Mums been offered a flat

Hi all,

So yesterday I got the news that mum has got a pre tenancy interview for a flat a couple of streets away from where she is now. She’s seen the place and honestly, it is awful. It’s a house that is split up into two parts.

She said she doesn’t like it, and she’s also worried about who else lives there. We don’t know who they are or anything, and we won’t know until after she signs the contract. She is a vulnerable woman and it could be anybody and she is prone to exploitation.

I spoke to the housing people and I said she really needs to be in sheltered accommodation. (Yes. Other people live there however it’s designed for older people, so less riff-raff)

Moving her from one house to another a couple of streets away is not going to solve any of the problems at all.

The council have also bid on this house for her, and said that because it’s ground level it would be perfect. As if that is the only reason.

She had an ot assessment but it doesn’t say on there that she needs the supported accommodation. I tried to call them at social services and was promised a call back but it never came.

However if she now turns this place down without good reason it will go against her.

We have also been looking at other housing charities who offer the same type of accommodation but I’ve only just been able to send of the application.

Another thing I’m also bothered about is moving. She cannot afford to move as the carers take every spare bit of money she has. I definitely cannot afford to lend it either, even if I did I would never see it again because the carers would have it.

I just don’t know what the right thing to do is and it’s worrying me.

I was so pleased for you when I read your latest thread title until I started reading.

Is the new flat supported living or just social housing?

I thought your Mum needed supported living or sheltered housing or that kind of thing?

Does she have mobility issues?

Are there any advantages to moving to the flat?

Do a list with a pros and cons columns.

Is it cheaper than her private rental for example? I

I think gone are the days when people moved into pristine social housing unless it’s an affordable housing new build and they often are housing association and the rent charged is higher.

Hey @Coolcar98, like @Melly1 said do a list of pro and cons. What is the condition of the flat? I know you said it is awful but is there something there like mold or damp that you could use as part of argument and any other faults. You could say that she can’t afford it but also with the trouble of the past might happen again ask them will they help and support you or your mum if trouble happens again or will they throw her out? Best of luck

Thank you.

It definitely looks absolutely tiny, which there are some issues with the bathroom as she struggled to get in and out of the bath, so she needs space. If her arthritis is so bad she also just sits on a chair and puts her legs in the bath and has a shower that way, so she would definitely need a shower and enough room.

The rent isn’t noticeable because it’s all done by housing benefit anyway.

The house is just social housing, and it’s a ground floor flat. Like I say it’s one thing to be living next door to riff raff and another for them to be in the same house. (Not saying they are). It’s just likely and they know she is prone to exploitation. Say they used weed for example, that is bad for someone like mum because she has quite bad asthma. (She’s always managed it), but if that gets on her chest. There are too many unknowns.

You wouldn’t move in with someone you didn’t know, and it’s even more dangerous for someone like mum.

The main reason she wanted to move into supported accommodation was for her to feel safe and free from exploitation. Of course it will help her disabilities too. It was about her mental health and feelings of security. She was abused and obviously was obviously recently abused by an idiot. She doesn’t feel safe and needs people around her 24/7.

I’ve also discussed it with the social workers a few times but nothing gets done. I think that she has some other learning disability as she struggles with a lot of things. She has a hard time understanding things. I’ve always said the world is too wired and misunderstanding for someone like her.

Just because she doesn’t tick a box doesn’t mean she’s not vulnerable.

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Might be worth highlighting that the LA have a duty of care towards a vulnerable woman and that you feel safeguarding could become an issue if she is forced to take unsuitable accommodation for no other reason than “it’s on the ground floor.” I’m sure they would not like to be held accountable should anything untoward happen to your Mum.

Definitely, for someone of her age too she would benefit from over 55’s living. That’s what all this is about. She is also waiting to have a knee replacement surgery, because of osteoarthritis, therefore her mobility is only declining. She is fast approaching retirement age in the next few years too.

I know the flats would be separated but this is beside the issue. She simply doesn’t know who lives there, and like I say it could be anyone. Judging by the flat it’s definitely not going to be a small family. It could be an elderly couple but why would they have a top floor apartment. Then it just leaves a younger couple or single person considering it’s only a one bed place. Not saying all single people are drug users, I’m single, but it’s just a huge risk.

Then she also has carers, is there going to be enough space for the carers to help her.

None of the problems are going to be solved by moving her into a place two streets away. She managed her disabilities already because it’s a bigger private place. She’s better off staying where she is until a place in sheltered accommodation comes available as it is more about her mental health needs with significant physical disabilities attached.

Coolcar, these are all good reasons to turn it down - your Mum was assessed for supported living and this isn’t that.

Have you looked into getting her an advocate yet?

I will look into it straight away. I haven’t been very well the past week as I have had a UTI with dizziness and lightheadedness. Major things (sort of mostly good) have happened at work too, so it’s been hard.

