This is my last blog post on Love, Belief and Balls. I had my latest meeting with Hillingdon today about our housing situation and the cards on the table were, quite frankly, shite.
My number one goal in life ever since Steven came along has been to provide him with the best possible quality of life I can help him achieve. I’ve always known that when I’m no longer around, his future is going to be very bleak and that has increased the pressure and my desire to the best for him whilst he still has me around to love and care for him and to fight his corner for him. The latest battle to secure a home for him has been one fight too many and in my view, I have lost. And I cannot continue to write about our life, about social justice whilst I carry the guilt of having failed him so miserably. In spite of the High Court ruling and the evidence of the very good home life he leads at the moment, nothing can be done to stop Hillingdon’s vindictivness. In short, I can’t protect him any longer from the people who are meant to responsible for his care.
In July, when our tenancy expires, Hillingdon will have received the authority to make Steven the tenant, whether it be at our current flat or another private rented property. They have already started that ball rolling and time is too short, and a fight too costly to stop the ball.
All the other options are off the table:
– If we move back to the marital home, Steven will be taken into care.
– If I try to sell the marital home, the estimate from the legal people is that it would take at least two years to sell because of my wife’s incapacity. It will be very expensive to sell because of the large court costs that would be run up trying to evict an incapacitated person from her home. And in that time, we would be made homeless anyway.
– I can try and find a second job so I won’t be reliant on housing benefit to pay part of the rent but the council won’t increase my support package. I don’t have enough hours in the week when I’m not caring for Steven on my own to get another job.
– They won;t consider Steven for social housing because his damages award exceeds their £30,000 eligibility policy. If I spend some of it or put it in a trust fund, they will deem that I have disposed of his capital to secure him a tenancy and take it into account anyway. Even if I use the money in a manner that they approve of, Steven would still have to join a long waiting list and either be in care or bed and breakfast in the meantime. In short, Hillingdon believes that it’s housing allocation policy trumps it’s duty of care towards Steven (and also trumps the High Court best interests judgement).
So, that leaves us with Steven going into care or becoming a private tenant. The latter is preferable for his quality of life but it would mean that all his damages will be used up within two years in paying rent.
I’d love a judicial review of the whole sorry story. I’d love to go back before Justice Peter Jackson and see what he has to say about Hillingdon’s shameful actions. But I can’t afford that. And that’s why I can;t write about this stuff anymore. I can’t look myself or Steven in the eye because I feel so hopelessley ashamed. I remember one writer, after the court case, described it as a “David & Goliath story”. That’s bollocks really. In real life, Goliath usually wins.