“It affects everything”. Rehouse H now!

Our member H is facing eviction. She approached the council as soon as she got the first notice, over six months ago, but she and her children are still no closer to being rehoused. H is now counting down the days until the bailiffs knock on the door, but she still doesn’t know where her family will be going.Photo of two hands holding up a placard, drawn in black on red card. There's a drawing of a house full of boxes, with people lifting boxes above their heads. Next to this is a drawing two adults and three children, all with boxes hovering above their heads. At the top it says 'Rehouse The Family In Suitable Accommodation, Support The Homeless'.

I have been living there for 10 ½ years. The children are asking me where they are going and I don’t have any answer. They got the news that we have to leave a long time ago, so they keep asking ‘where, where’.

It’s affecting their education. Sometimes we feel like we’re going next week, it’s confusing and takes our minds away. I can’t concentrate to help them with their homework. They’re having trouble sleeping because they’re so worried. They can’t do the right thing at school because they can’t concentrate. If we got a place it would help them with their education, especially the one doing exams.

For me too, I’m studying, and the housing issue is affecting me so that I can’t concentrate. I get sleepless. When you’re losing where you live, when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep tomorrow, it affects everything. It’s affecting my education.

We have been in that place where there is damp everywhere, I’ve already been in that bad situation for a long time, which was affecting my health. Even before the landlord decided to sell, we wanted to leave, and now it’s even worse. Because we are moving, the landlord won’t do the repairs. I can’t wait to leave that place.

 I don’t want to go through the same experiences as other people in the group. I can’t go through anything more. Sometimes I feel vulnerable with my health conditions,  and the stress of the housing situation is making it worse. Having a suitable home will release the stress and give me and the children good health.

Waiting for a long time is not a good experience. Is it going to be here? Is it going to be there? You don’t know.

I need Haringey Council to support me and my children by giving me housing before the eviction date.’

Under the old homelessness law, many of our members were left to wait until the day of their eviction before the council would do anything to help. In the months before the Homelessness Reduction Act came into effect in April 2018:

–          L chased the council for six weeks leading up to her eviction date. But she and her children were still forced to wait all day in the housing office with their bags, then informed at 5pm that they had to go and pick up keys in a borough on the other side of London.

–          Z’s landlord harassed and threatened her, trying to intimidate her into leaving before the eviction date. But the council told her to stay in a house where her safety was at risk.

The new law claimed to offer some hope that things would change. The Homelessness Code of Guidance now emphasises much more strongly that

‘Housing authorities should ensure that homeless families and vulnerable individuals…are not evicted through the enforcement of an order for possession as a result of a failure by the authority to make suitable accommodation available to them.’

But so far, H is still waiting. Will Haringey Council act on this and find her family suitable accommodation before the bailiffs come?

February 20, 2019  Tags: , , , ,   Posted in: HHAG ACTIONS