Any advice on desperate housing needs?

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Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby marko2002 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:17 pm

Hi all, its been quite some time since I was on here but I thought a previous post hadn't been answered and so never really came back, but I now know it had been, its just I was a nugget and didn't configure the response emails properly!!

Anyhooooo, here's the prob ... My wife has fibro as well as arthritis in her spine and has always been a depression sufferer but with the fibro and arthritis, well you can guess how badly one affects the other.

Long story short, we live in an upper cottage council flat (otherwise known as a 4 in a block) and she has struggled with the stairs and her hygiene for a while, her movement and mobility is quite badly restricted. She relies heavily on me to help her wash, but she cannot get in or out our bath because its too sore for her to lift her legs and because of the spine issue she cannot comfortably sit in a bath, we even tried rubber rings to sit on but the elevation of her legs whilst sitting in the bath is too sore. The many stairs in our home are also a challenge, and she can only negotiate these with my help, and its still painful for her, on top of the chronic pain already.

We eventually asked for the assistance of an OT who tried a couple of hit and misses with bath lifts, handrails, etc but nothing was really hitting the mark or making anything easier or less painful. The OT then explained a wet room would be pointless because there were still two stairs to negotiate back and forth from the bathroom meaning my wife would still need assistance, and a stair lift would require some pretty serious and substantial structural work, and even then would be no use for the two stairs to and from the bathroom, so they recommendation was to move.

This was over a year ago and we are still stuck in the same house with the same situation. I recently had a meeting with our local housing department herr on Scotland and basically they've told me that its likely we will be waiting a considerable length of time because they do not have the available houses.

Some new properties were being built close by and I asked regarding those because the ground floor houses were stepless access and the bathrooms were designed to be easy for wet room conversion but I was told they had all been allocated already. We have now found out about another 27 amenity homes being built within the same authority by the same council although these are much further away. I have since written to the director of housing and social work explaining our desperate need but I'm not particularly hopeful of a positive response.

My question is, even with doctors support and recommendations from an OT, what else can move a local authority to recognise someones dire need to be rehoused?

Any advice and support greatly received :)
Marko
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby taraloum » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:05 am

I don't know much about this but I would imagine a letter from your doctor would help, also maybe your wife could write a letter saying exactly how it all affects her with all the little details in too. Other than that just keep phoning or going in to see if they have found you somewhere, make them sick of hearing your voice. It helps them get things done quicker. Good luck and I hope they give you something soon x
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby dazzleship » Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:17 am

hi

sorry to hear of your situation. this is totally off the top of my head because I don't have much knowledge about what to do but - have you considered contacting your MP ? I've heard that sometimes people get help that way when things don't seem to be "shifting" for them in the normal way.

just a thought, don't know if it will help.

I know that councils used to give "points" for housing need - is that something your council does? because if they do surely from what you've said you should have enough points to be able to move?

also what about swapping to a different council house - is that a possibility. like swapping with another council tenant, I'm sure that used to be something that could be done (again whether it still can though!)

anyway keep pushing at them, keep hounding them and hopefully they'll eventually budge.
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby *Lisa* » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:29 am

Adult social services??

Worth a try?

Have you any housing associations that only cater for the disabled? Maybe worth looking into this although the waiting list does tend to also include housing associations now but again worth a look into.
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby marko2002 » Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:55 am

Thanks for the replies guys, the email I sent to the director of housing and social work for our authority details the issues my wife faces on a daily basis so I'm hoping some priority will come from this, not holding my breath though.

As for our MP, I already asked our local councillor for some assistance and support and the only outcome to that was the housing department phoned to tell me they didn't have any houses!.

We are due to see my wife's doctor next week and so will be letting her know how let down we feel with all of the above, the OT's who have barely pushed our case and the councillor who merely made an enquiry by the looks of things. Hopefully the doctor will word a letter strongly enough to make someone sit up and take note otherwise my wife is likely to continue deteriorating and suffering.

