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Being harassed in housing association & nobody helping.

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PAnderson
PAnderson Community member Posts: 3 Listener

I'm in an awful situation and not sure if I'm going to get out alive as losing hope. I live in a bedsit in sheltered housing. There's no longer a warden but lots of communal areas, such as a laundry and lounge. A coordinator comes in for 2 hours once a week. I have been living in the awful situation for 2 years, where a man keeps hassling me. I have high functioning Asperger syndrome, where I wasn't diagnosed until age 45, after a lifetime of difficulty and not always seeing the bad intentions of others. Although I don't think I need to live in sheltered housing, but it was all that was available when I applied for social housing. When I first moved here I wanted to make friends and gave him money and bought him things to make him happy, but when I felt I was being taken advantage of and didn't do so much, he started turning nasty. One of the reasons I went off being friends with him was that he was often drunk and spent the money I gave him in the pub. I've complained about him to the main sheltered housing manager, with a 4 page letter documenting everything that happened, who told me to go back to the coordinator. When I asked the coordinator if the housing association could move me away from him, I was told they only work with the council housing register to house people. Although I know that they have moved people.

I'm not living in peace and freedom and shouldn't that be a human right? He does things like when he saw me putting things in a communal cupboard as he was walking down the stairs, a few hours later I'm creeped out in my own home, as he has taken what I put in there and put outside my door. There's another man who joins in with him making sarcastic noises as I walk past the communal seats outside the lounge, and they have taken over the lounge to sit in there all day and night, and when I was in the lounge, he makes intimidating noises. Another time he started shouting drunken abuse at me when I walked to the communal outside dustbins. My GP wrote a letter to the social housing register to say that living here is causing me anxiety, and I was put on Band 3 of the register, where there are sometimes 100s of people in front of anything I bid for, so I'm unsure if I will live long enough to ever move on Band 3, as I've been really ill from anxiety, so I think that I will either go crazy or die from stress if I stay here much longer. I think the housing association did have a word with him, but it made things worse for me because as soon as they left the building, he was telling other residents that I reported him. He even shouted at the sheltered housing coordinator once and another woman moved away after he made her feel intimidated.

I have PTSD from childhood abuse and high blood pressure, so can't cope with being constantly intimidated in my home or just walking outside. Even when I went to the police it felt as if I was on trial, as after 2 years of trying to move and going to various authorities, and even when trying to walk around the back of the building down an alley to avoid walking past the lounge or communal seats outside, he was stood at the end of the alley to intimidate me, where he wouldn't move until I got my phone out my handbag to record if anything happened, and a PCSO told me that I shouldn't carry my phone if I feel in danger, as he thought I was recording him. Yet nobody cared that him standing at the end of the alley made me feel so ill, that I was shaking and couldn't think straight when being asked questions in the shops I was going to.

The first time I contacted the police, I was patronised and told that I should do more outside the building, as if I wasn't taken seriously because I told them I have ASD. When I did something outside the building to join a club, he was there, but why should he be allowed to take over where I live anyway?

The last time he was shouting drunken abuse at me was below the flat of a man who was found dead a couple of days later. Another resident said that the one who died committed suicide, but whatever the cause of death, the man in question shouting abuse at me must have been one of the last things he heard. Whenever I ask him to go away, mind his own business or leave me alone, he starts calling me names like loony. He keeps doing things where whatever he sees me doing, he finds a way to make a fuss about it to try and either get me into trouble or get others to join in with him bullying me, and there are 2 other residents who support him.

I'm scared that I'm going to die or go mad, as if I've tried for 2 years to move away from him by going to many authorities, then will there ever be any hope of having help to move? I'm also scared that if I did eventually have help to move, that I won't have any options about where that will be, so I'm miles away from things I know. Somebody told me that my GP could do something called a Duty to Refer. Does anybody know what that is and if it could help me to move?

Comments

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 623 Pioneering
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    @PAnderson

    I am truly sorry to hear about the difficult situation you're facing. It's clear that you are feeling trapped and unsafe in your current living environment. It's frustrating that previous attempts to seek help from the housing association and police have not resulted in a resolution. However, persistence is key. Document every incident of harassment or intimidation, including dates, times, and details of what happened. This documentation can strengthen your case when seeking assistance from authorities.

    The Duty to Refer is a legal obligation for certain public authorities, including local authorities and health services, to refer individuals who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to housing authorities. Your GP can initiate this process if they believe your current living situation is significantly contributing to your anxiety and stress. This referral could potentially prioritise your housing needs, but it's important to discuss this thoroughly with your GP to understand how they can support you through this process.

    Feeling overwhelmed and hopeless is completely understandable, but it's important to know that there are avenues for support and options available to you. Keep advocating for yourself, document every incident, and explore all possibilities to secure safer and more suitable housing.

    Most importantly, if you feel unsafe or threatened, you must call the police, regardless of any past experiences where they may not have been helpful. I hope you receive the assistance you need to resolve this situation soon.

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,552 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there @PAnderson and welcome to the community.
    I'm so sorry to hear you feel unsafe, everyone deserves a sanctuary. I echo MW123s advice here.


    I've popped you a quick email, so please be on the lookout for it.

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • wkd
    wkd Community member Posts: 91 Courageous
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    I hear you. I have a similar problem. Next door throws rubbish into my garden when I go to my car or put my bin out she calls me ****, cow etc. In the meantime upstairs parties until 4 am with music booming out. I have been at loggerheads with my HA regarding anti-social behaviour for over a year now. I have given them mountains of evidence that they conveniently lost. They didn't escalate my complaint as they should which they have admitted to so I am still in the same situation a year later.

    I did get the environmental health involved with the rubbish and the parties from upstairs and letters were sent to both parties. Of course, that escalates the situation. What I have written here though is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I applied to be moved and four healthcare professionals have backed that move asking for an urgent one, however, the council have banded me in the lowest band, although I have quite a few disabilities. I asked for a reconsideration of my banding a year ago and they have ignored my request, they have not requested medical evidence either.

    Up to now I have had the MP involved, made a formal complaint about banding and their answer was you can't complain about banding. So I rang up the LGSCO ombudsman and asked if I could complain about banding, who said yes you can after you have made a formal complaint and waited so many weeks for a response. It is now in the hands of the LGSCO and they are making enquiries.

    As for the HA and their lack of empathy, record-keeping and not following their complaint procedure, it is now in the hands of the Housing Ombudsman and it's not my first rodeo with the Housing Ombudsman for much the same thing. So I have two cases one with the LGSCO and one with the Housing Ombudsman.

    Referring to the latter, I am now on the Resident Panel for the Housing Ombudsman and they want their Resident Panel members to share that message with everyone to help others.

    As for the PSCO saying you can't record, well that is ludicrous, if you are in danger you have the right to protect yourself and collate evidence. He doesn't have the right to abuse you or harass you.

    I don't know anything about the Duty to Refer, so I can't comment, All I know is that five or six healthcare professionals have advised me to refer myself to Social Services to help with my housing situation and how it's affecting my physical and mental health. And the council asked if I Social Services were involved.

    However, if I were in your situation I would probably send an email to my MP outlining your concerns, challenge the banding with a formal complaint and then if not satisfied take it to the LGSCO, make a formal complaint to your HA and also one to the police who should be taking this harassment seriously.

    Good luck and let me know how you get on.

  • Batofjustice32
    Batofjustice32 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
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    The police wont help only gangs of nice people will :]

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