Homeless disabled couple — Scope | Disability forum
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Homeless disabled couple

mrnobody Community member Posts: 2 Listener

Disabled couple. Physical and mental illness (arthritis, fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, OCD, PTSD). A lot of which stems from previous living situations. Severe disability premium and support groups benefit-wise. Occupational therapy assessment for housing needs (2 bed ground floor).

Privately renting in West Sussex.

I'm looking for help or suggestions as we are in a state of panic. We've been evicted, last day was the 14th. The council have known of this since February, roughly 7-8 months. They have not taken any steps to prevent our homelessness and have not taken our disabilities into consideration in the slightest. We had an offer of emergency accomodation the night before the eviction date, but we were not allowed to know what it is, where it is, and if it's suitable. We were told "bring your belongings and get the keys tomorrow morning". Our disabilities prevent us from doing that, so we have had to stay where we are past the eviction date.

We are not in receipt of any support, despite trying absolutely everywhere. I called my GP as I was contemplating suicide and asked for mental health support. His words "we don't do mental health" when asked if I can be referred he stated "we don't do referrals". He then proceeded to ask what I do for a living before telling me to "go to the job center and get a job".

We have approached adult social care, mind, shelter, time to talk, pathfinder, impact advocacy, powr, citizens advice bureau, even our local MP. None of which have provided any help or takeen any action. One of which advised I "be a little less disabled for a while".

So we are now just sitting in this flat without any idea of what we will do or where we will live and the anxiety is killing us.


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,365 Disability Gamechanger
    @mrnobody hi and welcome to scope, really sorry to hear how you have been/are being treated, have you had no luck finding alternative private rented as yet? Silly question sorry as you obviously haven't.
    I really do wish I had some words of wisdom for you but i'm sorry I don't have, but please keep checking back as someone might have some ideas.

    I wish you luck
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • mrnobody
    mrnobody Community member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for the reply.

    No, we are blacklisted at all local estate agents thanks to our landlord because I refused viewings during a lockdown. He has been threatening and harassing us, breeching GDPR in giving our personal details to other estate agents, and most alarmingly, has been sending out a fictitious and defamatory letter... One of which was received by our housing officer. 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @mrnobody

    Welcome to the community, I am sorry to hear about everything you have been put through, it's good that you've asked for support however sorry that you haven't been able to access any yet. 

    In addition to the comments on here by other members, I have sent you an email from [email protected] with additional information, please give it a read and get back to us.
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  • Stellar
    Stellar Community member Posts: 109 Courageous
    firstly, so sorry for this sutation you're both stuck in.

    note: i'm not an expert but have lived experience of homelessness and know a bit about english housing law, so can give some basics.

    the landlord has to do the legal proceedings correctly to evict you otherwise the notice isn't actually valid. have baliffs gotten involved yet? in practise you'll be there for several months later after the eviction notice is given. there's a huge backlog for evictions due to COVID which will give you more time to solve the issue.

    Given that the landowner has already broken the law by doxxing your info to estate agents and harassing you, it's possible he's relying on intimidation to get you out and you not knowing your rights rather than doing legal proceedings correctly because he knows it will take a long time. it's absolutely disgusting the way he's treating you.

    definitely seek more detailed legal housing advice. shelter have lots of info on their website.

    you've probably been blacklisted from the estate agents because they're prejudiced towards disabled people on benefits. And not because its unreasonable to allow viewings during a pandemic (which is not wrong). I'm assuming you're both extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID hence not allowing viewings only makes it even more reasonable. unfortunately estate agents can and will get away with discrimination so they are probably just not replying to your messages on purpose.

    with regards to temporary accommodation, the council usually do not know themselves where it will be until that day so they can't tell you in advance even if they wanted to. everything is very last minute with these services largely cause they're dealing with limited resources. unfortunately until you start costing them money housing you they often won't do anything and you may not have any choice but to go along with all this unpredictability (i have cptsd so i also get how bad this is). you risk getting what little support you get from your council withdrawn if you don't accept what you're offered.

    plus if you're in unsuitable accommodation you can get put into the highest band for social housing on medical grounds (your occupational health report is good evidence for this already). are you on the social housing list?

    definitely switch GP as well. also consider putting a complaint in about the GP who neglected you.

    as an aside, not surprising your MP has been useless given you're in Sussex (a tory stronghold). have you tried your local councillor though?


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