It’s not a very exciting update sorry.
I just feel extremely frustrated about the misinformation and vagueness of making an application.
On 4th July (just realised the independence day irony) I met with my Housing Officer. This was after 4 weeks of being told the following: You haven”t been allocated one. You should call back when your notice expires. No you cannot be put through to any officer to ask a few questions you have to wait for your own.
Eventually, my officer rang me and we met. I filled out a huge stack of forms. I provided evidence – a folder full as requested and I sat for an hour whilst my Officer explained his only job today was to try and convince me to find private housing and not make them responsible for housing me.
I explained I had tried. I understood they had precious few resources and that approaching them was always going to be my last resort. Yes, I’d looked online. Yes, I’d tried rightmove. Yep, Gumtree too. Oh yes, the local paper – look every week. Asking around everyone I know? Yes, done that. Rang up the agencies – over 100 phone calls I’d guess. I’ve also asked on the local sections of several parenting sights and local facebook pages/groups. I have tried. But I fall so far below the standard they are looking for.
So that aside, what other information did he impart about the process? If I need to share kitchen or bathroom facilities in B&B accommodation they would have to move me within 6 weeks. Where? It depends on what is available, something temporary. Like what? Depends. For how long? Depends.
I left thinking the forms I’d filled in were my application for homelessness. But that nothing would happen until the court order.
Two weeks later, I ask about my confirmation letter regarding my application – oh no, he says, it wasn’t an application. The forms were to asses your need for housing. You cannot submit an application for homelessness until you receive a court summons.
Ok then. I had read differently but if he’s sure….But the more I read, the more I doubt this. I read about the threatened with homelessness within 28 days thing.
Having been told that evictions can take place between 4-8 weeks I decide to try and submit my application on the day my notice expires. Again I am told – You can’t submit one until the court summons has arrived. We will not accept one from you now. Come back with the court paperwork.
Again, I go away and seek advice (shelter again – very helpful) I am told they can’t stop me making an application. They can turn the application down but they can’t ban me from submitting one full stop.
I email the council – twice – and eventually get a
stressed sounding reply saying ‘you can make an application whenever you like but we won’t consider you homeless or threatened with homelessness until you are in receipt of a court summons’
So I can submit my application but it won’t do me any good.
I know this. I know they will push me from pillar to post until they have no choice. I just objected to being told I couldn’t even apply based on what they predicted the outcome would be. Without a full application, how could they be certain I wouldn’t be successful? How can they be so so sure I will still be here in 28 days?
It feels a bit like wasted energy but part of me didn’t want it to be so easy for them to gatekeep me. The second I asked for written confirmation of what they were saying to me they backtracked. I know the result is the same. I’m still going to be sat here stressed and sleepless until the court paperwork arrives. I’m still going to end up with hundreds of pounds to pay in court costs. But now at least I am certain of their intentions.
I haven’t decided if I will make the application. It’s possibly only going to be a few weeks until I have the paperwork they need to take it seriously. I don’t know if I have the energy and I’m certain they will just knock it back anyway. I’m not sure if I have the energy for it to be honest!
In other news: I am waiting for an operation to remove my Gallbladder. I was told the waiting list was 18 weeks. Those 18 weeks end in 3 weeks time……This is all going to happen at the same time isn’t it???
Wake me up in 6 months will you? I’m off to bury my head….