Help my family in crisis get rehoused & change the broken social housing bidding system
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I originally registered to move from my current social housing property in 2009, due to the severe damp, mold and disrepair that was aggravating the physical & mental health of both my children and myself. Despite being on Lambeth Council’s transfer list, receiving support from various agencies and my own best efforts, I am still having to continue living under these conditions. Since 2015, this property has been deemed unfit for purpose and:
''prejudicial to health or a nuisance and constitutes a statutory nuisance as defined by section 79(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990''
I and my children are each registered with disabilities & severe disabilities. The council gave all of us the status of 'Urgent medical need for rehousing'.
My own diagnosis includes rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, chronic sciatica, recurrent shoulder dislocation with trapped nerve, asthma, diabetes, severe allergy to sulphur in medication (95% of market medicine) and Post Traumatic Shock Disorder (P.T.S.D.) since taking medication for RA resulting in multiple organ failure, dying and being resuscitated in 2011.
Both of my boys have been diagnosed with neuro-developmental problems/difficulties:
My older son, 16 yrs, is diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, Chiari malformation Type1, dyspraxia, dyslexia, asthma and PTSD since 2011
My younger son, 10yrs, has autism, anxiety disorder, selective mutism and PTSD since 2011
Hyde Housing has not been able to correct all the disrepair or damp/black mold problems while we are in residency. Consequently, both the boys’ and my own health conditions show little prospect of improvement. This continues to hold back their educational development.
Due to the unfit condition of the property this has affected the whole family socially for several years. I have not been able to have friends to visit. Neither of my sons are able to maintain their few friends and invite them in. As both boys are autistic this has further hindered their social development and left them lacking in social interaction skills.
For over 25 years to the present day, I have spent thousands of pounds on cleaning products or renewing clothes, shoes, books, toys, suitcases, bicycles and furniture affected/damaged by mold and damp. I do not have wardrobes in any rooms and the bed I am currently sleeping in smells damp.
Since 2015 extensive documented evidence (medical and various other agencies reports) have been sent to the council detailing how the condition of the property is having a dire effect on my family’s health and development. They all support the urgency for my family to be re-housed. Despite this, there has not been any direct involvement from the council.
Due to my designated housing status since 2016, I have been told by the council that so long as I bid, I will be moved within 6-12 months. This promise has been broken. I have bid on many appropriate properties that have anything from 600-1200 people all chasing the same property. Then after waiting one or two weeks most of these properties are withdrawn and allocated by a direct offer to others. This is despite the fact that when I have enquired about being made a direct offer, the council said they do not make direct offers! I have not had a viewing of any property that I have bid for since 2015. This is extremely disheartening and depressing.
I realise we are not the only family caught up in the social housing crisis and in desperate need, but there has to be a fairer and more transparent way of supporting and assisting families like mine. After 10 years nothing for my family has really changed and my sons have suffered far more than they should.
My family continues in crisis and we need to be rehoused before our current home kills us, as it has been doing slowly for years.
Will you please sign my petition urging Lambeth Council to rehouse us so that my children can have a healthy home and an opportunity for better educational development that they deserve?
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