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complicated housing issue

TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
hi, I'm Jean,new to all this but would welcome some help/advise regarding a complicated housing issue. My partner Tim is disabled on full pip, we put into our local council several years ago for a bungalow, Tim can have a bungalow in our local area but despite me being his fiancee and full time carer, i'm not allowed to move in with him because i am too young, we've been offered bungalows in loads of other areas but the trouble is they are miles away from , his mum and dad whom i also care for and his doctor whom he has a good relationship with, i myself tick all the local criteria boxes for a bungalow in our local area, except for the age thing, we have our local mp and our local shelter people looking into it, but we've been "fighting" this for near on a year now and have got no where, we recently submitted a new letter from the doctor because Tim's walking is becoming more slow and painful, but they have not even acknowledged it, stuck and very frustrated, not sure which other way to turn, i, myself, have put it to them that they are breaking the law as in age discrimination which is putting a disabled person at an unfair disadvantage, but it's all like water off a ducks back to them, we have missed out on nearly 20 properties locally because of this stupidity .......

Replies

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Community champion Posts: 5,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Jean and welcome

    So sorry you are in this situation, it sounds ridiculous.
    Just a thought, how would they make the distiction if you were married ?

    Hopefully someone will see through the madness soon

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    i asked that same question and they said it won't make any difference i'm still too young ???  the age criteria for a bungalow in our local area is 55 and i'm 46 !/2 but Tim is 56 1/2 hence he can have one but not me, i have ticked all their other boxes, local connection for more than 5 years, yeah lived in the area for 20 years and have over 200 years of family history in the area, must have caring responsibility to someone in the area, yeah his mum and dad, it is ridiculous, have even thought about going to a solicitor about it

  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Community champion Posts: 5,259 Disability Gamechanger
    So if Tim moved into a bungalow on his own, with you being his full time carer, are they saying Tim would then have to move out if you subsequently got married ?

    I just can't get my head around blatant stupidity of some council jobsworth

    I really feel for both of you

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,258 Pioneering
    I ran into this sort of stupidity when I first applied for a council property. Because of my disability I was allowed to bid on ground floor flats but not for bungalows. Fortunately I was attending a disability centre at the time and the lady who ran it helped me sort it out so that I could do so. The reasons for the difficulties are that bungalows (unlike ground floor flats) also have an age limit attached to them. They are mostly reserved for the elderly. In my area, for example, the age limit is 60. If you are younger than that but severely disabled you still have to argue to be allowed to bid on them.

    As a carer this would be why you would not be allowed to move in with him and, if you did, it would remove HIS entitlement to the property. However, as I believe was mentioned, as his wife the rules may (and I stress the may) be different.

    When I first moved in there was a lady living next door who was 61 but, when her younger partner moved in, she was forced to move out because he was under 60.

    Sorry, I didn't explain the area well. I live in a cul-de-sac of council bungalows all designated for 60+ elderly tenants. I was  only 57 or 58 at the time I moved in and only qualified due to severe disability. They always make things difficult when their "rules" are involved.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Cockney Rebel, no, if Tim got a bungalow and then we got married , he could stay in the bungalow but i wouldn't be allowed to move in with him. Top Kitten , thanks for your message, such a shame we all gotta fight for what we should be entitled to, after all disability doesn't discriminate on age, and to think on also of the years of family history we both have in our local area, and his parents needing care, in the local area, worked hard all our lives, the disability being the only thing that stopped him, just to be treated like this

  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @TimJean,

    I'm really glad you've got your MP and Shelter on the case. Shelter will be able to advise you on the law about this and hopefully support you moving forward. I would have thought some discretion could be exercised here. Let us know if Shelter are able to work with you on this and whether they're able to help you resolve this issue.

    Best wishes
    Debbie


  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    hi Debbie, i wish i could give you some positive news on the shelter case but we had our first meeting with them back in the begining of April and i've had to chase them up ever since, i rang them again last week and was promised a phone call back which is a phone call i've actually been waiting four weeks for,, the mp's office are just as slack, they promised to send me a copy of a letter they got 3 months ago and i've haven't got it or heard anything from them since, i seem to be spending my spare time just chasing them up to get nowhere, that's why i came on here cause i was hoping someone might know where else we can turn to. my fella and his father were both armed service men and we've been told to go to SAFA , but i don't know why but my fella is reluctant to do so, i'm at a loss, i can't keep helping him up the stairs or in and out of the bath for a shower because i'm a little bit of 5ft and 9 st and he's near on 6ft and 16st
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @TimJean,

    How frustrating for you both, sorry to hear about all of this chasing up.

    Which local authority is involved here? I'd like to look up their housing policy to see what it says. 

