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The Great Housing U Turn

August 2, 2013

I had a phone call from the Housing Manager this afternoon.

I’m swinging between massive relief and uncontrollable rage.

No – they haven’t found Steven a social housing property to move into when our tenancy ends on 15th August.

But, for the last 2 weeks housing have been negotiating with my landlady and they have come to an agreement that she offers a rolling contract for us to stay here until a property is found for Steven.

Huge relief – we won’t be on the streets on 15th August.

Massive rage- why the fuck didn’t they tell me this before. And is it okay for the council and a private landlord to negotiate about an existing tenant without them knowing. I told them about Steven’s mounting distress the past week – if they had told me about the negotiations that could have reduced the distress enormously. Yet another example of the key people (the family) not being involved in the decision process about their own lives. It makes me so mad. As a good friend just said to me, the council must be giving the landlady a huge backhander in order for her to agree to this – we had people measuring up for curtains just three days ago!

Private Eye contacted them for a quote this morning and I can’t help feeling this produced the kick up the arse that was needed. The statement Hillingdon gave the Eye is pretty much what I have outlined above.

Two other problems that I am going to put firmly back in Hillingdon’s court – especially now that Steven and I have no part in the decision making process.

Firstly, for the last five months we have been led to believe that at some point, we would be moving into an unfurnished council property. As you may remember from my Mrs Slocombe blog, I’ve just spent over £2000 on furniture to furnish our new flat that is due to be delivered to a new address before the 15th August. I’m buggered if I’m going to lose that furniture. So, as the arrangement is now between the council and my landlady, they can store the landlady’s old furniture until we move and I’ll move the new furniture into our flat.

Secondly, there is the small matter of the housing benefit appeal next Friday. The legal people are confident of a successful outcome. Just supposing I win – that’s two huge cock-ups by Hillingdon in three years that have had devastating consequences for my family. But if I win, I can tell Hillingdon to stick their sordid arrangement and go off and find a place of my own.

And as usual, missing in all of this, is Steven.

What do I tell him now?

Update (19.55pm)

I’ve had some interesting conversations in the last hour, mostly questioning the legality of today’s events. It probably is illegal for the council to discuss my tenancy with the landlady without my knowledge or consent but I’ll save that one for another day.

One thing that I will do, as well as insist they store the landlady’s furniture, is to make sure that I don’t pay more in rent than the going rate for social housing properties in the area. For the past four months, we have been expecting to move into an unfurnished flat at a specific rent. It can’t be right, that through their failure to find a property we should be inconvenienced financially. So, I’m trying to get all the arrangements from 16th August, to be the same as they would have been if Hillingdon had pulled their finger out.

One last thing – Private Eye have sent me the statement they received from Hillingdon. Astonishingly, it was drafted by the very same woman who wrote the “sorry” press release that Hillingdon issued on the eve of the court case back in 2011 and which drove the Judge into a fury. Still managed to hang on to her job despite the severity of the judge’s words.

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From → Social Care

10 Comments
  1. Vicky permalink

    I have been following and my relief that the pair of you are not going to be on the streets is immense.
    Keep going x

  2. Anon. permalink

    Tell him the truth, as you do, and as far as you can without stressing him out, all the time. Tell him that Dad is fighting for the best future for both of you, that the system is fucked, or ‘challenging’, if you need to use less emotive terminology, and that you will settle together, happily soon. What can your blog followers do for you Mark? Apply pressure through direct emails? Lets flood the buggers with shame…….x

  3. angela permalink

    fuck me…its just a nightmare.. I’m so sorry for you…i dont have any great words of support and comfort just keep going dont let them win, you are a truly amazing human being let alone father….
    Def agree with you that public pressure works……..you need a celebrity on your side…..i dont know any but hell keep sendiing your blog out to the world, maybe by passing it on enough someone will be able to help champion you and Steven
    good luck angela

  4. Sally permalink

    Unforgivable not to have told you that they were trying that tactic with the landlady-when exactly did they come up with the idea? Private Eye is such a force for good, they probably did get them to pull this one.
    You can only tell Steven that you’re not moving yet-and it will distress him and thats horrible, but not your fault.Its a brilliant idea to get the council to pay for the storage-they told you the furniture would be needed and would have been the first to tut tut if you hadn’t bought any furniture!

  5. Nichola permalink

    Mark, if you want help shifting the landlady’s furniture onto the street to make room for the furniture you bought the other day, I can leave work early and be in Uxbridge by 6.30 any weekday.

