Bidding on social housing properties from the local authorities is different in different parts of the UK and so is the criteria.
Some areas work on a points system, which I think is fairer as priority goes to those who rack up the most points.
Here we have bandings,
A persons’ current housing circumstances means they will fall into one of the following bandings:
Band A+ Emergency or very urgent priority
Band A Very High Priority
Band B High Priority
Band C Medium Priority
Band D Low Priority
It is fair to say that if you join the housing register and you have been assessed as either band C or D your chances of being offered social housing from the council are very low.
Housing is allocated by banding first then by priority housing date (the date on which the housing application was made) those with the earlier date will be considered first.
Dinky and I are in band A, to get into band A+ we have to have been in the hostel/bed and breakfast for 12 months or more. We don’t qualify under any of the other criteria for A+. We were in the bed and breakfast for 12 weeks (double the amount of time as set out by government legislation) and been in the hostel for just over 4 months, so we have been in band A for 7 months. Only 5 more to go until we go up a band!
Most people don’t get housed until they are in A+.
There is something new in the pipelines, 3 hostels were shut down and have beenundergoing renovations to turn them into temporary accommodation 1 and 2 bedroom flats, in which a person/family can stay for up to 2 years. This was mentioned to S (my mental health nurse) and I will be considered for one of the 2 bedroom flats. Here is the rub… Do I move into temporary accommodation and then move into permanent housing, so that for a period of time we have more room…. Or… Do we stay in the room, get moved faster into permanent housing and reduce the need to move twice? The estimated completion on the renovations is early 2013. We will be moved to A+ in April 2013.
As far as bidding goes once you have a banding you get a bidding number and bidding commences on a Monday from 12am and ends Thursdays at 5pm. Bidding can be done online or through the property store in the town hall.
Thanks to my iPad and smart phone I can bid at home, it saves a trip to the town centre.
Today is bidding day!
There were 2 eligible properties today.. One not in the right area for dinky’s school, and one in a better area to get to school, so I bid at 9am. It gets rather depressing when before I even bid I read that there are 11 people in front of us on the list. So I bid anyway, got to show willing, right?
I check the status of last weeks bids and find I finished 20th on the list and my bid was obviously unsuccessful. Again a depressing outlook, I have to wait for the 19 people in front of us to be housed before we get to the top of the list. Even then, it all depends on what areas in the borough people are bidding on. Unfortunately Dinky’s school is situated in the most popular area, so more people bid for that area.
If it went on the points system I would bet I would be higher on the list given my mental health issues, dinky’s referral to CAMHS, and dinky’s education. Most of the families that have been in the hostel who have been housed have had children under 3 years. So an extra month wouldn’t be so bad but we have to travel from one end of the borough to the other for school Monday-Friday. We leave at 7.30 am and get home at 4pm. By the time I give dinky her dinner and do her reading and practice her letters there isn’t much time for wind down and a bath before I get her to bed at 6.30pm. This gives her the opportunity to have 12 hours sleep providing she goes to sleep soon after going to bed, and providing the woman downstairs doesn’t shout at her kids to shut up and stop crying at 4.30/5am and wake dinky, which she does probably 4-6 out of 7 days. So on average dinky is up at 4.30/5am gets to school at 8.40am, gets home at 4pm, goes to bed at 6.30pm, and finally falls to sleep around 7pm. So the least amount of sleep she gets is 9- 9and a half hours a night. At her age (4) she should be getting 11-12 hours a night.
So every week I check which houses/flats we are eligible for and bid on them. I try not to get my hopes up because we are still not high enough on the list.
Although we have gone from 35 on the list of properties bid on, down to 20 in the last 4 months. Which is progress, and progress should not be dismissed, but slightly celebrated.
We have got permission from the hostel managers to decorate the whole hostel for Christmas! So at least we can make the place feel more festive! It is going to be hard, but I have to make this Christmas as good as it possibly can be for dinky! So I have brought every thing on her list, and spent a fortune on decorations.
I can’t get too down about Christmas because even though the situation sucks, I at least still have dinky to celebrate with, if she is happy, I am happy. (which is why I am not happy about being here because dinky isn’t.)
On the upside, there is benefits to being disowned by your entire family, apart from the lack of arguments and family tension,there is also a big financial benefit! So all the money I would have spent on my 2 younger half siblings, my niece and 3 nephews can go on making Christmas special for the only person that matters…. Dinky!
I had better stop blogging, and get on with the washing and cleaning before I have to go get dinky from school…..