Escaped domestic violence — Scope | Disability forum
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Escaped domestic violence

KEE Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
I had to leave my social housing  property of 18 years as my daughters and I with our two little dogs were in danger. 
I managed to secure private rented  in another town and 18 months later I had to leave due to the perpetrator finding my location.
My daughters and I were placed in emergency accommodation a B&B for 3 days and then in a Women’s Refuge 1 bedroom flat where we have been living for 7 months awaiting suitable rehousing.

I have been assessed as full main housing duty by the council and placed in Band B for a 3bed spaces  I had to submit medical evidence and an occupational therapist assessment. My GP listed my diagnosis’s and medications Fibromyalgia, Chronic pain Syndrome, Severe Depression and anxiety, COPD and Asthma and G.O.A.R.D Primary care provide help and support and I am under Multidisciplinary Pain Management at the hospital and the suggested I would best be housed in an adapted house with a garden or non adapted with a view to occupational health assessment once housed. 

I had been bidding on 3 bedroom properties adapted and non adapted for nearly 6 months and my youngest daughter had her 17th birthday. I was immediately told I will be no longer be able to bid on houses whether adapted or non adapted due to council policy that houses are only allowed to be offered to those with children up to the age of 16yrs.

I asked whether this decision had considered my health conditions and I request a review of this decision. I was told I could not review policy’s and that my housing application was processed as ‘homeless’ and not ‘medical’
After a lot of requests and threats of taking this further I was told the council OT could take another look 4hrs later I was told the decision remains the same flats or maisonettes only. I have requested a formal review and submitted a 3rd GP letter along with further medical evidence. 
4 weeks later I have been  told the decision has been upheld. The council refused to acknowledge any medical evidence from professionals. 

I contacted Shelter in regards to a judicial review help and they advised this was something they could not help with any longer as they do not help with banding or allocations? 

I contacted a local solicitor and they advised I write a formal complaint following the councils complaint procedure and if not satisfied with the outcome, they will act on my behalf in a judicial review.

 I am so poorly and exhausted, we have been separated for 7 months from our two dogs who are staying with family as refuge do not allow pets.
I cannot understand why I have can not bid on adapted houses because my daughters are now 17yrs and 19 yrs.

I have not been able to bid for 8 weeks on any properties during the weekly cycle of the choice based letting scheme that is online. Due to each listing is unsuitable due to only being 2 bedrooms, no pets as communal entrances, high rises. The council has said they do not have any 3 bed flats or maisonettes on ground or first floor.

I am currently awaiting the response to my formal complaint and the local Councillor I contacted has said they will oversee this. I received a phone call last week from the council the team leader said she was calling me to save time as they will not be changing thier decision at first stage when I said I would prefer your answer in writing with reasons why in response to my formal complaint she began  asking me if I use physical aids (which is apparent in the OT assessment and evidence) I answered I have a walking stick, she cut me off saying, so why do you require a house with stairs. I began explaining the several health conditions I have fluctuate on different days and I can use stairs inside a house with rails etc. I ended the phone call by saying I will wait for the response in writing please.

I thought I would share my journey so far of someone who has a disability and physical and mental health conditions who has escaped domestic violence and now feel trapped in the social housing system.

Is my story similar to anyone else’s and can anyone offer any help on if I am being indirectly discriminated against as has been suggested by the solicitor?


  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @KEE and welcome back to the community, thanks for your update.

    I can't imagine the journey you've been on, so thank you for sharing what's happened so far. I'm sure it will be helpful for our members to read. 

    As I only joined in November, can you confirm for me if you're in a safe place now, and the the police were/are aware of the perpetrator previously finding your location? 

    Have you been able to access any support from places like Refuge, Victim Support, or Women's Aid during this time? You'll forgive me for asking what might be a silly question!

    It sounds as though you are taking the right steps forward with the formal complaint with your council, and I was glad to see in your other thread that you had previously won your case with the Ombudsman too. 

    I can encourage you to contact the Scope Helpline and ask one of our advisers about NHAS- The National Homelessness Advice Service. They are  not customer facing but do take queries from professionals for advice so someone from the helpline may be able to contact them next week to see if they can recommend anything.

    Let me know if we can help support you further, and keep us updated whenever you are able to. I hope the community can help you feel supported on your journey.

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  • KEE
    KEE Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    @Alex_Scope Good morning.
    Thank you for your reply. I am currently in a women’s refuge and the police are aware. So I am in a safe place and have support from a support worker here at Refuge. My support worker is very understanding and is concerned as to how the council are dealing with my housing situation. 
    Thank you for offering advice on the scope helpline and NHAS this is so helpful and I will be contacting them.
    Thank you for your support over the years to all at SCOPE 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    edited April 2022
    That's good to hear @KEE thanks for replying so quickly and explaining everything for me :)

    I'll pass on your thanks to the team, it's really positive to know that we've been able to help over the years. 

    For now I hope you are able to have a pleasant weekend, and hopefully work towards resolving what's been happening with the council soon. We'll do what we can to support you through it.
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  • KEE
    KEE Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    Thankyou very much appreciated.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,465 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @KEE :) I just wanted to check in with you to see how you've been getting on. How have things been since you last posted on the community? 
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  • KEE
    KEE Community member Posts: 92 Pioneering
    Hello @Tori_Scope thank you for asking.
     I am not very well, completely exhausted and drained.
    The 10 day deadline for the council’s response to my complaint was on 20th April. They have said they will reply on the 25th April which is today. I will update you when I hear anything. 
    Fingers crossed for any positive news.
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @KEE

    Sorry to hear that you are completely exhausted and drained, but thank you for taking the time to respond on here, I really appreciate it. 

    Hopefully the council do get back to you today, I wonder if there have perhaps been delays due to the previous long Easter weekend. Do let us know if you hear anything :) 
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