Housing and independent living
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My house is being sold. I can't afford private rent, and the council can't help me. What can I do?

mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
Hi, bit of a long story but here goes! My house is being sold due to relationship breakdown. My settlement is tied up in the house and starting to panic now that I won’t find anywhere. I’m unable to work due to bad arthritis so am living off ESA . I have my adult daughter at home but she is unable to work either due to mental health. I have no savings to be able to put a deposit down on a rental house but council won’t help because of the money I will have once house is sold. The private sector is so expensive too but don’t seem to have any option. I can possibly sort a loan from the council but that won’t happen until I’m technically homeless. The stress of all this isn’t helping me and will only relax once I know I have somewhere in place. Can anyone suggest anywhere that may be able to help please.

Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,747 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @mum01. I'm really sorry to hear that you're worried about what will happen once your house is sold, it sounds like a really stressful time for you and your daughter. 

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but you might find it helpful to look at Scope's housing page or get in touch with Citizens Advice. Hopefully one of our online community members will be able to help you out soon too! This post has been flagged as unanswered so that our members will know you still need some advice.

    Let me know how you get on, and I'll check back here to see if anyone's been able to help you out :)

    Tori


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  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community

    I have been in a very similar situation, and thought I was going to be homeless with my teenage son

    I had a OT assessment which showed my need for a single story property and a medical necessity, this got me higher up the council banding. You can self refer for this on the gov website

    Once I had a sale agreed on my house I got as housing officer assigned to me who eventually found me a suitable property.

    My circumstances were a bit different as I had a young child and also a medical need for a new property and I had no profit from the house sale

    Unfortunately private rent is hard to find when you are on benefits and social housing have massive waiting lists.

    Try and contact CAB or Shelter they are the people who could help or give you pointers

    I wish you luck i know how stressful it is
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,747 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for the useful insight @janer1967!
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  • Scope2020Scope2020 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi there sorry to hear the situation you are in - I wonder if Shelter could be of any help as you and your daughter sound like you are priority as are classed as vulnerable due to ill health and mental health. 
    Heres a link to their website:https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/homelessness/guide/homeless_get_help_from_the_council/how_the_council_can_help

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @mum01, just wanted to check in to see how you are doing. :)
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  • mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi everyone thought I would check back in with a little news. Thankyou for all the help and I’ve taken all help on board. During the lockdown I’ve trawled through the internet for info on everything that has been suggested. Finally started to be able to piece things together. I have an appointment on Monday with a social prescriber who thinks she may be able to help. Finally may be light at the end of the tunnel. Thankyou all so much xx
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 6,200 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news fingers crossed for you let us know how it goes 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 621 Pioneering
    What is a social  prescriber?
    Vulnerable or not, councils need not house anyone who has, or can be deemed to have, either current, future or past savings
    (that is oversimplified but as your own experience shows, the proceeds of house sale you expect  to recive soon, will debar you from being permitted to put your name on their lists in anticipation.  Of  course, once the money arrives, however modest the sum, and however difficult the lettings or mortgage situation is, you are deemed to be  as rich as Elon Musk, and able to stroll into any estate agent and emerge an hour later with keys to the new house you have easily obtained by private rent or mortgage.  ) 

    You might of course manage to get a hotel room, (there may be spare suites in the Dorchester !) till your savings run out.  However,  you live with the stress of having run through all your money without the luxury of the gold plated taxfunded pension  the rule makers enjoy for themselves.   Then, there's the problem that you definitely will be deemed to have wilfully deprived yourself of savings, therefore you are deemed still to be rich, still not able to be considered correctly homeless. 

    People have another potential bear trap which can debar them from being correctly homeless.  If they have obeyed the rules and been honourable to the contract law, leaving their previous home on the date agreed, they are in the right legally and morally,  but in the wrong according to council homelessness regulations.   They are supposed  to drag things out as long as possible, refusing to leave, forcing  legal fees and court fees and eviction costs onto their landlord who let to them  in good faith, or their partner who agreed a separation settlement  in good faith.  They, too, will have to magically find cash from thin air to pay their own lawyers in advance, then the two sets of lawyers battle till everyone is broke and broken and the  victims are sleeping on friend's  sofas or street doorways, ironically  potentially still deemed to be rich or wilfully deprived and therefore barred from the council's housing list.

