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Disabled housing in Leeds ozzy2013
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.
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