How sad is it that you have resign yourself to the fact nothing will be done by your council. I have a friend who lives in what we use to call council housing. Council housing down here was renowned for the quality homes. Quality renting and godsend if you were on it. Now ? It’s not so much. I have a friend who is having an ongoing battle with her local housing association and nothing is getting done.
She and her family live in what we fondly call a Cornish Unit home. If you’re from down this way you will be familiar with the half slate half concrete mix. They were put up quick to bridge a housing gap. They are still bridging this gap years beyond their estimated lifetime. The problem is that they developed concrete cancer and they all had to be altered. What they basically did was hold the slate top half up, knock out all the concrete and rebuild all the downstairs walls. I know as I use to work for the firm that did it.
My friend’s house was tested and had the all clear but for some bizarre reason they then decided to ‘do’ all the other houses around her just in case and left hers. Years on her house is falling apart. There is paint falling off the walls from the damp and you don’t need to pop out side for fresh air – just stand near one of the corners of the house. You want to know how to get rid of black smelly disgusting mold? Ask my friend as she deals with it daily.
But the ironic thing is that the housing association who own the house says there is nothing wrong.
To add more to amount of misery this is causing her and her young family, she recently fought cancer herself. We are all very thankful she is here to tell the tale. But it came at a price. She has to attend the local hospice anything from twice to three times a week. A round walking trip of about 3 miles. Now take into account she isn’t supposed to be ‘over doing it’ a weekly totally of 9 miles isn’t a good idea.
So she had the idea of moving closer to kill two birds. Get away from a damp house that is falling apart and be closer to the hospice so less walking. Now if you are in the housing association you can’t just move to another house. You have to be given a banding. An A banding is emergency, right now sort of thing. B is a could really do with moving ……C less so….you get my drift. She is in the glorious banding of E . Which means there is not urgency and all the other people in band A,B,C,D get asked first. Band E? Phah forget it.
So she is stuck. She is fed up and there is not a lot she can do. She has appealed her banding with letters from her consultants and specialist explaining her condition but because she lives within a 30 minute walk it fell through. If she was in a position to rent privately or buy they would have done that already.
Now of course I feel for her and I am writing this in a small vain of hope something gets done. But the real sad thing is that in her rant on facebook there are comments like ‘if she was foreign she would get moved’ etc etc. And you know what? It’s a sad day when you realize these comments are actually true. When you realize as a nation we are more scared of not helping foreigners and that we forget to help our own.
So this is an open question to our MP Stephen Gilbert as nothing is getting done. No one is helping her and surely all this can’t be right?
Edit – My friend had a 4th visit from the Housing Association today. Again she was told there was nothing they could do. That the peeling paint is normal and damp and mold is normal. Yet another phone call into the office after the visit has resulted in someone higher up saying they are looking into it. They are calling back 3pm on Tuesday 12th. Will they actually do anything? Will they fix stuff that should have been attended to years ago? We wait and see.
Update 12th August :– They had a call back from the housing association today and have an appointment with him to view the place on Thursday.
I do hope this won’t be their 5th wasted appointment. My friend has been at this point several times. They arrange to see house and then say there is nothing they can do or say they will get back to her and then say there is nothing they will do. We wait to see.