We will certainly keep pushing at high levels and hope someone gets sick of hearing from me soon !
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby Lisalou » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:30 am

Hi, I work within the mental health and housing sector. I too suffer with FM.

If I were you, I would get in touch with your local MP again, insist on a meeting if you can. They can make things happen.

It is not right for you to be waiting this long. I'm not sure whats available in scotland but down here in kent we have a service called Floating Support (which is what I do). This service is in place to support people with housing related need and benefits advise.

I wish you all the best, never stop keeping on their backs. Phone the council every week, have regular meetings woth your housing manager, dont let her forget who you guys are. I know it feels like your being a pain (thats the idea) they get people off their backs who make a fuss.

Take care x
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby taraloum » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:09 pm

If they have no houses you could ask them to talk to the next nearest council to you and see if they have any houses and collaborate with them. It might not be in the area or town you want but it'd be more suitable for your wife. I don't know if they do that but it would make sense for them too, but then again the council don't often do things that make sense lol
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby marko2002 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:13 am

Thanks for the additional advice guys, will keep this in mind if I don't get a suitable response from the director of the housing and social work dept :)
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby marko2002 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:58 pm

Just another quick update ... contacted our occupational therapist today for a good chat and she seemed genuinely surprised that I felt as let down by the system as I do and I explained to her that it appeared nobody was listening despite the various moves I made and the few people already involved in our case and she has explained that she will be putting a letter of support together for us based on her assessment but she was unlikely to be able to do much more than this.

I can understand her predicament, all she can do is make the case that we need to be rehoused but I would doubt she has any significant authority and if she does it would appear she doesn't know about it.

We have an appointment with my wife's Dr this Thursday and we will seek a supporting letter from her too.

As yet, we have still to receive as much as an acknowledgement to the email I sent to the executive director of our housing and social work department !!

Will keep you all up to date as and when things happen :)
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby *Lisa* » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:49 am

Good luck for the doctors appointment, i hope they can help some more to add with what you have :fingerscrossed:
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby marko2002 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:25 pm

Well we managed to see our Dr today (made a boob with the last appointment) and our Dr has agreed to formulate a letter of support after my wife explained her mood is deteriorating because she can't manage her hygiene or get in or out of our home without significant assistance from me and as a couple we are virtually non functioning in a recreational capacity because my wife avoids going out because of the stairs and feels paranoid of her hygiene.

I have since also raised the matter with our MSP now too as we feel our local councillor isn't responding to subsequent emails and the executive of our housing and social work dept hasn't even bothered acknowledging my initial contact.

Hopefully, next week we will have the supporting letters from the OT and Dr and we may have some contact from the MSP. I've even responded to a recent feature on the "This Morning" show where they were highlighting problems faced by carers and I emailed my current situation that I am having to take the weight of my wife up and down stairs because of her inability to support herself when negotiating stairs and that it is putting a strain on me and I feel nobody is listening when we are appealing for a house without stairs and they have emailed me back explaining Denise Robertson (the resident agony aunt/health guru) will be responding to me personally shortly!!

Fingers crossed on all counts and as always, will keep you all updated :)
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby dazzleship » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:04 pm

sounds like you might be getting somewhere at last. good luck. :-)
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Re: Any advice on desperate housing needs?

Postby emma83 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:23 am

I work for a charity that supports housing needs, here is the advice I would give:
A letter from the OT is needed to send to the council stating the problems with the property relating to her health.

A letter from your GP explaining how living there is detrimental to her health and wellbeing.

Also request a home assessment from social services (this may have already been done by OT so check).

I would also do some research into local housing associations that cater specifically for disability needs. Housing 21, Santuary Housing group are a couple I can think of off the top of my head but each area has different providers.
If any interest you give them a call- discuss your concerns.

Also like someone mentioned earlier see if there is a 'floating support service' in your area and refer yourself. This can get you a support worker to help you deal with the council etc.

Good luck :-)
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