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Opting to move

JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
Hello! I have no idea how any if this works so I'm hoping for a little guidance.

I am disabled (standard care, enhanced mobility PIP, ESA support group) and live with my parents. They will receive their state pensions in 2021. They do not claim benefits.

We live in a social housing owned 3 bedroom property. We love it but it's next to a river. We were out for a week in 2000 and We spent 7 months in temporary accommodation in 2013 when we flooded and we came very close to flooding again the weekend before Christmas in 2019. We just can't cope with it anymore. It's too stressful. I was a nervous wreck all over Christmas.

Is it possible to move out of choice? How do we do that? Can I stay with my parents?

Any advice welcome.

Replies

  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    Others will tell you the expert answers. Offhand, I would say go shelter and cab and any other source, but expect  them to say yes your tenancy entitlement is for life, yes you can stay with  parents when you move, but no, it won't be easy.
    Don't take it the wrong way,  but your disability is an advantage.  You are ahead of others   who  may also say they  don't  like the flooding  risk.   Your enhanced mobility assessment is an  official acceptance you can't  escape as safely as  those average  people. 

    Your council landlord has responsibility to make efforts to find more suitable alternative offers. However they may not give a luxury of choice, and may not feel  obliged to provide the surplus bedroom.

     Instead,  the direct  council exchange method may give better results.
    You can offer three beds in a nice area . Someone else will probably be willing to do a swap, especially if they want that extra room.  They  might  be willing to gamble that flooding either won't happen,  or, for them, the risk would be worth  it. 
    The council should be eager to rubber syamp your application to swap, if they are troubled at the prospect of some headlines about a disabled  tenant being swept away in a flood, despite requests for safer housing!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,401 Scope community team
    I'm glad it didn't flood over Christmas @Jurph, but imagine it must have been very stressful waiting to see and being on edge. I agree with @newborn. If you contact your housing association or local council and explain the reasons it is unsuitable they may be able to accommodate transferring you to another property. From experience you'd have more luck if they were looking to down-size to a 2 bed as many councils are crying out for 3 bed places and often offer incentives to downsize. 

    There's also the option of an exchange with other people in a housing association or council property. Again it's often easier if you're looking to downsize but not always a problem. If you get in touch with your housing association they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Thank you both.

    I'll get in touch and see what they say.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Administrator Posts: 7,401 Scope community team
    I hope they're able to help @Jurph! :)
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    A little update.

    They finally called back to say we need to do a mutual exchange.

    I mentioned that we'd struggle to find someone that wants a property that floods. Their view is that we get enough warning to leave in a flood so shouldn't be a problem!

    They won't put us on a priority list because the adaptations I need aren't 'severe' but also say the person we swap with must be disabled because our property is adapted.

    Pretty useless to be honest but I did manage to get them to provide a housing officer to speak to. We're waiting on them to make an appointment now.

    We had another flood alert this morning. The 5th in 8 weeks.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    Hi @Jurph, thank you for updating us. I imagine it's frustrating when you just want it sorted! I hope your housing officer can keep you in the loop and make sure you don't have to wait long.

    Sorry to hear about the flood alert, this cannot be easy. I hope you're okay.
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Thanks @Chloe_Scope

    They've made an appointment with us for mid February
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    Please do let us know how you get on @Jurph. :)
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    We've had out visit from the housing officer.

    Unfortunately, they repeated the same information as they said on the phone.

    Our only option is to do a mutual exchange. Who on earth would want a property that floods?! The will only accept new residents here who have a disability (an over bath shower and 2 hand rails). They will not give us priority as I'm not "disabled enough".

    I'd also have to pay £4,000 back in the disabled facilities grant for the shower.

    If we asked the Local Authority to house us, we could be expected to split up as I'm easier to place as a single person (!) And my parents as a couple. How can splitting us into 2 properties be the best option?!

    So it looks like we're completely stuck. I'll just have to ring the fire brigade to rescue me if we flood again.

    I'm so angry and dejected.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    I'm so sorry to hear this @Jurph! I'm not surprised you are angry, things have been really difficult and you have struggled to get answers. 

    Have you been in touch with Shelter at all? They might have some other suggestions.
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Hi @Chloe_Scope

    Yes, I used their online chat service. While they were sympathetic, they said that as we have a "property that meets our needs" and I've been assessed as not needing a different property for medical reasons then I we not be on any priority list.

    There's no way of paying £4k for the shower anyway even if we did find a way to move.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    Hi @Jurph, that must be extremely frustrating. Please do let us know if anything changes or if there's anything else we can support you with - I'll keep an eye out for housing things!
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    edited February 14
    I've been through all my Disabled Facilities Grant paperwork and the official statement says "The LA may seek to reclaim any grant paid if the disabled person moves with 5 years of the certified date, unless their move is due to ill health or other relevant circumstances"

    I've never been more sure that I meet both ill health and relevant circumstances! 

    Once again, I'm struggling as we're on our 7th Flood Alert in 3 months. Flooding is expected in my area on Sunday. I just can't keep doing this. I've lost 1 1/2 stone in these 3 months - just through stress and anxiety.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    I'm really sorry to hear this, how were things yesterday @Jurph?
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Terrible @Chloe_Scope . I've had my bags packed since friday ready to leave at a moment's notice. 

    As usual, my physical and mental health has suffered badly.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    I'm so sorry to hear this @Jurph! I'm not surprised it is having such an impact on your health. Have you been informed when it is likely to improve?
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    @Chloe_Scope we're off flood alert for now but expecting more rain this weekend.

    I've had enough. I just don't know what to do
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,165 Pioneering
    I am surprised that anyone builds in such places. Where I live they have built an estate on the river's flood plain. Such idiocy! I don't know if they have ever been flooded but the road on the far side from the river is often covered with water. Even if no flooding has occurred then it stands to reason that the footings have been undermined by water.

    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.
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    Ours is Victorian. It's been flooded many times over the years. A flood barrier was built to stop it (it worked for 20 years). 

    You're right though. My council are notorious for giving permission for building. They've just given permission for a medical centre round the corner. They've had flood pumps on site since November to keep their foundations dry!


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    I cannot imagine how stressful it has been @Jurph. I really hope the weekend weather is kind to you.
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 473 Pioneering
    Building in flood areas is fine, but only if it is specifically designed for the purpose.  Other  countries always  did have buildings on stilts, but the modern equivalent is equally possible.   

     
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    Hi @Jurph, how has it been over the weekend?
    Community Partner
    Scope
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    It's gone down a bit @Chloe_Scope. We're not on alert any more. I can't bring myself to unpack my bags just yet.

    We now have water coming down the chimney and the next available appointment is not for another 6 weeks.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 9,478 Scope community team
    I'm glad it has gone down and you are no longer on alert @Jurph. I can see why you are hesitant to unpack, it must have been a difficult few weeks with lot of uncertainty. I really hope you are over the worst now.
    Community Partner
    Scope
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