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to ask for your experiences with 'temporary' accommodation...

(27 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sat 21-Jan-17 19:53:45

... and how 'temporary' it actually was.

A friend of a friend is shortly to be made homeless and move into temporary accommodation. She has a child who is obviously struggling with this and has a pet that they can't take with them which is making the child even more anxious and upset.

My friend was asking around for someone to foster the pet so that the child doesn't have to lose it for good. I have said I don't see why I couldn't do this and am going to meet the family and pet soon.

However, in my head, temporary accommodation is a B&B that is lived in for 2 or 3 months or so. But I read something recently on here about someone who's been in 'temporary' accommodation for years! I love animals but made the decision years ago that I shouldn't or couldn't have one full time.

What if this 'fostering' situation just gradually turns into a permanent situation. I want to help the family but now I'm a bit nervous.

Is anyone able to tell me about how long 'temporary' was for them in a similar situation? It's something I know nothing about. And I'm feeling a bit stupid for not thinking it through before.

hesterton Sat 21-Jan-17 19:58:12

Why not take the animal for now while she goes through this horribly stressful situation and see how it pans out. Another foster home may be possible if it is carrying on over too long. You're the friend she needs for the moment.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 21-Jan-17 20:05:57

Parents tend to be higher on the waiting list so hopefully it shouldn't be longer than 18 months. It depends whats available locally.

Theconifers25 Sat 21-Jan-17 20:12:33

In my area the average for a 2 bed need family who have a homeless duty agreed towards them is 12 months in temp accom before permanent housing. 3 bed cases a couple of months longer.

Akire Sat 21-Jan-17 20:17:55

It does vary a lot and may not be that close to you either. It's a lovely thing to do even if lomg term they can't keep it. It's still breathing space. If they get offered council house permently all well good but if the council moves them into private rent they have to take it (or council could say ok then we met our duty you are on your own)and not all private landlords may take pets.

Allthewaves Sat 21-Jan-17 20:26:10

friend is in temp flat housing in london with dd, has been for 2 years now. woman next to her has been in temp housing for 5 years so far

ToastyFingers Sat 21-Jan-17 20:28:12

It really does depend on where you live, I'm in south Wales and I don't know anyone with children who has had to stay in b&b accommodation for more than a month.

I appreciate that this is absolutely not the case if you live in London or similar.

manicinsomniac Sat 21-Jan-17 23:10:42

Thanks for the responses.

Yes, I know taking it is the right thing to do and I think I will. I just also know I will struggle to ever say it's been too long or I need to stop looking after it if the situation continues long term.

ToastyFingers - that was my thinking. The 18 months+ scenario is shocking to me, I had no idea it was that bad. I'm not in London, thankfully, but not that far outside.

Oh well, being stuck with someone else's pet long term is hardly comparable to being stuck in a B&B with a kid long term so I will look and the bright side and try and be a nicer person!

hesterton Sun 22-Jan-17 07:31:14

You are a nice person without doubt.

CantChoose Sun 22-Jan-17 07:34:16

That's very kind of you manic. Admittedly a case size of one but my friend has been in (very nice) temporary accommodation for 2 years. She actually approached the owner after a couple of months and for a deposit she's been allowed to have her dog there. Not sure if the legalities of that though.

Nottalotta Sun 22-Jan-17 07:37:37

Very very much depends on the outcome of the homeless application, the local authority and demand there,, and whether they are prepared to rent privately.

In my local authority (housing officer) families,are waiting 6-12 months for a 2 bed house. Flat would be quicker. Village area quicker than town.

It depends on the area really. I was in temp accommodation when exh and I split up. I was in one LA and transferred to another. Both had a policy of not putting families in hostels or b&b's. I transferred to second LA because it was closer to my family and a smaller area so no 'bad' area so to speak. I was in that house for 7 months until a suitable house came up. We live in an area without a huge housing shortage.

MatildaTheCat Sun 22-Jan-17 09:30:28

I used to be involved with pregnant teens who needed housing and here in SW London it was about two years as a guideline and varied from quite nice flats to shared hostel type places. If they were bidding for properties it did of course depend on how open they were to different areas and types of property.

You sound a very nice friend.

MatildaTheCat Sun 22-Jan-17 09:37:15

It's just occurred to me to add that you must be practical and discuss the costs of the pet care, including vet bills and food etc. Also, what if your own circumstances change? And what if they are subsequently offered a property which forbids pets? All quite reasonable to get agreed up front. You don't want to be left with bills or the burden of rehome get the animal so I would personally get these things discussed and only take this on if you can afford to do so.

manicinsomniac Sun 22-Jan-17 12:24:58

Thanks for these responses. I really does seem to be a 'how long is a piece of string' type of question, doesn't it!

