Housing and independent living
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Moving home

PalsyPPalsyP Member Posts: 13 Connected
I understand your organisation doesn't really help with this topic, however, I thought I'd see if you have any advice.

For a while now I have been wanting to move from my current location due to many reasons. I'm just wondering whether you could point me in the right direction so I can start proceedings.

Contacted Enfield Disability Action to see if they can help, they stuck me on a waiting list, dread to think how long it is. I've even contacted my "social worker" (if I can call her one), no response - not surprised these days.

I would like to get proceedings in gear as I know things like this take years.

Thank you for your time.

Replies

  • AlexW_ScopeAlexW_Scope Scope Team Posts: 210 Scope community team
    Hi, There are some sources of housing advice at http://www.scope.org.uk/support/disabled-people/independent-living/housing Good luck with your search, Alex
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @PalsyP,

    Thanks for your post.

    What is your current housing situation? Are you renting and do you rent from a social or private landlord?

    The help available depends on your reasons for needing to move and of course the availability of homes, which are in short supply. Is your current home unsuitable for your disability or health needs? Do you need to move to another area to be closer to support networks? You say that you have many reasons why you need to move and if I can find out a bit more about these reasons, it will help me guide you along.

    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Best wishes
    Debbie


  • PalsyPPalsyP Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Housing Association (HA): Paradigm Housing.
    Tenant Type: Fixed, Rented since May 2001.

    The reasons that I'd like to move are as follows:

    1. Repair delays: When I need to report a repair to my flat, it could take weeks for someone to come out to fix - bare in mind, the flat is purposly built for the disabled. I had a small leak around my toilet cistern, called around the 7th of August, they stated they are unable to send someone until the 5th September. Of course, the leak wasn't that urgent, but still;

    2. Actual break in / Attempted break-ins: In 2002 I had a break in, I thought that it was my carer at the door. Opened the door to find some teenager there, pushed me over and started to search the flat, I managed to get up and tried to tackle him. Was half successful as he only got my mobile and £20. He run out after that. Called the police, took prints and never heard anything more after that. People still attempted to break in, my HA or council wouldn't help me so in 2014 I took matters into my hands and bought a CCTV system from ADT with CCTV notices stuck to my windows and a MAGLOCK for my front door, out of my own money. They cost an arm and a leg, but what was I meant to do!;

    3. Drainage / Sewers: I live in a block, ground floor. I keep getting my shower, toilet and bath blocked. This appears to be due to my other neighbours putting grease and flat down their toilets, therefore building up over the months until it gets worse to the point that I can't take a shower or flush the toilet. When I call my HA, all they do is send someone out to flush the drains, then write to all of the tenants charging us all for the job... Rinse and repeat every 6 months or so;

    4. Fly-tipping: In conjunction with 2 (no doubt contributed to the break in), there's a public walkway bang outside my front door. This has been going on since 2013, been going on about it with my HA since then to this very day. First they put fences up with key-coded gates, the gates only lasted hours and they were broken by people kicking and ramming the gates. HA fixes them, rinse, repeat for 3 years. For a while I didn't complain a it seemed I am wasting my time. But at the start of this year, I saw another dump, so I contacted my HA. They told me that they will put up a metal fence and gates.. This was in July, now it is Octobe. Heard nothing.. So there you have it, no-one cares one bit.
    These are old photos but you get the gist http://imgur.com/a/ltEVg (safe link). Those images (at the end) were when it was at its worst, but people still fly-tip, even urinate in the area. I am really shocked that no-one else (in my block) has even bothered to get in contact with the HA all these years, as I still see some of the residents even complain to each other. I don't quite get that. Perhaps as they do not see it outside their windows, they are not that bothered? Even see rats and a fox on occasions;

    5. Unable to get smart meters: Been on the waiting list since around 2011, most of my bills are estimates as I am physically unable to read the meters due to their location. Therefore, no doubt being charged incorrectly from BG;

    6. No fibre fast broadband: Ok, so this isn't a valid reason but my area isn't upgraded.

    So, there you go, my reasons for wanting to move, which hopefully, some are valid.  I'm just fed up with living here, without being ungrateful.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @PalsyP ,

    Thank you so much for your detailed reply, it has been really helpful especially the part at the top about your current housing status.

    I hope the following information helps.