    That is why that infamous case came up in Bournemouth,  with a couple in their 90s, he a wheelchair  user, who were forced to make their home in a bus shelter, after they honoured their previous tenancy agreement by vacating on request to allow the owner to sell.  They  then found all estate  agents rejected them,  because to  experienced landlords  unemployment equals  troubling expensive and difficut tenants,  and because their computer credit check  cannot  tell the difference between retired and unemployed. The old couple then found the council told them to go away, correctly under their rules.    

    There's even a little bonus stab in the back, for people who have paid into the  u.k.taxpurse throughout a working lifetime, because only people newly arrived in the country are legally exempt from having to prove they have lived for the correct number of years without ever leaving that local authority  area.    Vulnerable people may need to live in an area near their family or friend support.  For them and for the local authority or n.h.s, it will be better and cheaper. They cannot.    If they have lived in this country, each local authority  will fight bitterly for any loophole to get rid of them, attempting  to  order them back and forth between where they are currently  applying, and where they may previously have lived.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 621 Pioneering
    That was gloomy, but the social prescriber you mention may have the magic wand to influence  discretionary decisions, because any public  authority  might make whimsical exceptions to it's rules.   It sounds as if that could be what they intend  to do for you, possibly in fear that they might have to take your daughter  into full time care, at extortionate cost.
  • mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    I’m not sure if the 2 above comments were a dig at me for wanting something for nothing which I don’t in the slightest. Would you care to explain exactly what you are getting at?
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,680 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @mum01, that sounds really positive! I hope the appointment goes well today. :)
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  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 621 Pioneering
    No, of course, mum01, you won't  ever find anything unkindly intended in my posts! There's  too much unpleasantness  in the world already!   No, it was just me getting on a soapbox and ranting because  lots of us have campaigned  and fought for decades for a fair deal especially  for overlooked people.

    Then a bunch of uncomprehending beaurocrats,  not from malice, set up a neat little conveyor belt to  deal with real people  as if they fit neat square boxes to be processed. They have their own ideas of what neat lives ought to be like, and don't realise how impossible it is to be neatly rectangular,  especially for disabled people.   

    The 90 year old wheelchair user certainly was homeless,  but couldn't fit the tick box.  Nor could you, when the council treats your not yet  existent profit from future  house sale as if it is bank notes stuffed in your pocket right now. Nor can people whose only personal support is someone living in a different local  authority area, but  who cannot get the two councils to agree to let them escape  over the borough boundary.....it goes on, and on.   I get cross with faulty systems,  especially  when  the official action or refusal to act can cause unhappiness for no defensible reason, offending  logic and even costing the public purse more.

    Let us know how  your appointment goes today. Fingers crossed.
  • mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi, Thankyou for all your support. The social prescriber did ring but as she has never come across anything like this before but promised to looking It.
  • atlas47atlas47 Community champion Posts: 118 Pioneering
    Hi @mum01

    Could I kindly suggest that you contact Shelter on tel: 0808 800 4444, they are experts on all matters relating to housing.

    They also have local networks for guidance and support.

    Please keep us informed, to enable us to support you in anyway possible.

    Stay kind and be safe.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Community Team Posts: 2,013 Pioneering
    @mum01
    Hopefully you get a positive breakthrough soon when the person looks into your issue, and as @atlas47 says please keep us updated.

    We all want you to get the help you deserve.

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  • mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi @atlas47.i have already contacted shelter and they said to contact the disability resource centre. I guess because there are others worse off than me especially at the moment. I’m trying to stay positive but won’t relax until I know I have somewhere to move to. Thankyou I will be shouting from the roof tops lol x
  • mum01mum01 Member Posts: 15 Listener
    Hi @Ross_Scope. Thanks for your support I have everything crossed someone will say they can help. 
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