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Disabled housing in Leeds ozzy2013

Ozzy2013
Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
Hi, I am a disabled resident of Leeds UK, I have EDS Type 3 (hypermobility), Nerve damage in my back from childhood meningitis, & High functioning autism... I applied for housing in 2005/6 with Leeds City council, my doctor helped me fill out my application with all my health problems & needs including that i am a wheelchair user who at the time could occasionally use crutches, No flats as noises from above make me so anxious i don't sleep or eat properly, & I get highly anxious around people I don't know & require a private garden as I don't go out in public.... Leeds council accepted my application, several months later i found i could no longer stay with the "friends" i was living with as they were using me & taking all my disability money, I ended up on the streets & Leeds council said they had nothing for me...

I ended up in St James hospital from taking a serious overdose of antidepressants as I couldn't handle being on the streets physically or mentally, when I was discharged from hospital the doctors were outraged at how the council were treating me & wrote them a letter telling them they were responsible for my overdose & it was their duty to house me....

I went to the chemist for a new prescription & went to the housing office, they kept me sat in the waiting room for 7 hours before calling me to the desk to tell me they had nothing for me & demand i left as they had other people to deal with... I started popping my new prescription packets into my hand & told them the tablets were going down my throat when i finished if they didn't find me somewhere, security took me into a side room & an hour later they sent me to an industrial estate to meet a landlord for a temporary property, he took me to a shared house in a high violent crime area with my room up a set of stairs, I had people staying with me to carry me up & down the stairs & started getting warnings, the other residents were drug users leaving dirty needles under couch cushions, eating my food, & leaving the main door unlocked which resulted in 30 local drug dealing youths using the property to hide from the police & weigh drugs, they took my phone & i couldn't do anything to stop them... 6am one morning i was woken up by one of the youths kicking in the front door for somewhere to sleep, my carer took me downstairs & we found my mobility scooter with a broken axle under the front door that had been kicked off, i went up the street & found police in a van to come & help me, they arrested the youth & a lovely police woman explained to me that the property & other shared houses in the area had been having the problem for over 9 years & they were shutting down the house as a high crime spot, the police wrote me a letter telling the council i was not responsible for the problems & they had to rehouse me....

Leeds City Council moved me around similar shared unsuitable properties for the next 2 years & put me on the streets a few times in between for having my registered carer stay to help me... then i had a call from them saying they had a ground floor property in Morley Leeds which was a low crime area at the time, they said it was my only choice so I came to view the property, no adaptations or wheelchair access but they said that would be done after an assessment from the O.T. , the place had it's own garden which the council woman showing me the place said would be mine as it was a medical recommendation.....

2008 I signed for the property & was told i could go & get the keys 2 weeks later after repairs.... When i got the keys my friend from the mental health unit & his mum helped me move in, we got to the property to find all the garden fences for this street & the next had been removed leaving a communal garden i can't use, people hiding behind the flats taking drugs & attempting to burgle the flats repeatedly, police chases on foot through the gardens all the time, & then locals told me this is Beeston Leeds & not Morley, the area is a high crime area where disabled people, women, & the elderly are seen as an easy target for violent crime all the time.....

for years i had to struggle on my crutches with my joints grinding & dislocating to be able to use the bathroom, we had the O.T. round with my adult social care worker who told me the property could not be adapted due to the structure & cost. I met my current female partner in 2010 & she moved in with me & my carer in this 1 bedroom flat, I carried on struggling with my crutches to maintain my dignity rather than have people empty urine bottles & bedpans for me, we kept filling out housing applications & they kept getting rejected even though my health needs weren't being met & my home kept being attacked by locals looking for some quick money....

I carried on using stronger & stronger prescription medication to be able to get up on my crutches, many allergic reactions along the way from different substances my doctor was trying to deal with the immense pain, eventually i was prescribed Fentanyl in high doses which left me unable to stand up on my crutches anyway, after dying twice from stopping breathing whilst passed out & my partner bringing me back to life whilst crying her eyes out we decided the medication was putting my life at risk & giving me no life to talk of, when i was conscious i didn't know what was going on around me or where i was, the withdrawals nearly killed me coming off the horrible stuff......


Years of being forced to use my crutches damaged the joints in my hands, wrists & shoulders, & i have been stuck in bed for nearly 5 years now... I have a folding electric wheelchair & my carer made me a wheelchair ramp for the front door, the council came round & demanded to my partner that we have the ramp & the wheelchair that was on my original application removed from the property until we have written permission, we told them to send that request in writing which years later we are still waiting for lol.....

at the end of last year my 90yo nan was sick in hospital & made me promise i would try the council again as i had been buying giant solar panels & preparing to get a used caravan to adapt & live in a private woodland somewhere down south... we filled in the application & it was accepted, the council then sent surveyors round who agreed this property could not be adapted for my needs & was in a serious state of disrepair where they hadn't fixed anything we reported in 10 years including broken windows from attempted break ins..... my doctor & Leeds Special Autism Service contacted the council in writing & they accepted my medical recommendations at the start of this year but didn't apply them to my application.....

