Rights in temp accomodation
09/07/2011 2:00 am
Would be very greatful for any advice you could give please.
My local council has accepted my homeless application and accepted a duty of care.
I have been placed with my two year old son in council temp accomodation.
I am trying to find out what should happen from here and am getting very little help from my housing officer.
Firstly i am concerned as we have been placed in a small bedsit where we are sharing our living/ sleeping space.
I am on the third floor directly next to the staircase and the flat door only has a twist lock which my son can open.
The council has refused to let me secure the door with a chain, but have admitted that there is a problem with these locks as they are now putting cages over the letterbox to stop people putting their hands through and opening the doors.
It is causing a massive deal of stress and worry as my two year old is determind to make a bid for freedom and i am even having to take him to the bathroom with me.
Also we were told when we first moved in that it was the council's policy not to keep people in temp accomodation longer than 6 months.
I am comming to the end of that period now and all the bids i have made on the homechoice ponts based letting system have been unsucssesful and i cant get a straight answer as to what should be happening now.
Any advice that you could give would be great
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11/07/2011 3:13 pm
you hazard guesses falsely - i have experience of children and grandchildren of that age - and more importantly of policies and procedures in temporary accommodation. however silly you may think my comments they are made in the context of temporary accom, large numbers of strangers in the same building and in this case unfortunately shoddy safety by the council.
imagine fifteen families with children - all with two year olds all being left by their parents in rooms or in communal areas and you have a health and safety nightmare - that is why temporary accommodation forbids children to be left without supervision at any time and is correct and good practice
11/07/2011 2:28 pm
I would hazzard a guess that the previous poster doesn't have vast experience of the antics of an average two year old. Our son nips around so fast unless we were to strap him down we'd have no chance of making sure he's not alone occasionally. I don't see how life could function without leaving him to play by himself for a while my wife or I tend to various chores.
Leaving a kid in a room (assuming you've checked for any obvious dangers) while you nip to the bathroom does not make you a bad parent.
11/07/2011 1:52 pm
Has the landlord stated why they wont allow you to put on a catch? Could it be that (a) this becomes a fire hazard if you leave the child in there alone and he or she puts it on? Or (b) that your tenure document requires access to your room at all times?
Many temporary accommodation providers rightly discourage an adult leaving a two-year old in a room alone - even for the adult to go the bathroom - as this is a health and safety and welfare issue. Leaving a two year old alone in a room is not recommended however inconvenient it may be for an adult and especially in shared accommodation with faulty locks!!! Yes of course the locks need looking at and changing to make all rooms within the property secure but leaving a 2 year old alone in a room is simply not on.
09/07/2011 10:34 pm
The poster above has just about covered it. Ultimately, temporary accommondation is just that, and as there are so many people waiting and an inadequate supply of housing, you would be best advised to start searching all options available as well as bidding on flats- this may mean a private rental. The system is clogged with people wishing to assert their 'rights' but who accept no responsibility for their own situation. Finding onself homeless is awful, but many people do not even get a temporary place- I work in a hostel where a homeless mother and son are sleeping on the floors of the older daughters bedsit whilst they await the availability of temporary accommodation.
To get moved on quickly, keep placing those bids, but start visiting letting agencies too.
09/07/2011 1:24 pm
I am going to get this in before any of the lefties on here get to you.
I am sorry you have found yourself in this situation, however the system is flooded, there are thousands of people in your situation who have been in it longer then you, who still havent been offered perm accommodation. The council has a duty to rehouse those people first (this will be faciliated through their longer registration date on the choiced based lettings system you are using).
Re housing policy says 6 months, however that policy doesnt reflect the demand for perm rented social housing at the moment. Realistically what will happen is you will remain in temp accommodation until you are successful in bidding for a perm rented property. The council may move you from your current property into another temp one. The reason they have said no to chain is because it is likely they have leased it from a private landlord as a temp measure. That aside if it was me I would just install one, and fight that battle when it comes to it. I doubt any court will side on a HO that seeks to evict you on the grounds you installed a chain for your protection.
Please please please ignore suggestions of going to your MP, Councillor or Prime Minister it wont do any good. As previously said the system is flooded and HA/LAs dont have a supply of empty properties on standby to move people into.
I regret that the bedsit isnt to your liking or suitable, however you have placed your housing needs in the arms of the council, whilst you might not like it I regret to say you just have to get on with it and deal with it, as previously said there isnt a host of properties for us to move people into. I would also suggest seeking out properties that will accept HB and try move into one of those if the council will let you.