Matilda - thanks. Yes, I definitely need to try and be a bit assertive and honest regarding these questions. I can certainly afford to feed and care for the animal or I wouldn't be considering it but vets bills would be another thing entirely. Another problem is that this lady is not my friend, I've never actually met her! She is a friend of a friend - and that friend isn't even really a friend as much as a 'lady I know reasonably well due to going to the same church'. I might ask the 'friend' is she's able to come with me to meet the lady as I do definitely suffer from doormat syndrome!

IMissGrannyW Sun 22-Jan-17 12:38:57

That is very nice of you.

I do recommend you are clear about what you're offering from the start, as this will save things later. So I would recommend:
Making it time limited (eg 3 months) and agree to review at the end.
They are responsible for all vet bills (and taking pet to and from???)
That they understand that you are not responsible if something goes wrong and Fluffy dies (esp if the pet is an animal that doesn't live especially long)
How much contact they expect to have with the pet. Will they be popping over daily to walk it (if it's a dog. Not so much if it's a fish, obvs!)? Or weekly? If so, they need to do that at dates and times that work for you. (you don't want to be waiting in for hours and then having to walk after it's dark because they got held up and didn't turn up)
What happens if you want to go away for a weekend or a holiday, etc? Will you pet-hotel? And who pays for that?

Honestly, going over this kind of thing with them in advance will save loads of grief in the future. It's not you being a door-mat or an ogre, it's just about you both being clear about what the expectations are on both sides.

We were asked to look after a pet for the brother of a mate for an 8-week one-off period. We put some conditions on it (we want the dog to come and stay for a weekend first, so we can see how it gets on our ours/you pay any vets bills/we accept no responsibility if the dog dies, although we'll do our ultimate best to keep it healthy and happy/if it doesn't work out for any reason, we reserve the right to use kennels which you'll pay for). When my mate relayed this to her DBro, he went ape apparently. Refused all the conditions, and put his dog into kennels which the dog hated and he struggled to afford. His dog, his choice.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 22-Jan-17 12:48:09

I second IMissGrannyW's post and suggest you put it in writing, have a copy each.
I ended up fostering a dog for a year and got stiffed for dog food. Then her owner didnt want to pay for her routine vaccinations when they were due. So I put my foot down and insisted they take her back.

manicinsomniac Sun 22-Jan-17 15:30:26

Thank you Granny and DWBaggy - great advice, I will definitely do that.

ImperialBlether Sun 22-Jan-17 15:35:15

But you can't tell someone in temporary accommodation to pay for vets' fees! They simply won't have the money.

OP, I think you're taking on too much. There's no end-time here. Is it a dog or a cat that you're talking about, or something that's less work?

FuckOffDavid Sun 22-Jan-17 16:10:46

I'm in temporary accommodation just now. Council owned. I've been in here since August and I've just accepted and signed for a house with a housing association. This is quite a high demand area which is why I signed up to local housing associations and the council for housing to increase my chances. I would say that unless your friend is claiming housing benefit the rent in temporary accommodation is massive. For the property I'm in, 3 bedrooms it's £45.50 a day in Scotland so possibly much higher in the South East.

manicinsomniac Sun 22-Jan-17 17:58:11

Imperial - this is perhaps going to sound really naïve, but why won't she have the money for vet's fees when in temp accommodation if she has the money when in normal rented housing? Her financial circumstances won't have changed will they? Just the availability of the house? I had assumed that her landlord has decided to sell or something and she can't find anywhere at present to take her HB so is ending up homeless? Are there other, more financially disastrous scenarios?

And don't all pet owners have to have insurance for the vet bills anyway?

It's a cat. Hopefully it's not too identifying to name the type of animal. I won't give any more details, anyway, so should be ok.

manicinsomniac Sun 22-Jan-17 17:59:37

David - I don't actually know the family personally, but I would imagine it's an HB scenario.

specialsubject Sun 22-Jan-17 18:04:40

there are all sorts of reasons why she could be being evicted, ranging from LL selling/dead to her not paying rent/breaching lease.

if she is being given accommodation it is unlikely that the latter reasons apply but NOT impossible.

assume you will have the cat permanently, then hope for a pleasant surprise.

happy2bhomely Sun 22-Jan-17 18:10:10

I'm in London and was in temporary accommodation for 4 years.

This was 10 years ago and waiting times are now longer.

My SIL looked after her friend's guinea pigs when she had to move at short notice. A week after her friend moved, SIL asked when she would be coming to pick them up. The friend said she didn't want them anymore, and if SIL didn't want them, she had to find someone else to take them.

WyfOfBathe Sun 22-Jan-17 18:14:41

And don't all pet owners have to have insurance for the vet bills anyway?
Nope, it's a choice - it's like contents insurance, not like car insurance. So whether or not they have pet insurance is definitely something that you need to find out.

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