Housing and independent living
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After a legal advice please re housing and w

sparklessparkles Member Posts: 11 Courageous
hello, I'm not sure I am in the right place however I did notice a solicitor legal section some time back but I can't seem to find it.

just wondering if anybody can help point in the right direction please as we have an ongoing issue with our housing and the environment we live in where it is affecting our mental health as a family. Brief background, my partner and I have a 10yr old son with cerebral palsy who is wheelchair dependant and both myself and his dad are full time carers for him. At the moment we have just started a CIN with children's disabilities social socials of which our housing were invited to this child in need meeting yesterday but they refused to come and said it was nothing to do with them.

it is a very long story so don't want to go on and find there's no help there. Our son's social worker did suggest maybe trying scope as she feels that we should go legal even though we have visited citizens advice at the end of last year, they too pointed towards our social housing landlords being responsible as at that time and for the last four years we've been subjected to anti social behaviour which has effected our mental health, more so my partners health and has had to go on medication and referred for some form of counselling. He currently sleeps on a camp bed in the front room on night watch duty due to our son needing turning in the night and being epileptic and so I can get the sleep I need to look after him in the day and do things with him.

we are trying to move house, we were originally in a three bedroomed house which we really liked and they said could be adapted, however after 12 months of us living there and decorating and carpeting the house. Our son was due to have hip reconstruction surgery and several weeks before it was due they came out to our home and said they aren't going to adapt it! They had already been out months before that and measured up etc and we were the first tenants under the new rules that a DFG was no longer just the council finances goeverment, the housing had to match it, due to this they turned it down 12 months later on cost! They also showed my partner a letter they had apparently with my signature on it agreeing to the fact I had signed it when we took the house on saying that the house can't be adapted , we do have a video of this! Basically they ignored our son's surgeons letter saying that our son has a dislocated hip and we need adaptions in place as the surgery cannot go ahead until they have confirmation that our son could actually physically get back in the house! The hospital even contemplated getting the fire brigade to take a window out just so we could get into the house on a stretcher as our son was wearing a spica cast. Anyway they said there was a two bed bungalow coming up but not available yet, but we were very close to his operation that's all we could think about, so had to pass it onto my father and my sister and a local councillor whom was helping us at the time. They all had a meeting whilst we were in hospital with my son. Our son had to sleep in a hospital bed in the front room after his operation cause we couldn't get him upstairs to bed or even bath him.

they agreed to a tiny 3ft extension on a single bedroom at the bungalow just so we could get a double bed in as our son along with his equipment and 7ft hospital bed had to have the largest bedroom. We are still struggling for space and the only cupboard in the property in the hallway had to be taken out to widen doorways. Our son's OT is unsupportive , we are on the housing list and the housing won't move us and we are currently having a battle with our son's OT and physio who of which have had it in for us since something happened back in 2011 . I have now got copies of all medical notes under freedom of information and I have used one particular record and shown social services about the way we've been treated, they have arranged for us to have a new OT even though there aren't any at the moment and a new physio due to relationship breakdown.
sorry I said I would keep it brief !! But even the social worker is saying to try and go legal, but we know we don't stand a chance with this housing association. They didn't care when we had been subjected to anti social behaviour, threats, noise nuisance , discrimation and the fact our son couldn't use our rather large garden due to the dangers of flying footballs and being startled from the noise smashing against our fence which could set a seizure off. The police have been involved with it all and we opened up a community trigger through the council etc, thrnpolice have finally for now managed to stop the anti social behaviour and even they say our housing are terrible and known for not co operating. We also have a concrete ramp at our door which has been wasting away since we moved in here of which was mentioned before we moved in but nothing done about it even though it was too eroded at that point but it's got worse and last year our son broke his arm as it's uneven and pushing him through the door very carefully still causes his wheelchair to bump about which causes our son to extend his arms out and unfortunately that's what happened last year and he broke his arm. Social was aware of it and the housing of who came out to look at something else and I pointed it out to their adaptions manager she agreed it was dangerous and said she would report it but it's likely to take a while...12 months later still nothing's been done about it.

anyway if you got this far then thanks for reading, do you think we have a case? My partners doctor knows what's been going on, he's a highly very popular doctor and he asked my partners permission if he could write to our housing as what they are doing is illegal. Our social worker currently writing to doctor to see if that's happened yet. 