    1. Repair delays I think that it's unlikely that a move on this basis would be a valid request. If you're not satisfied with how Paradigm are dealing with the repairs and the length of time taken then you can complain to them and in some cases it might be possible to claim compensation for unreasonable delays.
    If you want to know more about Paradigm's Complaints procedure you will find it in the following link. http://www.paradigmhousing.co.uk/contact-us/making-a-complaint. Another option would be to contact Environmental Health and ask them to assess the property. If after all of that you're still not happy then you can refer the matter to the Housing Ombudsman. Shelter have some great information about repairs on their website and it's worth having a read through to see more about this. http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions/repairs_in_social_housing

    2. Break in/Attempted break in- You did the right thing reporting to the Police, HA and Council. It's a shame that you had to pay out for the CCTV yourself. It's sometimes possible for the neighbourhood police to support tenants with this. I hope you find it helpful. Did you ask your HA for permission to install the CCTV? What I've found in these types of situations is that installing CCTV can cause problems with the neighbours who might not feel comfortable and may feel that the CCTV is watching them. I've been involved in a fair few disputes about this in the past so bear this in mind. If neighbours complain and you didn't have permission to install the CCTV, you could be asked to take it down. You need to be sure that the camera is not pointing at neighbouring properties because your neighbours can take action under Human Rights laws for protection of privacy. Hopefully this is not going to be the case here but I just needed to make you aware or some of the problem people can encounter when installing CCTV at their properties.
    In terms of re-housing on the basis that you've had a break in and an attempted break in, this is probably not going to be enough to warrant a move. If however there was a risk to your direct safety then this could be a different matter. So, if you were deliberately being targeted then this is serious and you could be considered for an urgent move. If the break in/attempted break in are random and not specific to you then it might be more difficult and take longer.

    3. Drainage/Sewers- As point 1 above.

    4. Fly-tipping- This is an Environmental Health issue and they are the ones to contact about this. They take fly-tipping incredibly seriously, it is illegal after all. I don't know whether this would add any weight to your need to move home but I do understand. You have the right to enjoy your property and your neighbourhood. If your neighbours were to complain too this could ensure that the action needed is taken. It might be something that you want to consider talking to your local MP about. Is there a resident's association you could join too? It's not pleasant living in an area subject to what you've described.

    5. Unable to get smart meters- It doesn't sound like you are on the Priority Services Register with your energy suppliers.

    The Priority Services Register is a scheme which offers extra free services to disabled people, pensioners and those with long-term ill health. It is run by energy suppliers.

    Services which might be available include:

    • a service tailored to your needs. For example, you can ask to have your bills and meter readings in Braille, large type or audio tape.
    • moving your meter free of charge to make it easier for you to access
    • having controls or adaptors provided to make your meter or appliances easier to use
    • free quarterly meter readings if you tell your supplier you can’t read it yourself
    • priority reconnection if your supply is interrupted and advance notice if they have to stop your supply
    • alternative facilities for cooking and heating if your energy supply is interrupted
    • additional protection from bogus callers with a password protection scheme
    • arranging for your bills to be sent or copied to someone else, such as a carer, who can help you read and check them
    • free advice and information about the services available because of your age, disability or chronic illness.

    To ensure you receive additional services, you need to sign up to your supplier’s Priority Services Register. If you have different suppliers for electricity and gas, you will need to register with each. If you have a carer, they can register on your behalf. There is no charge and you can register for all or some of the services.

    6. No fibre broadband- you're right, not a valid point but I do like your humour! 

    I've checked Paradigm's website and they don't have a waiting list so you could make an approach to your local council and have a housing options assessment. All of what you've told me about is relevant because you need to feel safe where you live. I can't make any promises at all but you are entitled to have an assessment. If you need to move for medical or welfare reasons or because the property is not sanitary these are all things which will be looked at. It might be that you can build a case to support you and with evidence too. If you could tell me which council you come under I'm happy to look up their housing allocations policy and we can go from there.

    I hope you haven't found this too negative and I'm sorry for the delay in posting but I felt you deserved a detailed response after spending time telling me about the problems you're having with your current home. I've been working on my reply all week, I do like this save draft facility, it's very helpful to be able to write a bit and then come back later and add some more.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for posting.

    Best wishes
    Debbie


  • PalsyPPalsyP Member Posts: 13 Connected
    Ok, the reasons are not valid :(

    However, there are loads of empty houses about in the UK, yet, people are finding it difficult finding homes. I do not get it. They can house all these refugee's, yet, we can't look after our own, something is really wrong there. But what does the government care, they have high paid jobs and luxurious houses, which, some are funded by the tax payer. There are a lot of disabled people losing money, therefore making them a nervous wreck, which, in turn, turns into ill health - which my first point above can include. All this can, and is, happening to one parent families too.

    This will not stop me from moving, I'll keep trying. I've lived here 15 years, everyone is entitled to a new lease of life and new surroundings. I hardly go out, so I'm stuck at home nearly 24/7 looking at the rubbish and the badly maintained area all day, it's depressing. All that might make me sound ungrateful, I'm not, it's just that disabled people do not get the help anymore unlike they did 20 years ago - all they get now is their money slashed. This is why I hardly ask for help, it is either a waste of time or it takes longer than a month to get something.

    Suppose I'll just have to get married and have a kid, then we would get a house just like that (a bit tongue in cheek but it's the truth).

    England needs to look after their own for once, and not other countries. I voted for Brexit as I thought it'll be simple, but in fact, we have up to 10 years before we do. What was the point in the referendum then?

    I'll stop before I depress myself even more.
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