February my nan died from pneumonia with contributing factors being EDS, I got angry & scared as i have had pneumonia repeatedly living in this damp mouldy flat & I also have EDS Type 3.... I contacted a housing solicitor & also put a complaint in to Leeds council about being wrongfully housed all this time, A guy from the council called me to say my complaint was being upheld but all they were going to do was apply my medical recommendations & give me priority A+ for bidding on the properties on their website, they would have had to do that anyway according to their rules, & they refused to send me it in writing.....

Our solicitor came round March this year & opened 2 cases against Leeds City Council, 1 for disrepair due to the damage & loss caused to our possessions with the damp & black mould eating & rusting everything... & the second case was for homelessness due to some 1996 act which says as i can't access my bathroom & kitchen technically I'm homeless.... the council sent someone round in May to fill out the homelessness application after my solicitor sent in the paperwork....

The council contacted my solicitor asking if i could reconsider my medical requirements for a private garden & low crime area sent in by my doctor & Leeds Special Autism service....
My solicitor sent a private surveyor round who wrote a report saying this was the worst disrepair & conditions for a disabled person he had seen in 40 years on the job.....

July we complained to the council that we were only getting priority over flats which my doctor, Leeds Special Autism Service, & my solicitor had told them wasn't medically suitable, the council wrote back giving us priority over non age restricted bungalows which don't exist on their housing site, & priority over adapted houses with elevators already installed, we've found 2 adapted houses since then we have bid on, we ended 1st in line, & the council won't respond to us or our solicitor about them....

My solicitor heard nothing regarding the homelessness case & was being ignored, October the council sent me 3 emails, 1 was dated May & contained a homelessness application to prevent homelessness which wasn't what we applied for, & the other 2 were dated July closing the application for homelessness as we aren't at risk of losing this property... October they sent this after time had run out for a review..... My solicitor contacted them to complain & received what he referred to as thinly veiled threats to remove my priority A+ from the council website for months if we wanted an investigation, my solicitor advised me to drop the case.....

The council then tried to offer us £1000 to drop the disrepair case which is a fraction of what we've lost to this property, we declined..... the council 2 weeks ago have agreed to a joint survey between my solicitors surveyors & the councils before they make a new offer & start repairs, we agreed to that which is supposed to happen Thursday 28th November (next week).... from out of nowhere last week the council sent 2 workmen round to start doing repairs before the new survey for our legal case was done trying to sidestep it, we contacted our solicitor & I refused entry to the workmen through my CCTV camera intercom asking them to make a new appointment through the offices of my solicitor as the council have been told in writing many times this year but ignored......

That's where i'm up to now, there's no point in getting in my wheelchair as my hydraulic crane lifter was stolen from by our door years ago after being left for 2 mins while my partner cleaned this tiny flat, i'm in too much pain & suffer from dislocations when people try & lift me in, Plus i can't spend more than 30 mins in this wheelchair before the pain becomes unbearable, & spinning on the spot in the middle of this room is all i can do in my chair here anyway, this flat's too small for the wheelchair i need & i'm afraid any new equipment i get will be stolen or attacked by rust from the damp in the walls.....

I need help & would be grateful for advice &/or action to get us somewhere suitable before this property &/or area kills me... if nothing, knowing this information about what has been done to me is out in the public is a consolation, I would still be able to stand on crutches if it weren't for the properties Leeds City Council has put me in over the past 13-14 years, I've ended up in hospital many times with serious attempts to end my life & end this hell i've had to endure, It's criminal the way Leeds City Council have dealt with my life for so long.

Thank you
ozzy2013
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Comments

  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    You're all so ignorant that i hope you have to live my life one day!
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,609 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome,

    I'm a community champion here on scope. I'm sorry you feel that you've been ignored with your questions. Unfortunately, when you posted your question it was early hours of the morning and most people will have been in bed at that time, so activity on the forum is usually very slow through out the night.

    That's an awful lot to go through over the years and i'm sorry you've had to deal with all that.

    I see you have a solicitor dealing with your issues on your behalf, have you spoken to them again?

    I really have no answers for you i'm afraid. I'm sure someone will come along and have some further advice for you but this is a very complicated case.

