Suffer with Mental Illness, made worse by housing situation — Scope | Disability forum
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Suffer with Mental Illness, made worse by housing situation

bilaal4d Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hi there,

I am in desperate need for advice, regarding my housing situation. I am 28 years old, I am a software engineer, living in Brent (London), working in Acton (London). I enjoy my job, but the housing situation is interfering with my wellbeing, and my life overall.

I got medically diagnosed with ADHD in 2019, which was a relief but also a worry. I've been taking the prescribed medicine to treat it, which generally allows me to work as a neurotypical person does during the working day... But doesn't help much in terms of my living situation.

I live in a 5 bedroom house with 9 people, which include 3 married couples and a toddler. Despite the size, due to the sheer number of different family units in the house, I suffer as the situation aggravates a number of my difficulties, even with medication - noise levels heighten my stress, anxiety and irritability, because of the number of family units, I have very little independence in the house by way of relaxing, enjoying quiet moments, eating what I'd like to eat...

But the worst thing is that all of these aggravate my mental health - the only way I can cope, is by going on holiday every 2-3 months, which is essentially financially short-circuiting my saving goals that I have, because I know that a mental health episode is on the horizon otherwise. Sure enough, I suffered a meltdown recently - and my family lack the empathy to adjust for someone like myself. I need to get independence and move out to safeguard my sanity and my future - and I was hoping that I should be legible for social housing due to my condition and the risk that my housing poses to my mental health.

I have another problem however, before I was diagnosed, my dad asked me to sign for a property of his. Since my diagnosis, I have come to realise that this has become a burden - I have been locked out of low-cost housing options as a result of this, and I am concerned I am likely to be locked out of social housing as a result. Had I known, I would never have agreed to this. Its also worth adding that I don't benefit in any kind from having the property on my name as the rent goes elsewhere. Bringing this up is likely to cause an argument or other distress, and with my condition, I cannot afford to do that to myself.

Given this - I can't see any way out. I can't afford to rent privately in London where I am from and where I work, because I haven't been able to save as I'd have liked to, and I probably can't get into social/affordable housing because of my dad putting this property on my name. I've just suffered a mental health episode that has shaken me to the core because I realised that I have a job that allows me to build a future, but a housing situation that has a vice on me and my wellbeing, that puts a massive threat to my future...

The only option that I can see ahead of me is to leave London altogether, and move to another part of the country where I can afford to rent. However, this hardly seems fair - as I'm sure many people with both physical and non-physical disabilities can testify to, circumstances seemingly are always stacked against us.

If anyone could offer me some advice or suggestions on this, I'd be incredibly grateful, as I'm highly stressed at the minute, with no help or advice from anyone to date.

Thank you in advance.


  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello there @bilaal4d and thank you for reaching out on the community, and for explaining your situation so fully, that's very helpful.

    I'm not sure if you've been in touch with any other organisations, so I can recommend having a search on AdviceLocal under the 'Housing' topic, for a professional adviser close to you.

    You could also try speaking to citizens advice about housing options.

    The charity Shelter also offer housing advice, which I hope can help.

    You mention that you've gone through a meltdown recently, are you currently receiving enough support to manage your mental health?

    I am sorry to hear that your family aren't as supportive as you need, do you have other friends or family you can reach out to about everything?

    The mental health charity Mind has lots of information on Advocacy, which is something that you might find useful, as well as plenty of resources on self-care and supporting your mental health which I'd encourage you to have a look at :)

    I'm afraid I'm not sure on the implications of signing for that property, but looking into advocacy might be a good starting point with discussing everything further.

    We'd like to offer you as much support as we are able to, so please keep an eye out for an email from comm[email protected] a little later today, with more information. 

    If you feel we've missed anything, please do say. In the meantime, I've marked your post as unanswered so that our members can share their thoughts. 

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  • Sue_Alumni
    Sue_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 486 Pioneering
    Hi @bilaal4d,
    I'm sorry you're having a tough time.  As @Alex_Scope has said it might be worth contacting the CAB.  I'm also attaching information about claiming PIP which is not a means tested benefit and from what you say it might be worth exploring. 
    How to claim PIP - Citizens Advice
    You could check an online benefits calculator to see if you are eligible for means tested benefits (which in your case I'm assuming is UC) and to check if you could get help with your housing costs.
    If you were successful in claiming PIP and were awarded the daily living component you could get a one bed self contained rate for your Local Housing allowance as opposed to the shared accommodation rate which is normally applied for those under 35
    You are not generally eligible to claim means tested benefits if you have capital and savings over £16,000. Any property or land that you own counts as capital. I would suggest that if, but for the question of capital you were eligible to apply for UC, you should explore whether your capital should be disregarded. If you are a trustee of the house for the benefit of someone else, depending on the terms of the trust, the capital is not yours to use for yourself and should be disregarded.  This is a complex area and citizens Advice should be able to help you further.  

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