I’m seriously questioning my reaction to this whole ordeal. I’m not prone to being overly dramatic but maybe this time it really is me that’s blowing this all out of proportion?
My MP has replied today. He sent me a copy of the letter that the ‘Lead Commissioner Housing’ had sent in response to his questions. It was mainly a time line of events – some points incorrect but hey, last week I gained a child according to my Housing Officer so it’s not surprising that his version of our conversations is different to mine… (must have been a lovely easy birth since I didn’t notice. If only the other two had been the same!)
But one positive piece of information stated this:
” You may be pleased to know that the council has changed its position with regard to the date on which it concedes that a household is homeless. The council will now consider a household to be homeless at the time of the expiry of a Possession Order and will no longer insist on the Landlord obtaining a Notice of Eviction or Bailiffs’ Warrant.”
Well yes, I would be pleased to know that. I would have been happy to have heard that sometime during this weeks email correspondence between my Housing Officer and I. He might be pleased to hear that also. I hope they tell him soon as he clearly hadn’t heard this wonderful news when we last spoke a few days ago.
It is good news in all seriousness. It will cut the court costs I’ll need to pay. It will mean we’ll be moving sooner. It also means that they can’t stick by the ‘not threatened with homelessness within 28 days’ stuff they’ve been repeating. The possession order is usually granted within 14 days. The Landlord usually applies to the court within days of the s.21 ending. I hope this will be the case and I can place my application as soon as possible.
The rest of the letter carried a tone that doesn’t sit right. It points out that I was matched with a private let but turned it down because I felt it was too far from my daughters school. That wasn’t the case. It’s closer then we are now in fact. I turned it down because my daughter couldn’t have safely traveled to school. It wouldn’t have mattered to me if it was 500m or 3 miles (as we currently are) if there had been a safe route. My daughter has SN. For the most part, I am loathe to mention these as they are just a part of her and we function as a family without having to make great allowances. As part of her problem she suffers from Auditory Processing issues. Standing at a busy roundabout trying to cross at typical rush hour times would prove so hard for her. She could see the cars but she would struggle and be scared of the traffic sounds whooshing past her. Believe me I looked at every possible transport option. It came down to taxis which I simply could not afford. Or me not going to college,work or university for the next four years so I could walk her to and from school.
But of course, none of this was mentioned. The actual real life meaning behind me turning down this private let is lost to the black and white ‘she said no’. And of course they felt the need to state if I am offered temporary housing via them that they are not obliged to take my daughters school location into account at all.
Rather amusingly the letter states it appears an outside charity may have provided me with false information on the process of homelessness but my housing Officer was able to set me straight about what to expect. Hahahahahaha. Oh how my sides hurt reading that!
In all, I feel like they have said “silly girl, what a fuss!” I should be grateful for the fact I only have to wait for the initial Possession Order, I should accept whatever Private let the Housing Options team match me with regardless of the impact on my everyday life, I should just do as I was told by my Housing Officer and wait. It doesn’t matter what the emotional cost of this is. It’s how it’s done.
Maybe they are right to express disapproval at my “shock at the system and how it works” or surprise at my feelings “that the processes offered to her will leave her struggling financially”
Clearly it is wrong of me to communicate my fears and concerns. Maybe other people don’t? Maybe it’s just that I’m so worked up, sick, stressed and scared that these things seem worse to me?
But I guess I’ve been put in my place now. I’ll just get on with it. I’ll just let each and every person I speak to tell me slightly differing versions of the story I will have to live with my family. I will not question if it’s right. I will not explain to them how my family is falling apart. I will nod and smile and thank them politely. And then I will focus all my energy on cushioning my babies from the effects of Bed and Breakfast and whatever, as yet unconfirmed, temporary accommodation we will end up in. I’ll play the game like a good girl.
ps – 7 lines (82 words) on how the lovely council will of course protect my belongings (as required by law!) and keep them safe if I can’t. The very last line points out I will of course have to pay for this kind service. (20 words) They forgot to add that it’s not a reduced rate and in fact was more expensive then a third of the quotes I got elsewhere.