    I just wanted to welcome you to the forum because i realised you felt ignored.
  • paffuto10
    paffuto10 Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    @Ozzy2013

    Welcome to the community. 

    I'm just speechless at everything you've had to endure. 

    I can only hope that just getting all that written down and sharing with us will slightly relieve some of the pressure. 

    I will tag a few friends who hopefully will be able to help and advise. 

    @thespiceman
    @poppy123456
    @Chloe_Scope
    @Adrian_Scope

    And others like myself can be here to listen and support. 

    Hope you will be ok, I honestly do. 
  • paffuto10
    paffuto10 Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    @Ozzy2013

    So sorry you have had to endure all this.

    Glad you've managed to come on here and talk about it. 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Ozzy2013   Pleased to meet you. Apologise for not  contacting you earlier.  

    I am one of the team of community champions on the forum.  I as my friend said @poppy123456 many of us are in bed.

    I am one of the few community champions who do stay up late and look around before go to bed. Usually start here now around early morning in-between  my own life and any thing else I need to do.

    I am truly sorry missed your post and may again apologise.

    I am appalled ,shocked and stunned about what has happened.

    As a member of this community never heard so a sad upsetting story. I myself thought my own story around getting homes was a not a pleasant one.

    Understand you have a solicitor from reading you have EDS. Autism this should never had happened but has.

    Please can I ask have you ever contacted the EDS Association for further support and advice regarding housing.?

    https://www.ehlers-danlos.org.

    Helpline 0800 9078 518.

    Please can I suggest further do have my own Housing Association 

    Home group.  They do have a lot of properties. No need for deposits or anything. I am disabled my self and have mental illness.  

    Something to consider.

    https://www.homegroup.org.uk.

    Shelter is another organisation to look at.  

    https://www.shelter.org.uk.

    Helpline 0808 800 4444

    https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk.

    Helpline 020 7367 4500

    Another one for welfare assistance, housing and anything else support.

    Please can I add more links. This my mental health charity I used before.

    You mentioned being anxious and suffering anxiety. This might be worth talking to them.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    I know you mentioned a carer but do offer floating support, outreach workers.  Advice on a number of your conditions do take clientele with additional disabilities with those with mental health issues.

    Do have their own recovery programmes for addiction, I am sorry to hear that as well. I am my self have an addiction history.

    Being addictive to painkillers can be hard to cope with, I am sure they could advise on that.

    Also do have their own housing advisors and on housing programmes.

    You would need to apply self refer. Understand being in Leeds should be in your area.

    Please add one final organisation called RETHINK.

    An advocate service for those with mental health issues and need a voice.  Those with problems accessing advice, guidance .

    https://www.rethink.org.

    Understand I have given a lot of links take each one carefully and please ask any of us any questions.

    Your not alone.  

    I am sorry about missing you this early morning. I do as I said try to answer every one part of the role but you posted around early hours .

    I am sure our team from SCOPE will contact you sometime today.

    I wish I could do more. Please if you wish to keep in touch be happy to be supportive.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman




    Community Champion
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  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    @poppy123456
    @paffuto10
    @thespiceman

    Thanks for your support, sorry if i'm a bit ratty sometimes but I haven't had anyone but my partner for company for years as she is now my carer, John (the carer i mentioned above) refused to come back to this area after some locals attacked us coming back from the shop while i was on my mobility scooter around 5-6 years ago, they waited for us to go out & attacked my home with my partner there alone, they broke all the windows & shouted threats at her before running away... Then they saw me & John coming back, they ran at me on my mobility scooter, threw an open can of beer in my face, & punched me in the face whilst i was blinded with beer... I put my scooter on high & powered home not noticing John was gone, they had grabbed him & dragged him down an ally threatening to break his legs..... I got home & my partner was in tears & terrified, she had called the police already so i had to call them back & report the kidnap of my carer John & the violent attack on both of us.... The police got here pretty fast for a change & went searching for John, some people walking their dogs approached the police & confirmed my report which they had witnessed.... about an hour later the police returned with John & took a statement from him here, they had found him hiding in a bush as he had broken away from the attackers & hid... The police arrested our attackers & only cautioned them, they were all in their 20's.... John gathered his possessions & left refusing to come back to this area, none of my friends would come here either as they have had similar incidents whilst on their way to my home, my friend Joe ended up in hospital with a shattered cheekbone & eye socket on his way here which traumatised him.... 

