Rant - Housing Association

Sorry ladies, this probably seems insignificant to some of your probs, but i figured seeing as your a sympathetic clever lot, you might be able to help!!

i'll start from the beginning!!

my oh has been diagnosed with non-epileptic seizures and has been off work since dec 07, he has been incredibly ill and i must say we have got such a strong relationship because at times, due to his illness he has really rough days/weeks, which is stressful enough, seeing him ill, without lo in tow too!! who has also been ill last week. anywho... i moved from a well paid job in the city to a crappy less wages desk job nearby as he needed me closer to home incase he had bad seizures in the day, which he has ended up in a&e 3 times having stitches in his head as hes passed out on the stairs, plus numerous times in a&e as i couldnt cope with him if he had a bad seizure while i was pregnant....to top this all off, i got made redundant in sept, at 7 1/2 months pregnant, with no hope of finding another job. we struggled on ??1200 a month between jan 08 and sept 08, this inclusive of his measly DLA payments. i got made his primary carer in sept when i was made redundant....which was great as it helped us financially a bit. we're now on income support and we get money for archie, plus his DLA and carers allowance, i hate claiming all this, but we have no choice.

after i got made redundant, we started to struggle with the mortgage, so i went and asked for help through the job centre, we got told we would be helped so to keep plodding on, this was in october last year. then we got refused as aparently you have to struggle for 50 weeks before theyll even consider you, and as i was getting behind on the mortgage at this point, as we really couldnt afford it, i put the house on the market. after months of nothing, we finally got an offer on the house last month, but it was less than i paid 2 years ago, but because we're so desperate, i accepted....and heres where the problems begin!!

out of lack of options, we applied for housing benefit, and guess what, theyve scored us as an 8, just because im selling my house!!! BECAUSE I CANT AFFORD TO LIVE....i now have to go on thursday to a meeting and bare my soul and all our issues to this jumped up wanker who probably assumes im trying to scam the system somehow or im some drugged up jippo (which im not of course), yea of course, im selling my home for the fun of it to live in a council house until my severley ill partner can return to work again-which maybe never as his illness can not be treated with drugs!!! i really dont know how these people sleep at night. my house is probably going to complete at the end of this month, and my mortgage company will start with 'further action' as they call it, at the end of this month as ive managed to sweet talk them for long enough, and if the housing association wont house us, then we'll be homeless with a 12 week old baby, what a bunch of tossers.....im at a loose end, if they dont offer us anywhere to live i have no options, my family live 90 miles away and oh doesnt have anything to do with his biological family.... i could use the small amount of money from the house to rent for a couple of months, but it wont spread far, or for long!!

do any of you ladies know if there is anything else i can do, because in this day and age, unless you know what your doing and how the system works, they are so reluctant to tell you anything

thanks for listening !!


  • Hi.
    Try not to worry too much, they def will house you. You might have to use the money from the house to rent for a while as i dont think you will be housed by council with more than ??3000 in savings. But once you have done that they will house you. With a baby you are a top priority case, however they might put you in a b&b until they find you somewhere. Good luck for thursday xx
  • Sorry - I have no idea on any of this so have no advice or words of wisdom.
    Just wanted to say I'm really sorry you've had such a shit time and I hope things go your way on Thursday.
    Take care
  • i also don't have any advice to offer, just that I dont see how they could possibly justify not helping you. Sounds like you have been through so much, what a crappy situation- really hope things work out.
  • If i was you i would conatct Shelter, their telephone number should be in your local yellow pages. Unfortunately they were unable to help me, but the do know your rights, etc. I think it all depends on how your local housing association work, whether its the points or banding system, unfortunately we had to sell our house in April 2006, our daughter had just turned one and i was pregnant with my son, we had to sell to pay the debts we had accrued, but apparenty that is making yourself homeless, NOT the same as being made homeless through no fault of your own, in which case the local government have a duty of care for you. We ended up living in my parents dining room, bed, cot, drawers for clothing and not much else, and then a moses basket when the new baby came along seven months later, we continued to live there overcrowded until the baby was 10 weeks old, so 10 months in total, the property was assesed and noted that we were overcrowded, etc but it still didn't get us anywhere, when we moved they had just changed the system from the points to the banding, in which case we were worse off as it didn't matter whether we were 1 person overcrowded or 10 people overcrowded, it was still the same band, however before we would have had points for each person. I warn you, they will want to look through everything, statements for credit cards, bank accounts, final letters of anything that has been cleared, loans, mortgage, etc. Unfortunately they still didn't house us, we ended up moving to the cheapest private rental we could, a one bedroom flat, and we ended up there for nearly two years, we eventually got a house back in November, after phoning and complaining nearly every week, at some point nearly every day for nearly three years!! (I also had doctors letters sent due to suffering post natal deparession as a result of our living conditions, health visitors were also contacting the association on a weekly basis. They may put you up in a B&B but you do still have to contribute to those costs. If you are able to afford the deposit on a private rental, if you don't want all the stress it may be worth doing that, only what you can afford though, if it's too small, probably better, but even if you move into a one bedroom, you won't be classed as overcrowded until baby is 2, again you have to be careful that you are not appearing to make life more difficult for yourself, as again they won't help, but moving from my parents didning room, we were still impoving our situation, but then once any money you have left has been used up on the rent (again you will have to prove that you've not been unneccessairily (sp?) spending, as this will work against you again!) you will be able to apply for housing benefit and council tax benefit again on the private rental. I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, and it is only my experience, but the government has set certain standards that all housing associations have to abide by, and the housing associations will do everything they can to try and put you off persuing it. My motto for the three years was that all good things come to those who wait, but its no consolation when it seems like the sky is falling in and you have nowhere to turn.
    I'm sorry i have gone on for so long but please feel free to email me if you want any advise, I now have quite an extensive knowledge on the subject, after involving councillors, housing standards, etc.
  • thanks for your advice/support ladies....its a real pig, if i was a druggie or foreign, id get a 4 bed house no problem, sorry to be harsh, but its true!! from experience, my ohs brother and gf lost their son to a heart condition, and only then did they help, its disgusting.

