House extension — Scope | Disability forum
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House extension

walkerjames1972 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
Afternoon good people,
Mine is a complicated problem, but please bear with me and I will try to be as brief as possible.
In a nutshell, my family and I live in a 3 bed council house. In total, 6 people live here, 4 of which are disabled, including myself. 
So this means that 2 disabled older boys have to share, the youngest disabled boy has to be on his own, and our 6 year old daughter, has to share with mummy and daddy. 
Obviously there isn't the room here, to be able live comfortably. 
So, to that end, I contacted adult social care and got an OT involved.
She did her initial assessment and confirmed that there are many adaptations required, including things like a downstairs toilet/bathroom, but the council are faffing around, trying to pursuade us to move. 
That wouldn't happen for a few reasons. 1, there aren't any bigger properties in this area and 2, we can't move the children again. Those that have children on the autistic spectrum, will know all about that. We haven't got just one, we have 3 boys all on the spectrum, on different levels. Add to that, an unpredictable 6 year old girl and you can understand why we need to get this resolved as soon as possible. 
I myself, am at end stage respiratory disease, both Bronchiectasis and Emphysema. Hence why we need a downstairs toilet and bathroom.
Now, the council have said, its perfectly feasible to build an extension, given the huge amount of room and back garden around the property. 
The only question is, where is the money coming from. 
We know about the disabled facilities grants, that are possible. But does anyone know of any other grants/loans or other help we could get to get the ball rolling. 
My wife and I are at the end of our tether, trying to cope with constant meltdowns and the stress of living on top of one another. This is why I'm here to get any sort of help and/or advice. 
Thanks in advance......James


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,462 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @walkerjames1972 :) Thank you for posting about this!

    I can see why this would be a challenging situation. Are you looking for alternatives to the DFG due to waiting times? 

    We have a page on our website about grants and funding for home adaptations, which you might find helpful to read. Though I appreciate a large chunk of it is about the DFG. 

    Are you and your children receiving enough support to help you manage your respective conditions?
    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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  • walkerjames1972
    walkerjames1972 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks ever so much for your reply, it's appreciated. The only help we get is through the OT. Which in fairness, she has been extremely good. Only difficulty, is getting hold of her, if and when we have a problem. The main issue, is the lack of room, not immediately. The main issue is the current state of disrepair in the home. We've nothing on the walls and ceilings, as it all needs replastering. The windows are all shot, because the mechanisms are faulty. The front door has rotten. The floor in the living room is bare concrete and the electrics are dodgy.
    What I'm trying to do is ask them to move us to temporary accommodation, while they sort this place out.
    Problem is, I'm at end stage respiratory disease, including Bronchiectasis and Emphysema. I'm always a hairbreadth away from going into hospital, I can't afford to be in an environment where there is a lot of dust, with there being nothing on the floors, walls and ceiling, only old plaster which is coming off in chunks. I swear the council take courses in how to anger their tenants and put their lives at risk. 
    This is why we need help. 

    Kind regards James 
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    It sounds really positive that you have help through the OT @walkerjames1972, especially as she has been extremely good. 

    However, I can hear that it is difficult to get hold of her. Do you have any other contacts who might be able to get hold of her?

    It sounds really difficult that your home is currently in a state of despair. How is asking them to move to temporary accommodation going for you at the moment?

    We are here and listening to you if you would like to share more with us. I can hear how your environment could deteriorate your health, unfortunately. 

    Please don't hesitate to let us know if we can do anything to support you through this difficult time. At the very least, we hear you and are here for you and listening to you  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • walkerjames1972
    walkerjames1972 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Good afternoon, thanks for taking the time to reply, and for your interest in our circumstances. 
    Since posting, I have tried numerous times to contact the OT, but I suspect she is waiting for our younger sons assessment, so she has both reports to give to the council. 
    Our sons OT will be phoning tomorrow and then coming out to see him on the 11th, so hopefully things will proceed after that. 
    Where the repairs are concerned, that's a different matter. 
    We have a bare concrete floor in the living room, nothing on the walls, because we are unable to put wallpaper up, as the plaster is coming off in all rooms and now we have huge holes in the walls, cracks in the ceilings. Every window has faults, either the latch doesn't close, or the whole frame has dropped. The two windows in the living room have blown. The doors and door frames are loose and ill fitting. There is no insulation in the loft, so it's pointless putting the heating on. First off, it will just go straight out the windows and secondly it would cost us a fortune, because the house cannot remain warm. 
    Despite making loads of complaints and demanding the repairs be done, all the council does, is fob me off. 
    We had the housing manager promising that things would be done, but nothing has materialised. 
    It's causing nothing but stress and meltdowns with the kids with autism. It's causing relationship issues with my wife and I. Causing so much grief, that sometimes just sometimes I think is it worth me carrying on. 
    Anyway I have contacted the housing ombudsman and a solicitor to deal with the repairs. 
    However that will take months or years, and we cannot put up with it for that long. 
    All I get from the council, is we're lucky to have a house, well that as maybe, but it should be livable. Like to see one of their managers live in these conditions. 
    We will see what this week brings. Once again, thanks in advance for any advice. 

  • walkerjames1972
    walkerjames1972 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Just a quick update. 
    We had both OTs come to see us on Friday. They agree that we are desperate to have the extension and to have the house properly repaired in the meantime. 
    To that end, the council finally came out to see about the state of the windows, to measure them up for replacements and bodge them together for the time being, so at least we can open/close them.
    We also had their insulation people out, but apparently being a prefab concrete house, we're unable to have cavity wall insulation. But they are able to do the loft.
    As for the flooring and plastering, not to mention the front door, electrics and huge cracks in the ceilings and walls, I still haven't heard anything. 
    Hopefully the housing solicitors that I have gotten involved, will have more luck than myself. 
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 5,879 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @walkerjames1972

    I'm glad to hear that you had the OTs and insulation people out. Have you heard anymore since your last update? Did the Housing Solicitor help?  
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • walkerjames1972
    walkerjames1972 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hi Hannah, thanks for the reply. The housing solicitor has took on the case, which is obviously good. He wrote to the council and is sending a surveyor to see the state of the place, again I'm pleased about that, However its going to be a few months before anything gets done, which means a harsh winter, where it's going to get extremely cold in here. It is already.
    There isn't any point putting the heating on, as it goes straight out the windows and roof. With the cost of gas these days, we just couldn't afford it.
    Our youngest has already got a cold from school, but it's going to get worse. With my illness, you can guarantee I'm going to be in hospital yet again.
    The council though, just doesn't seem bothered.
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 5,879 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh @walkerjames1972 I'm so sorry. I'm keeping everything crossed that the surveyor is able to come out earlier. Have you thought about speaking with your Local MP?
    'm wondering if they would be able to help push the process, as you said, the little one is already sick with a cold, and we don't want you going back into Hospital.

    Especially when it can be avoided.
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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