    I've been in constant email contact with my solicitor from Minton Morrill this year, Leeds council are ignoring everything he sends to them, every complaint i'm putting in to the council is getting responses that have nothing to do with my complaints, I have contacted the housing ombudsman last week as i got the last stage 2 complaint non response/attack from the council i'm willing to take a couple of months ago & the ombudsman has an 8 week self referral waiting time.... I'm expecting them to try & fob me off as every official has so far, so my housing solicitor has advised me that if i am fobbed off to get a public law solicitor to help as he said he was "extremely concerned about the apparent discrimination" he has witnessed towards us....

    Hopefully after the joint solicitor & council survey next week they will at least fix the windows & remove the black mould we have to keep spraying with Cillit Bang black mould killer, this place has no heating & i get very ill during the winters with the windows broken, the damp, & the mould. it'll be a bit more bearable when they sort that until they actually pay attention to the bids we are placing on Leeds council housing website which we end first for in their bidding system but are still ignored... I've not been able to get a proper wash in 5 years with no wheelchair access to the bathroom which contains a bath with a big hole in it where my crutch went through in 2013 & they never repaired so my partner can't even get a bath....

    Thank you again for the support & the links, I will investigate the links when i can fight through the anxiety dealing with all this causes, the only thing that has pushed me to get this much done is the promise i made to my nan before she died in February, It has left me feeling quite ill pushing myself to do all this but my nan said i had to endure it for a while to improve our situation.....

    It makes me feel a bit better knowing others know what has happened to me & is still happening at the hands of Leeds City Council, the public need to know what these criminals are doing to people's lives, & they're smug about it when i've confronted them politely about it, now i have CCTV cameras everywhere & a wifi bodycam to record next time they "smug" at me so i can put it online & show everyone the way they've been acting toward me all this time....

    Sorry for another long message, with my autism i feel it best to explain everything in detail to prevent being misunderstood as i often was when i was younger

    @Ozzy2013
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,270 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Ozzy2013 - I am very saddened to read about the events you describe as someone who also has the hypermobile type of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (& was born in Leeds). It's an EDS thing that we have common allergies & unusual sensitivities, so I also have been down the route of meds not working, or making me ill. I was on Fentanyl patches for over 7 years but decided to wean myself off them gradually. I'm so sorry your experience has been dramatically worse than mine.
    I've only just seen your posts, sorry, but wanted to let you know I have a very small understanding of what you suffer as far as EDS goes, but not the appalling things you've been through.
    I hope some of the links @thespiceman has mentioned may prove helpful. He truly does have great empathy & kindness.
    And as also mentioned by @puffuto10, there will always be people here for you (as soon as they can!) to support you if at all possible.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Hi @Ozzy2013, I'm sorry nobody got back to you last night. As Poppy mentioned, the early hours of the morning aren't always particularly active on the community.

    It certainly sounds like they're giving you the runaround. I'm sorry to hear how bad things have been for you in recent times. It's difficult to know what to advise as you're already taking all the steps we'd typically suggest.

    Have you been in touch with Shelter (0808 800 4444) at all? As they should be able to help you.

    It might also be worth calling EASS on 0808 800 0082 or our own helpline on 0808 800 3333 as they might be able to think of something that hasn't already been suggested here.
    Community Manager
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  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    Also, @Ozzy2013 can I ask if adult social care are involved in this at all? The living conditions you've described are frankly appalling and I'm really quite concerned about your circumstances. If you'd be interested, we'd like to explore finding you some additional support, but this is entirely up to you. If you'd like us to try, please send an email to [email protected]
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    Scope

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  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @Ozzy2013   Thank you for replying to the community.

    Please if I can suggest please look at any of the links provided. I am aware that you could find you self a lot of support from the charities listed.

    Just to give you an insight in to what some do. Especially the mental health charity.  I was asked am I happy in my home if not be able to look at some thing to help me.

    Also assistance with any interviews job centre when I was ever signing on or support at benefit assessments, any appointments.

    Signposting to additional support for addiction if needed various courses and one day seminars on lots of lifestyle choices and options.

    I know your frightened, scared and do not know which way to turn. This a forum I use this myself for voicing views, opinions ask my many friends as a source of guidance and information.

    Need to offload tell how I am please think of that. More than happy to read anything you write.

    We are here to support you be a friend offer compassion and lots of time listening to you.

    This what the community is all about having a support net work. Our community.

    Please I hope you contact Adrian we all have your interests at heart.

    I do understand many conditions as many members and former friends have a range of disabilities, conditions and illness.

    Please keep in touch have a chat any time you want to your not alone your one of us now and we are here and not going away.

    Please take care always in my prayers.