Once again I just feel like the council have ruined my happiness. On Friday, I got the news that my work place has been taken over, however it’s an in house takeover, so everything will stay the same. My boss will just own the business instead. It’s been waiting to happen for a while, and a pay rise is on the horizon. Not saying my job was on the line, but it makes it a whole other level more secure.

Trouble is mum also got the news on Friday and well that cut short the celebrations for me. It’s like these people like to make it harder for me.

I don’t feel in the right mind frame to help mum move right now, and I just need to get better first. Not just with the UTI, but I just need a bit of respite because I’m experiencing quite abit of burnout.

The idea of sheltered housing was to get her in a facility where she can be with similar likeminded people. She could make friends in the right ways and be in a facility where people would be disabled like her, and therefore more understanding. There would also be frequent activities for the residents to get involved with too. This is why supported accomodation is wanted because it’s a whole other level to her mental needs as opposed to physical needs, however these are an issue too.

She never will recover from her disability and they will only get worse with age. The fact remains that she hasn’t even bid for this place and they are essentially just forcing it on her.

I have contacted a couple of advocacy services, what can they help with?

Sorry to read this. Makes you wonder who works in these housing organisations.

We know a nice couple and the lady is in a wheelchair with some sort of wasting disease. She is very nice to talk to and very intelligent. She lived with her mother in a LA rented property and her partner lived in a flat not far away. They had very nasty neighbours who made fun of her and because she just tried to ignore them they ramped up the insults. She complained to the council who said they would monitor things.

Her Mum died and they got even nastier and she nearly had a nervous breakdown. The council agreed to move her and her partner who now became her carer. She was thrilled to get a disabled bungalow in the same small town. A couple of days later she was horrified to see the awful neighbours moving into a property two doors away! She had spent a fortune on new flooring throughout the bungalow and was heartbroken but knew she would have to move again. That was over a year ago during which she was too scared to go outside and she has just been allocated another bungalow in a different town.

I find it staggering that a housing dept could be so thoughtless.

I think it’s perfectly reasonable to ask for details of the other tenant, especially if they are upstairs and mum is downstairs. If it’s a middle aged woman living alone that’s better than an elderly male alcoholic!

@bowlingbun Definitely. There’s too many unknowns, but even then they may not have this info on paper. Someone isn’t going to admit to smoking weed or being an excessive drinker.

Plus if it is a man, I think she will be very scared after what she has been through regardless of who they are.

She 100 percent needs sheltered living. I spoke to someone the other day and they said that we really need to press for this.

We’ve found out there are also potential accessibility issues. The entrance to the property is on a narrow curved path with railings. Mum occasionally uses a mobility scooter on her bad days. It won’t be accessible.

The thing is though it’s not about declining this property as they will just offer another one. It’s about her wanting the sheltered accommodation based on her needs. There are plenty around.

Got to admit this is stressing me out badly, right now I’m also not very well with a UTI, I keep getting tension headaches and feeling nauseous, and this is looming too. It’s all too much. I feel like I don’t even get a chance to be poorly as a carer as I have to deal with something else.

They can fight the battles on your Mum’s behalf instead of you. I explained their role on one of your other threads.

I need to sort out S I’m afraid - but if you search through your threads you can re read it.

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Is it a Council property? What banding is your Mum in? You said they bid on the property for her, is there a reason for this?

Depending on the banding, an applicant is able to reject a certain number of offers so if you say no, it’s not like they will block your Mum’s account.

If your Mum is in a priority band and has not bid for a while, the Council can bid on her behalf.

Your Council should have an accessible homes team or a medical team or something along those lines. When your Mum applied, did she complete a medical section? That would give her “special needs” for housing and easier access to sheltered/bungalow etc. Well that’s how it works for our Council.

Does your Mum have any agencies working with her due to the abuse she suffered? They can write a letter or contact the Council with your worries.

If you are so worried, have a little nosey during the day and at night to get a feel of the property. Hell, go knock on the door and find out who lives there.

Go and view the property or phone up and address your concerns. It might be a nasty druggy who lives there but it could be someone really nice. Who knows, they may become good friends with your Mum. If it is not suitable for her medical conditions, you can address them there and then. They can’t hold it against you. If they rehoused your Mum in a property that is not suitable, they will have to just rehouse her again which no Council wants to do as it will cost them too much.

Let us know how it goes. Best wishes,

My mum is band B. She was encouraged by a social worker to go into a council house whilst she waits for a place in sheltered living.

Unfortunately they had the wrong details for her and apparently this is the second place she has been offered so it’s abit more detrimental this time. They count not been able to get in touch as a refusal, even though they had old details. Mum said to me that if she refuses this one she won’t be offered again for another six months. (I hope this is correct). Then this will give us time to get other options sorted out.