  6. Maybe they can put the furniture in the lock-up garage they offered you? Glad you’re staying put for now 🙂

  7. Brigitte Strivens permalink

    Following you from Australia. we have much the same merry go round here, except our kids end up in aged care accommodation if they can be ‘placed’ outside the home….. We advocate for ourselves and each other at the highest level..what ever that means. Just sending you strength really.

  8. anonymous permalink

    This is our shopping list for Social Care. For a young man with Spinal Injury not coming to terms with his injury…Wrongly diagnosed with Schizophrenia after 5 mins consultation with a Psychiatric Doctor.

    Does this experience have value for money or to destroy a person. We only asked for respite and to take him of Pharmaceutical Drugs as no one had ever told us about adverse effects and no one had monitored him for 8 years…This list far exceeds my son’s medical intervention as prior his medical needs were nil. My son also left his social housing home voluntarily believing he would get help.

    They have used Court of Protection to not allow my son back home and to destroy his adapted bathroom that I had tiled for his disability use and I followed of safety measures due to the experience I have with living with disability.

    Yes we citizens have more experience of our loved one’s than any local authority. We citizens value our family relationships.

    Very very scary….So beware…

    3 Separate ASCT teams have been involved with my son from our Local Authority.

    Highly medicated for 2 years and 4 months…

    Neglect and abuse.

    DOLS: Issued by care providers to cover up the abuse that I witnessed…

    SAFEGUARDING:

    Sectioned under the Mental capacity Act for no reason he was on a normal plastic surgery hospital ward for treatment of a gangrene finger. There was no altercation or reason
    he was displaying psychosis behaviour with facial expressions. No violence no hallucinations very quiet just facial expressions no one could understand what was happening. (Nurses and Patients). Social worker sneaking around the corridor of the ward I came across her hiding…. He Had come from xxxx care home. to seek medical treatment unfortunately he was being highly medicated whilst in a private care home and was not taking medication whilst at the Hospital Was this right to put a young man in a mental hospital who has no fine finger movement and is paralysed who at no time caused any altercations??????

    Today I understand that xxxx’s psychosis at the Hospital was due to withdrawal from anti psychotics and toxic shock….Not a relapse…

    Today I understand that all Disabled people with Legal Capacity have rights Article 12. UN ENABLE CRPD: EQUAL RECOGNITION BEFORE THE LAW.

    Court of Protection sought illegally by local authority by not adhering to the rules and following the lawful guidelines. (Property and affairs) Will not give back my son his keys as he has made many requests.

    Pneumonia (Whilst on a section 2 )

    Septic Blood Poisoning. (Whilst on a section 2)

    Pressure sores (Whilst on a section 2 )

    Two finger tips missing… (On two separate occasions whilst in care homes) Reason given was self injury???? This was never an issue with my son prior to asking for help.

    Private wheelchair damaged twice in two separate care homes. Repaired on both occasions by care homes.

    No dental treatment for 2 years and 10 months.

    Bed rest for 6 months with antibiotics.

    4 IMCA have been involved. Only one IMCA contacted me. regarding my son expressing wishes to go home guide lines IMCA to be used when no family available. Local Authority again not following guide lines. No family involvement.

    Capacity or no Capacity???? My son had Capacity when he voluntarily left home in September 2010.

    4 Psychiatrists?

    4 IMCA.

    1 Advocate.

    7 NHS Hospital admission.

    2 Broken Toes (added to this list 29th July 2013)

    1 Psychiatric unit.

    1 Private Hospital For Brain injury…

    2 Challenging Behavioural units. 1 for Dementia 1 for Brain injury.

    District Nurses dressing open wounds for 15 months.

    Intimidation and Coercion. By Professionals in our local authority. One must evidence before one makes such a claim…..

    2 Clinical Psychologists.

    You do not need to publish this should you feel this is not suitable for your blog. I am very happy that finally there has been more exposure regarding what happened to you and Steven. My son’s experience has frazzled and traumatised him, de humanised and violated all his human rights.. 3 years and still not home.

    Now on an Robust Support Enablement programme back in the community. Which should have beed directed to his home. This experience has destroyed me and has devastated our family. Enough with negative state control. This is not what we asked for….

    • anonymous permalink

      Also failed to mention. All this for a Care Package….

      • anonymous permalink

        There is no discrimination here, it is happening to all of us. This is about all vulnerable people. What we need is a committee of lay persons who have had experiences like this to be allowed to sit on all legislation amendments and policies, not just politicians and policy makers.
        In the long term how much did the above cost in monetary terms? Let alone the pain and suffering, of the vulnerable person and there families.

        This takes a lot of time and energy to challenge the ludicrous actions taken by Local authorities.

        Give us the families the energy to direct positive actions to enable us to care for our loved one’s. Stop turning us into challenging human beings.

        We have had enough……..

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