    @thespiceman






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  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    Hello @Ozzy2013

    This may not work but try phoning your local law centre. Or contact your nearest citizens advice office for assistance. As @Adrian_Scope says, this is not okay at all. 
  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    @chiarieds
    @Adrian_Scope
    @thespiceman

    Thank you, it makes me feel a little better knowing the world isn't as cold & heartless as me & my partner have had to endure for a long time now. I will get around to emailing scope tonight when i've had a few coffee's, i tend not to sleep until i pass out from exhaustion due to the anxiety & pain I have to deal with so i have to fight the brain fog when i am awake...

    I have tried SHELTER before, i spent most of a year calling, getting a machine saying they were busy, hanging up & calling back during hours they're supposed to be open, I haven't had a human on the line yet & i've tried relentlessly, even tried their online service but it keeps saying they are busy... makes me wonder if they even have anyone in the office at all 

    I tried Advonet for help, they accepted my self referral & told me they had an 8 week waiting list.... 10 weeks later Leeds Special Autism service contacted them to find out where my help was, apparently they had no record of me or the hour & a half phone call i made to them in tears.... I was extremely upset & left Advonet a stinking Google review, a few weeks later after getting many notifications of people viewing my review Advonet contacted me, suddenly they knew who i was & they were full of promises to help, at that point i didn't trust they wouldn't be vindictive about my Google review & make our housing situation worse so i turned them down....

    Due to the bad experiences I've had trying to get help it takes alot for me to force myself to keep contacting more services with the constant expectation of it being a waste of my time & draining me of all my energy with the anxiety it causes making contact to begin with... I am going to explore the links you suggested & force myself next week to contact them, I'm hopeful that as actual people have recommended them to me that they may be worth contacting, so i'm going to give myself another push... 

    Thank you all again for being so kind & helpful
    @Ozzy2013   
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Ozzy2013   Thank you for kind words. Please can I say I am sorry what has happened.

    Please if I can think of anything else. Be a pleasure to tell you.

    Just wish you well and please do not be a stranger.

    I am always on here every day want a chat or talk about anything.

    Please do. 

    The links and information I have given you. Take you time write down what you need to say to any one.

    I do this every time on the phone or even Email.

    The other thing buy a diary make notes what you need to do.

    Or use paper create a folder of information anything to help you.

    I buy WHICH magazine cut out important advice, consumer.

    Just thought have a look on line.  WHICH website.

    WHICH magazine has a lot on all sorts of lifestyle, environmental, consumer including housing problems on other issues as well.

    Useful advice, guidance and support help those in difficulties.

    Pay £10 a month has access to legal advice.

    Please keep safe and warm you among friends here.

    Please take care.

    Always in prayers.

    @thespiceman





    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    Hi @April2018mom

    only just noticed your reply after refreshing the page, thank you, I am open to all suggestions that have even a slim chance of making a difference in our situation so i will be exploring all options
  • paffuto10
    paffuto10 Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    Hope you feel a little better now @Ozzy2013 knowing you have support and kindness here and also talking about it. 

    That is a lot of harsh stuff going on there. 

    Sending you and your partner strength, hope and support. x
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,270 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ozzy2013 - there's @paffuto10 caring so much as I know they do. We are both often around quite late at night too!
    It truly is meant that you are part of the community now; we do share, help, & support each other, with the many diverse problems we all here face. IMHO you couldn't have joined a better community.
    The Scope team do their utmost to help people, as you will find, & have many resources.
    You have been amazingly strong despite adversity, & to find that additional strength to keep trying now is so good to hear. I'm so pleased you are going to look at Adrian's suggestions too....sometimes it's a combination of things that might better help you. Thank you for joining this community.

  • paffuto10
    paffuto10 Member Posts: 388 Pioneering
    Yes, totally agree with you @chiarieds

    Thank you for sharing with us @Ozzy2013

    Going to bed a little earlier tonight. 
    Goodnight guys x
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,270 Disability Gamechanger
    @Ozzy2013 - Just checking in to see how you are doing. I hope you have had some rest....always a good thing to help with not only pain. Speaking of which, I must shortly go to bed; Goodnight.
  • Ozzy2013
    Ozzy2013 Member Posts: 18 Courageous
    Hi @chiarieds, i wasn't feeling too good yesterday, I think I drained myself of energy the day before... feeling  a little better today but had problems signing in to here as it said an admin had changed my password.... bit confused by that..... ???? ?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,609 Disability Gamechanger
    Ozzy2013 said:
    Hi @chiarieds, i wasn't feeling too good yesterday, I think I drained myself of energy the day before... feeling  a little better today but had problems signing in to here as it said an admin had changed my password.... bit confused by that..... ???? ?
    Oddly enough, i'm a community champion and had exactly the same message last night and it prompted me to change my password via link sent to my email address. Very easy to do and only took a minute.

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