As part of the application she had an OT assessment which I contributed to, however the OT assessment did not say that she would need to be in sheltered living.

I tried to call an OT the other day. I was promised a call back but it never came.

Instead it mentioned accessibility, needing a ground floor location or lift access otherwise. It mentioned needing a larger bathroom amongst many other things. Shes prone to falling because of her osteoarthritis in her knees as her legs sometimes give way.

Mum gets support from an Independent Domestic abuse advocate.

Like I say she wanted supported living as moving from one house to another a couple of streets away is not going to solve many of the issues.
She will still be vulnerable and therefore needs the safety of a secure facility.

I did speak to someone on the phone from the housing team they encouraged us to say that mum was looking for more sheltered accommodation due to x reasons, they said it would go back to the band b team then for consideration.

I agree, going from one house to another won’t solve the basic problem, just lead to a mountain of stress for mum and you. As her carer, did they do an assessment on you too? As far as not being suitable for her mobility scooter, then they didn’t do their jobs properly, it’s just not suitable! Get the OT involved in this aspect, get her on your side to take the pressure off you!

@bowlingbun This is the house, as you can see the entrance is on a tight corner. She doesn’t use her mobility scooter all the time, only when she needs to because of the pain.

As you will see too, it looks little more than a glorified bedsit as it’s only a ground floor property. Is this what we shove disabled people in now?

It’s the fact that the house is also two streets away. There is nothing wrong with the area per se, she isn’t moving due to exploitation from neighbours because they’ve mainly been okay the 15 years we’ve lived there. The landlord is good, they deal with everything quickly.

It’s more about her mental health. She can live independent and at times I think what are the carers really for. She needs stimulation from people around her. She also needs to be somewhere which understands her needs.

I do have carers support and they are even agreeing that mum needs so much more than social services are offering. Social services are refusing to acknowledge the mental health side of things and asking her to engage with mental health services. Call me a traditionalist, but I do not believe all mental health problems can be solved by NHS therapy and counselling alone. More conventional methods such as communities and activities also play a part in this which is why we are seeking this accommodation. These places offer games, activities, trips, and can even sign post support when it’s needed.

Even another social worker said to me that she would benefit from sheltered accommodation. Yes the extra care argued she could be exploited and let dangerous people in the facility. But then couldn’t that happen to anyone in the facility. I thought the point of these facilities was to help people live independently and avoid harm in the community. As multiple people have said, it’s not about who gets let in, people are hardly going to exploit someone if there are staff members and cctv present. This is about who won’t be able to get in. I hundred percent believe they are just trying to take people off the list.

Also to blame a victim of domestic abuse is totally wrong. I’ve heard reports that the police refuse to deal with most cases because “women are most likely to go back to the person anyway.” I don’t know how likely true this but it seems like this is essentially the attitude extra care are taking. She had no prior affiliation with her abuser, and hasn’t since. There is no reason to associate with him.

In my line of work, it’s also common that the general rule is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ it’s abit more complex than that, but it makes complete sense. The fact is an investigation took place a year ago and no evidence was ever found. Therefore she was proven innocent. It’s wrong to assume someone is a dangerous person because someone made an allegation up which proved to be untrue and an act of harrassment towards the victim. The police and the cps did their jobs and no evidence was present and therefore she is innocent. Would someone who was guilty have support from women’s aid and be referred as a high priority to a thing called Marak?

I also don’t think it’s my job to ensure that the other person living there is considered safe.

I’ve had a carers assessment and they are supporting me with advice, however social services don’t want to listen to any of my health issues.

Have you ever been in a sheltered housing home?
I’ve been in lots, they were all “glorified bed sits”.
Maybe you and mum need to visit one and decide if that is really what you want?
PS, there’s a simple solution to the access issue to the house they are offering, just change the fence, which would be easy as it will be built in sections and bolted together.

Yeah. She’s seen multiple places and would like to be. We are in the process of applying to different places as council just seem useless.

It’s also about applying for places which are independent living with support for her mental health needs.

OK Band B is a bit scary. It’s one offer of accommodation in our Council. If they deem it a fit offer, they revoke the Band B and you end up on Band D.

Get the DV advocate to speak on your Mum’s behalf - was the abuse near where the property is? If so, tell them to speak to Housing on her behalf.

If you have a lot going on, do you have any siblings or other family members who can support you and your Mum be it just over the phone?

Request a callback from Housing/Homelessness tomorrow. There will be a generic number you need to call and they will call you back. Write everything down so you don’t forget anything.

I don’t understand why the SW said move into a Council property and wait for sheltered - that’s just plain daft. The Council will have to advertise the property twice and do all the paperwork twice - trust me, they won’t want to do that. I work for Housing!!!

If the worse comes to the worst, get in touch with your local MP and throw a MASSIVE STROP. If they write to Housing, you will be able to get what you want, in no time! I work in Housing, I know this!!!