A Open Letter to Jeremy Corbyn, More Scandal, Cuts and Lack of Action by Brighton and Hove City Council and my eviction.

Scandal No 1

No fresh water will be provided in Bartholomew House the Brighton and Hove City Council housing offices due to cuts

An Image of a bin with no water machine
This is where the water machine was at Bartholomew House, Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Offices

So I had to drag myself down to the housing office today, I went to get a glass of water from the machine and hey presto its gone, I asked the staff and they said they were taken away due to cost. How much does it cost to give a glass of water?

I’ve already shown you all the wastage in housing, maybe they should get rid of the incompetent staff members like Andy who was rude to me today and made negative remark after negative remark like “I cant to this” “I cant to that” So I tuned around and said rather than tell me what you cant do.

When will they realise that they are the worst council for housing in the country the negativity feeds into my illness, why cant they simple be positive and tell me what you can do. Andy said all he could do was contact my housing options advisor remember this is the same person who failed to prevent my homelessness back in December she said I wasn’t eligible for emergency housing back in Jan, a senior officer overturned this decision.

If Andy calls that customer service then I am sorry but that was possibly one of the worst experiences i’ve had at the council. I’ve managed customer service teams myself in the past, if one of my staff spoke to a customer  like the way Andy spoke to me then I would be giving that member of staff a verbal warning and personal development plan to improve his customer service skills, no improvement then its P45.


Scandal No 2

Service Charges are crippling many in emergency housing, I am currently on Employment Support Allowance, I get £75 a week to live on, out of this I am expected to pay the private limited company Helgor Trading Limited (who make millions from housing benefit) £50 a month, if you don’t pay you are out.

Here is a letter I got yesterday from Helgor Trading Limited.

A image of a letter about service charge arrears
This is where the water machine was at Bartholomew House, Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Offices

Here is a video of the state of the windows here at Percival Terrace

This water is dripping right down the main supporting wall – we have no laundry facilities and am not allowed any visitors. I know why so people don’t see the state of disrepair this building is in.

As Stated in the Letter this £55 MUST BE CLEARED IN FULL or I am on the streets again homeless, like the other 31% of applicants.

So its pay this starve and lose my personal belongings, or pay my storage fees for my personal belongings and have nowhere to keep them.

Basically I am in a catch22 situation and they know it, I am being discriminated against but I am not going down without a fight.

A Building Control Surveyor today sent this email to the owners of the building I am in.

A Letter About Poor State of Repair
So the Council acknowledge disrepair but do nothing about it, the ownership is on the company. Why am I facing eviction but they get away with it?

The Solution to all this is simple

Get me out of this stupid welfare trap designed to line the pockets of the slum landlords and leave us the vulnerable and homeless with nothing and no reason to live. In this building Four people have sadly committed suicide since last November , do you understand why now?


An Open Letter to the Rt. Honourable Jeremy Corbyn

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

As the leader of the opposition, A man of ethics, principles and someone who is vocal about housing, I would like to know why I am being evicted from accommodation which I have said is unsuitable from the word go.

Why am I the one facing street homelessness again when I was the person brave enough to stand up against these unethical money grabbing companies who are raking in 10 billion a year from housing benefit money?

I would like to also know what the PM David Cameron has to say about this because as detailed above, four people have died in this one building alone since last November.

Not one to just plea, I also have a policy suggestion for the future, one that stops this legal fraud against the state and provides a secure future for the vulnerable and homeless.

I’ve worked out that by moving me from emergency housing to social housing there would be a saving of £600 a month from housing benefit. Thats £7200 a year for just one person.

There are 374 places I think ,probably more in the city of Brighton and Hove, thats £2.7 million saved in a year, So if we calculated this across the country I think labour have a new policy.

By firstly exposing the wastage and secondly building social housing and increasing the health and wellbeing of the vulnerable and homeless.

Its an investment policy not reactive like many current conservative government fiascos, Jeremy these are the sort of polices we need do be adopting as a nation, its the right time to seize on this with the Panama Papers.

Most importantly It would also save lives!!

If this extended to temporary housing then the savings in 10 years could go for example toward providing a non-privatised NHS, which is wastage in itself.

Many thanks

Daniel Harris


Soon to be evicted for providing a public service to the city of Brighton and Hove and the country as a whole.

Keep signing my petition and help me change this system forever, as always comment below and share with friends to highlight this scandal which is a national scandal. I will be emailing this to the local and national press and to Jeremy Corbyns office tonight.