    my oh is classified as disabled, and in a way im makin him homeless as he isnt anything to do with the property as my name is on the mortgage so hopefully on those grounds theyll help. we'll hav to see, i kno my doc will write letters and so will my ohs specialist as we've got their support.

    fingers crossed for thursday
  • Oh Emily- I really hope you can find somewhere appropriate without having to use B&B's etc.
    My friend works in housing and she said there are thousands on our waiting list. When I said our other friend was a single Mum with 2 kids she said -yes but there are still hundreds who are 'priorities' and the wait could be ages. Best thing here is to find a private rent-if you are eligible for housing benefit it will cover most rents. Other thing you may like to consider is putting the proceeds from your house into your parents account so you don't end up using it all before you can get help. I hate cheats but don't think it's unreasonable to keep a few thousand for emergencies & hopefully 1 day you'll need it as a deposit on your own home again, Good Luck x.
  • Really sorry to hear of your situation. Unfortunately you are also proof of how crap the councils and HA's are at re-housing those in need. I also work in a field where I attempt to help those with medical issues get re-housed in the community. ANd dont kill me but its a housing ass i work for.

    HB and council tax always change their goalposts for being able to get full benefits. There a pain in the ass.

    Unfortunately like has already been said, the councils have at least 3 forms of being 'homeless'. And where they choose to place you on this scale affects the help they are willing to give. OHs medical issues may not have much of a bearing on the situation im afraid. But as already said as you have young children you should (when the council decides to) be given priority re-housing. But they will take their time, and they probably wont be able to re-house you in 4-6 weeks. If this is the case and you have nowhere to go after the house sale goes through, prepare for having to sit at your local council building all day until they finally talk to you and temorarily put you in b&b.

    Also after you are interviewed by a council housing support officer to complete an applicationfor priority housing...... apparently they have 33 working days to decide to accept you onto the priority waiting list or not???!!!!! If you get a good support officer then they can work quicker.

    We are meant to have a small number of priority rehousing properties for the scheme i work for with the same HA's general needs lettings..... even though it is the same company we still have to harrass them for the properties. If its like that for us I can only imagine what it is like joe public?!?!?.

    Look into private rental with a reputable agent, far quicker, far easier, and you still get a property that will be safe and secure (ie gas electric serviced regularly).

    Again Im sorry that this sound like a horror story (god knows you dont need one of those at the moment), but i wish you all the best and hope you find your new home soon.
  • thanks for your comments ladies.....i eventually got off the phone yesterday, and the jumped up idiot i was talking to accused me of making MYSELF HOMELESS!!!! what cheek .... OK i replied....how about i stay put, get further in debt, have my house repossessed, make my OH even more ill than he already is, upset my son, and i, myself end up with depression through it all like i did while pregnant due to stress of being made redundant, would that make you happy or us a "priority" case....i felt like telling him to get bent!! why is it that our society can see through all the loop holes in the system, yet our government does nothing to help in this so called reccession we're having? i have no choice but to make myself homeless because if i stay here i'll lose my home anyway.....they best have ear plugs and some strong needle and thread cuz im going to scream at them thursday and rip them a new a*se hole if they dont give me answers and somewhere to live.

    Im more than prepared to go private, we just cant afford the ??55 x 3 (me, oh and guaranteur) fees for credit checks, then the ??115 estate agent fees, ??450 rent in advance and ??500 bond....it works out over ??1200 ... which we just havent got.... ive always paid into our system, since being 14 actually, so i think its about time they helped us out, its only for a year until my OH can return to work, then we'll be laughing! they will not get their hands on the money from the house, ive already said that i owe it to someone anyway....what makes me mad is that i know people who's partners are more than able to work, but instead they stay at home claiming benefits and child benefits cuz they prefer to piss the money up the wall buyin beer and drugs rather than working and putting back in to our forever failing systems....if my OH wasnt ill, we'd be bringing home well over ??3k a month, without me working, and i guarantee he'd be putting more tax in to the system month by month than any of these scroats who scrounge out of our systems.....

    there,,,,,i feel better now !! LOL...

    good thing is a friend has had archie for me this afternoon so i can get some stuff done, so i best get off and go and get something sorted!!
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