the people who have been getting council properties, you cant pick and choose your area, if you need a home, you will take any that is suitable, no matter where the area is.

What other lists are you on, are you on HA lists, private lets etc...

Mumzypopz Mon 16-Jan-17 20:17:20

Do you mind me asking why you are registered as homeless? Is there anything in private sector housing for you, so as you aren't reliant on the Council? You mention a disability, but can you / are you able to work? Other people may have been offered things due to their needs etc, may have been on the list longer?

Ilovecaindingle Mon 16-Jan-17 20:17:39

Can you contact your MP? I am sure they would be interested and able to help. .

hotdiggedy Mon 16-Jan-17 20:19:07

I'm trying to figure out if you were expecting the baby before or after you became homeless?

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:20:37

How strange. I suspect Shelter would be humming a different tune if it was a private landlord doing this!!

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:23:32

I've emailed the MP 5 times since November. I'm in Wales, so the housing crisis isn't as bad around here. But it only seems to be locals who get permanent housing around here, despite whatever connections people may have. I'm registered with housing options, so that covers the 3 housing associations that have properties in this area. I simply cannot afford private rent.

I'm not being fussy, I simply want to live near my family for support. I know other people have been offered other temporary (and permanent) in the area. I have social issues which make me a bit of a bullying target anyway. That's not really an issue in the area that I'm living right now, as it's quite student heavy and I have really fantastic neighbours.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:25:35

Yes, if this was an ordinary private let, I bet you that they would find this house unacceptable.

MsJamieFraser Mon 16-Jan-17 20:25:45

Have you asked for an inspector assess repairs? have you got times and dates of when the repairs where reported?

If so escalate them to the manager and their manager do all this by writing and keep a paper trail of the repairs, call and take date, time and the name of the person you've reported the repairs do.

Repairs, have you tried to repair them yourself and what have you used for the mould in the shower have you used disinfectant to get rid of the mould spores? have you tried to screen the doors back onto their hinges etc...

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:26:07

Hotdiggety, pretty irrelevant.

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:27:03

None of it is an excuse for them not doing the repairs in your current place.

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:30:27

Jamie broken doors and broken shower unit are the landlords responsibility. You work for an HA so you know this.

The OP also has disabilities so may not be able to do these repairs.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:30:29

They've assessed the repairs and promise to do them, but they never get done. But when I reached the end of my tether with it, they just said that they'd need to wait until I move out. I can't do them myself, no, or I would have done. I did secure the break in my door to the best of my ability.

I've recorded each conversation I've had with the council, when they promise to do things. I've also written more than one complaint to the head of the homeless department.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:30:53

Helena, thank you.

BadKnee Mon 16-Jan-17 20:31:28

Private rental would surely be better? Housing benefit + child benefit + Income support?
I agree LA homes are in short supply but they are allocated on a need basis so there is no guarantee you will move up the list at all.

Where is baby's father? Surely he could help to house his daughter?

I think the allocation of social housing is appalling. You are in a catch 22 situation but until it changes, you need to take the best option for yourself. That might be moving into a private rental or leaving the area

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:32:28

If the OP did attempt to do the repairs and did them incorrectly making it worse i bet she would be charged for it.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:33:45

I don't get income support as I have disabilities. I mentioned earlier that I can't afford private rent. The LHA rate in this area is £89 a week and 2 bedroom properties are typically over £130 a week and quite rare. If private rent was an option, I'd have taken it a good while ago.

cauliwobbles Mon 16-Jan-17 20:34:24

Me too Hotdiggety.

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:36:31

The problem with leaving the area is that I would be throwing myself at the mercy of another council who would probably find me intentionally homeless. The other thing that's pretty annoying is that they treat me like rubbish when I try my best to be polite and decent to them and I'm a really good neighbour. I get on really well with my neighbours. I don't take drugs or cause trouble. I take care of the property to the best of my ability.

LottieL Mon 16-Jan-17 20:36:38

Can you get help or advice from another agency, like Citizens Advice?

Mimicat44 Mon 16-Jan-17 20:36:55

Hotdiggedy, what's that got to do with it?

HelenaDove Mon 16-Jan-17 20:36:57

I recently found out about a family who had been left for 8 weeks without heating and hot water including over Christmas. They finally did pay for it to be done themselves.

NOT private landlord

TurtlesAreAwesome Mon 16-Jan-17 20:37:45

What does it matter whether I was pregnant before I was homeless? You don't know my background so please be respectful instead of just wanting to judge. I haven't been unpleasant with either of you two.

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