Replies

  • GeoffBosworth195661GeoffBosworth195661 Member Posts: 163 Pioneering
    Hi [email protected], to get the sorted quick get in touch with your MP as this issue can be helped by your MP. You can also who is very passionate of getting issues like yours by clicking at the below Paul MaynardMP JUst click on it will take you through. You can 0808 800 3333 FREE PHONE Home housing this number is also scope the main number to give help. 
    A new guide for MPs and their staff has been published. Government whip and former Transport Minister, Paul Maynard who lives with Cerebral Palsy writes about how MPs can play their part in helping constituents.

    Paul Maynard MP: Helping every child with Cerebral Palsy achieve their potential
  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @sparkles,

    I'm so sorry to hear about all the problems you have been having with your accommodation, it sounds like a really tough time for you.

    As @GeoffBosworth195661 mentions, have you tried contacting your local MP for help and support? They might be able to direct you to organisations which may be able to help you.

    I would also suggest contacting our helpline for free on 0808 800 3333 or on [email protected] While they cannot offer legal advice, our Helpline can point you in the direction of those who may be able to further support you.
    Liam
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering
    Hi @sparkles

    Sorry to hear of all the difficulties you are experiencing.

    You are right that in the past there was a list of solicitors on the Scope website but this was for legal practices that we knew to specialise in clinical negligence cases. The list is no longer available but it wouldn't have been relevant to your search for legal representation on a housing matter anyway.

    It has been suggested that you call the Scope Helpline but please been aware that the Helpline advisors are unable to give legal advise. Scope doesn't offer legal advice or representation but here are a couple of links to websites that explain how you might be able to obtain that in your area:
    Shelter:  https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/complaints,_courts_and_tribunals/legal_aid_and_free_legal_advice
    Disability Law Service:  https://dls.org.uk/free-advice/free-full-legal-representation/

    I suspect that the initial advice you would be given is that  before trying to bring a legal case ensure that you have already exhausted the formal complaints procedure of your housing provider/ local authority and if that doesn't result in a satisfactory conclusion escalate it to the appropriate Ombudsman:
    Housing:  https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/
    Local Government: https://www.lgo.org.uk/

    Involving your local MP, as has already been suggested, also sounds like a sensible idea. 

    Best Wishes

    Jean 

    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • sparklessparkles Member Posts: 11 Courageous
    Hi so sorry everyone I couldn't find this thread again and never got email notifications for some reason!  My sincere apologies and thank you for all the helpful information. It's all such a mindfield, citizens advice did mention ombudsman but we had looked into that before and members of the public can't actually refer themselves to it. I do have access now to all the housing records as I asked for the data access freedom of information. A lot of names and email addresses are blanked out as they are electronic records and even parts of emails I have written are blanked out which make no sense as I'm able to read them in my emails and can't see why they would blank those parts out as it's my email and not referring to a name or anything! Anyway I just don't know where to start or even have the energy anymore , they are corrupt and they've lied and there's supposedly things missing! Something I have proof of that happened but yet they don't have any record of it, I supposedly signed something which was shown to my partner which I have proof of them showing him ( I wasn't in the room at the time) and once they had gone I knew instantly that I never or wouldn't sign something like that, we've known all along I never signed it, and now 5 yrs later now I have the records for the housing I can see clearly there's was never any letter or signature! And there's been referance to it from the housing adaptions manager who showed my partner the letter at the time and our housing manager, they state to the council in an email that unfortunately they don't have this in writing! So basically they've lied, made this letter up and someone's forged my signature. It doesn't stop there, they mention a complete lie to get out of doing a dfg for our son by saying they had been told numerous times by us that we are struggling to live in a three bedroom property because we can't afford the extra bedroom tax at £48 a month! They did use that excuse to turn down the dfg that they agreed to and actually went ahead with accessing and measuring up 12 months previously, once they realised they had to match costs with the council thrynpuooed this stunt. This bedroom tax is also a complete lie, as we kept telling them that we were very happy to pay the extra amount of bedroom tax if it meant being able to stay in a three bedroom property so we could store equipment for our son and have the extra space for a bed for when partner on nightshift etc. And this was a complete made up figure as well, it was something like £13 or £17 a month , it wasn't much... £48 a month is a joke! Unfortunately now we are in a place where we are struggling to live in a two bedroom bungalow of which they virtually forced us into when we were in a very hard place with our son's major surgery , we didn't have a choice because if we had stayed in the three bedroom property then we could only live and sleep downstairs. Unfortunately the housing manager, the adaptions manager, the council dfg guy have all now left their positions! And the long standing councillor that was helping us bless him he did great and knew what was going on. Unfortunately died a year after we moved.
    sorry waffling again. 

    Unless SS I have enough money etc then we've know chance with this housing, 
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