    Many thanks
    Debbie

  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    hello again Debbie,  we're with Cornwall council , on the homechoice scheme. the complicated bit is that all our "local " properties are landlords DCH ( devon and cornwall housing ) they keep blaming each other, " we haven't got a problem with it, talk to the council," " we haven't got a problem with it talk to the landlord " shoving us too and fro, with no answers, we've got the full DCH housing policy and to be honest none of it makes sense, it contradicts itself, it's almost comical, cheers, Jean

  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,258 Pioneering
    The problem is I guess that if they break the rules once others will hear about it and want the same. There are a lot of people like that unfortunately. Of course no one will own up to being the cause as you might have a case for discrimination. I know it's a bit like "rules is rules" but I wonder how much of a run on bungalows there would be if they didn't have the rule in place. Also there would be a lot of people insisting on being ahead of you as "they asked first". Selfishness abounds in society at the moment.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    yes TopKitten i understand where you're coming from, but why then on our application acceptance does it say we can apply for bungalows in our local area, if they are not only going to insist on then blocking us from doing so in our local area but allow us to bid on bungalows miles away ? 
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,258 Pioneering
    I suppose it would depend on how the application was worded and maybe also that different areas have different rules.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @TimJean,

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm going through Cornwall Council's Housing Allocations Policy as we speak. They updated parts of their policy in the summer so I might need to ask you some questions to see if there are other reasons aside from your age that could be causing this.

    So far I've found in the policy 
    Adapted/Accessible Property
    Preference given to applicants requiring a property with a particular adaptation/s or an accessible property.
    Criteria An adapted property is one that may contain any of the following and is also considered suitable for anyone with restricted mobility.
    - level access shower or a specialist bath
    - wide doorways
    - ceiling tracking
    - ramps
    - a stairlift
    - lowered kitchen
    - ground floor kitchen and bathroom extensions
    Properties will be advertised according to the criteria in the Mobility Property Assessment Category and the Mobility Applicant assessment Categories. If a property is advertised for a specific mobility group then only applicants in that mobility group will be considered and added to the shortlist whilst advertising of that property is restricted Fully adapted wheelchair accessible properties will generally only be let to those requiring this level of adaptation and may generally be allocated via a direct match after the Housing Needs Manager has considered all eligible applicants.
    How will this be validated?
    This will be validated through the verification process to check an applicant’s medical details. Partner landlords should be provided with a copy of the welfare assessment paperwork and details of any occupational therapist or support worker involved. A viewing of the property by an occupational therapist may be required prior to any formal offer being made to assess its suitability. If once visited, the occupational therapist recommends that the property would not be suitable then the offer will be withdrawn. If the occupational therapist recommends the property as suitable, then a formal offer will be made and the registered applicant will be invited to view the property.
     
    Older person’s accommodation Older Persons/Accessible and 60+ (Lifeline charge applies)
    Accommodation on Homechoice Older Persons/Accessible Accommodation
    Applicants should be eligible to apply for State Pension Credit or require accessible accommodation due to a mobility need Eligibility criteria
    In order to meet the criteria to apply for properties designated as older persons accommodation,
    Applicants or their partners (where applicable) will need to be eligible to apply for state pension credit * on the date of bidding/verification, or where the property is suitable for an applicant with an evidenced mobility problem.
    How will this be validated?
     State pension credit application eligibility State Pension Credit application eligibility of an applicant or applicants’ partner will be verified at two stages.
    1. On application - applications will include date of birth for each person on the application form.
    2. At verification stage – applicants will need to supply evidence of their date of birth (e.g. birth certificate)
    Evidenced mobility problem
    Applicants applying on the basis of mobility problems will be required to provide independent evidence from a health professional demonstrating the need for an accessible property or the need for the property adaptations 60+ (Lifeline charge applies) – formerly known as Cat 2 
     Applicants must be 60+(lifeline charge applies) *The age limit has been specified as under the Equalities Act 2010 the inclusion of this age is following the legitimate aim of:
      Enabling people of a particular age or age range to socialise together and
     Enabling people of a particular age to enjoy peace and quiet. 
    Any applicants requesting consideration for this type of property who do not meet the above criteria will be considered on a case by case basis taking into account their individual circumstances. Eligibility criteria In order to meet category 2 designated as older persons accommodation, applicants or their partners (where applicable) will need to be within the stated age on the date of bidding/verification. Please note that most CAT 2 schemes have hardwired Lifeline units which have an additional charge.
    How will this be validated?
    The age of an applicant or applicants’ partner will be verified at two stages to ensure the minimum age criteria of 60 is met.
    1. On application - applications will include date of birth for each person on the application form.
    2. At verification stage – applicants will need to supply evidence of age (e.g. birth certificate) Applicants will made aware that an additional charge applies for most Category 2 properties for the Lifeline service.

    I'm left quite puzzled now after reading their policy and looking back on your post.

    They've allowed discretion for your partner's age and allowed him to bid for bungalows but I can't work out why you're restricted as his partner.

    If you'd like to talk about this in more depth, get in touch with me at the helpline and we can arrange a telephone call to try and find out what has happened in this case.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • TimJeanTimJean Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Debbie, that's awesome finding, i've searched myself but couldn't find that, i guess it all comes down to knowing what you're looking for, which i have little knowledge on, I will endevour to be in touch possibly friday, life is complicated at the moment with babysitting every day 4 days a week as well as seeing to the old folks and trying to keep mine and Tim's life on track, thank you so much for this, kind wishes, Jean x
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