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Housing Association Housing Assessment Unfair!

cjazzcjazz Posts: 8Member Listener
My wife is disabled and has difficulty walking any distances, she relies on a walking stick for getting around and copes ok getting around around the house.  Recently a new tenant moved above and is a heavy metal fanatic, so we experience a constant booming noise in the background. Our housing association have been involved and are stating that the noise is at an acceptable level, they don't have to live with the noise for hours though.  The noise is now affecting my wife's mental health and she is continually crying, her doctor is concerned about her mental health and wrote a supporting letter to the Housing association.

The housing association carried out an assessment with the aid of an occupational therapist and the recommendations were way over the top, a need for a full wet room, a gradual gradient to the property with no step and hand rails both sides of the path, none of  these recommendations will help and probably not be used because they are unnecessary. Because if these recommendations from the occupational therapist the housing association will now only consider us for a disability property, which are very limited and a very long wait if one did come up.

The housing association are aware that the current property is causing mental health problems for my wife and I requested if we could apply for a general needs property (like we currently live in) as well as a disabled property, so there will be less waiting and will stop the stress which is affecting my wife's health. Unfortunately the housing association is adamant that we can only try for a disabled property with all of the adaptions. The housing association are aware that these properties very rarely come up for letting and then there maybe a waiting list.

I appealed about the decision for placing us on a disabled category only, which was turned down.

Any advice on anything we can do to get out of this predicament? 

Replies

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Posts: 609Member Pioneering
    Can your wife get a letter from her doctor stating how these requirements aren't needed?
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,316Member Pioneering
    @cjazz Have you considered trying to swap your property? There are online sites where you can register for this. The housing association would have little say in this until you actually found someone prepared to swap and then they would have to agree, or the council if they actually allocate the housing association properties. About the noise, my son has the same problem. You can report this to the Environmental Health at your local council, (noise abatement people?). They will ask you to keep a diary of times and duration of the noise which should be considered as well as the volume level. I suggest you start now to record the times and what effect this is having. Especially if it is during the night. A constant low level noise can have as much nuisance factor as a loud one for a shorter time. Provide them with a copy of your wife's letter from her GP. We had noisy neighbours for 13 years going back to a former house so I know how awful it is. Hope that helps.  
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    edited August 2017
    Hi @cjazz

    Welcome to the community and thanks for posting here. I hope I can help you make sense of some of this.

    With regards to the noise nuisance. Before legal action action can be taken, it needs to be established if the noise nuisance is a statutory noise nuisance. See the information Noise nuisances: how councils deal with complaints for a detailed explanation of what a statutory nuisance is and the legal remedies available to tackle this.
    @wildlife has made some good suggestions too about home swaps and how to tackle the noise problems while you're still in your current home. Any legal remedies are going to require evidence so noise diaries and witness statements will be necessary. Your housing association or local authority may also recommend neighbourhood mediation. Has you been advised about this?

    I know how damaging the impact can be on your health when you're affected by noise nuisance. It can force you into making decisions when it's difficult to think rationally because you're under pressure and desperate to escape the torment. 
    The noise nuisance in your case is making you and your wife want to get out of the current property and understandably so. You're probably so exhausted and stressed that you would consider moving somewhere that isn't going to be suitable for your wife's needs in the long run.

    Your wife has had an OT's assessment and the report has provided specific information about your wife's needs now and in the future. The local authority/housing association has to ensure that the property they find for you is suitable for the long-term. Even if you don't think the adaptations are necessary now, they might be critical in the future. It's best to take on board the recommendations of the OT. They're on your side and want your wife to have the best living environment possible.

    This is a really complex issue though and you would probably benefit from some further housing advice. Shelter might have a service in your area, but if not, they have a national helpline and you can chat to an adviser online (during office hours).

    If you need further information let me know and please let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes
    Debbie




  • cjazzcjazz Posts: 8Member Listener
    Thank you Debbie for your reply.

    Update: We have stuck it out and are still living in our current tenancy and have just been waiting for a suitable property came available.  This week a property did become available and in the correct housing category for disabled tenants. The only problem was that the property did not have a stair lift for the stairway. I contacted the housing association to be request if we could be considered for the property with the intention to install a stair lift at our own cost if necessary, my request was turned down and I was informed that housing applications are based on the OT assessment report.  Which is very disappointing news.

    Because of the over the top recommendations by the OT it has put us in a situation that we will never be re-housed, the housing association have already informed me that there are very few disabled properties in their stock.  To fulfill of the OT recommendations I don't think there will be any such properties and the refusal to add any extra adaptions will make any chance to rehoused impossible.

    I fully understand what you are stating the the OT is aiming for the best living environment possible. The problem is with the housing association who will not re-house disabled tenants unless all of the OT recommendations are fulfilled.  The housing association are quite happy for us to continue with our current tenancy even though there is not one of the OT's recommendations being fulfilled.
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