Disabled and without a home: what happened next

Posted on Mar 5, 2015 | 0 comments

On Monday, I published a post about our housing situation. The media picked it up and it wasn't long before the Allocations and Verifications Team Manager for Lambeth left me a voicemail message. 

DSC_7907 copy cropIn it, she asked me to email some documents over to start the process to move us to the higher band. She said she'd follow up with an email explaining what was needed and where to send it.

That day? No email.

The next day? No email.

Wednesday, again. No email.

Because, that's the way, isn't it? That's exactly the problem. We can talk about the lack of housing, government cuts, how little disabled housing exists - these are major issues - but if no one is willing to return your phone call you can't get anywhere.

Furthermore, it turns out she had known personally about our case since 2013 when our wonderful social worker at the time was fighting our corner. Because of this, and only this, I had access to her email address. So, I wrote her.

I won't reprint the email here, but suffice to say: it wasn't friendly.

She emailed me back, but only after Matthew Bennett, our local councillor, emailed her again as well. She did apologise. But I still feel there is still a lot to answer about how Lambeth have responded to our case.

However, the short answer to the question of "what happened next" is that we are now, officially, moved into the top priority band. It is a sad state of affairs that my post had to be picked up by the media to make that happen - there are plenty of other people out there who are in a very similar and trying situation who will not have that opportunity.

And, I want to make it clear - despite what the government would have people believe about disabled people - we did everything by the book. We filled out numerous applications and had medical assessments. We had consultants and therapists write letters on our behalf. None of those normal processes worked.

Some photos so you know our world isn't always so difficult:

So, I'm thankful. To all of you who shared my family's struggles. To Matthew Bennett. To the media who pushed for our story to be heard. To Leonard Cheshire Disability who asked us to take part in their Home Truths report that initiated my post to begin with.

To my friends and family and our wonderful care worker - who are the people who physically heave our delightful but disabled daughter up several flights of stairs when I can't.

And, especially my husband. Fathers are often lost in these conversations. There is much you don't know about him that you can read here. He is May's main carer.

IMG_2716 crop daddy

Guess it's time to start bidding on houses...

Click here to find out what happened to us only two days later.

Or, click here to find out some good news that happened five weeks later.

Do you have a story or want to comment on ours? Please do so in the comments below!

Top photo: John Goodman / All other photos: Stacie Lewis

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