Scandal No 3

I will lose my personal belongings which are in storage with Bishops Move Brighton.

When I was finally given a roof over my head on the 28th January 2016, I signed the licence agreement which essentially means I have an element of protection from future eviction and homelessness.

As many of you may have seen I posted Images from the room they provided me at percival terrace, when I arrived it was after 4pm and the worker at the hostel took me to the room, here are the images I took.

 

After being told my stuff is not safe and seeing for myself a door kicked in at the hostel I went into a manic state, I lost control and didn’t know what to do. The council offices were closed, I was alone, a friend reacted and hired a van (which I payed for) and found the first place that would have storage space available, called Ease the Squeeze. At a cost of £81 per month I took it at any cost to keep my stuff safe.

Four days later after I set up the Homeless Hotels From Hell Petition, I was moved from room 24 to Room 50 – If that is not a sign of wrongdoing I don’t know what is.

Yesterday I got this letter giving notice from Ease the Squeeze

The Shelter Charity and Legal Advice States that:

Storage for personal belongings

If you are homeless and apply to the council for help, the council has to protect your personal belongings and furniture if it has a duty to provide you with accommodation.

Your belongings when you are made homeless

If you have asked the council for help because you are homeless, you may not be able to take your furniture and belongings with you to any temporary housing the council provides.

This is because the accommodation provided might already be furnished or too small to store all your belongings.


When your personal property has to be protected

The council has duties to protect the personal property of homeless applicants when it is at risk of damage or loss and you can’t protect or deal with it yourself. For example, you may not be able to afford to arrange removals or storage.

This duty applies from the point you make an application as homeless and the council believes you may be eligible for help.

The duty applies to your property and the property of anyone else included in your application. Property includes personal belongings and furniture. It does not include equipment used for business purposes.


How the council must protect your belongings

The council has to do what is reasonable to prevent loss or damage to your propertyThe council can:

  • gain entry to a property to recover your belongings
  • arrange removals
  • arrange storage

Charges for the protection of your personal property

Most councils charge for the protection of property. Charges may be waived by some councils for people who claim benefits or have a low income.


Why are Brighton and Hove City Council Refusing – They say because I arranged for the storage on my own back. They failed to give me advice that what the housing options were set up to do, I have complained and Sylvia.peckham@brighton-hove.gov.uk – refused to help me, hiding behind legislation. I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, surely they should have supported me.

Great News Though I have got an Adult Social Worker to help support me going forward, nevertheless, why are these Council Officers allowed to get away with this, they aren’t elected and clearly do not answer to our cities councillors

 

Its a Mad World out there for Children in Care. Voices Matter Cover the Gary Jules version

Last year when I had a mental breakdown following 6 days of mania, confusion, paranoia, Euphoric highs, I was literally on high alert, I had an over active mind and I crashed into a depressive state.  Then I found the Rees Foundation, a charity for previously looked after children, care leavers.

Who are Rees Foundation?     download

Only a few years young this national charity goes further than many across the country, they help to empower care leavers of any age, I am 32 and Nattylyn another service user is 36 they have supported us, linked us to each other and provided us with respite from our difficult and stressful lives right now.

If you have left care and feel ready to truly move forward in life and dream again then the Rees Foundation is for you,  Afshan the Project Development Manager, initially contacted me, she LISTENED. A few months back I got invited to a Revolution event organised by Rees Foundation, and met other care leavers like myself, we looked at personal development, education and employment.

It was such a great day and an experience I will remember forever, I met some lovely people who finally understood me and I understood them.

On the train journey home, I started singing and someone said you have a good voice, I rebutted the compliment as I struggle to accept them, we all started singing and I was like we should do a Rees Foundation Choir. Little did I know Voices Matter were born.

Voices Matter Perform Mad World at the Big Sing Off 2016.

Performance Image Four People on Stage
Voices Matter Performing Mad World (Left to Right: Nattylyn, Zion, Daniel & Carlena)

The audience was 700 strong, the atmosphere was fun, emotional and energetic, full of happy children currently living in care and full of foster mums and dads.

Remember from my own experiences what you see in front of you with one of these kids is not what they have experienced, all of these kids have suffered trauma of some sort, some were sexually abused like me, some were simply not wanted or taken away from voilent homes or abusive parents.

One child said “this is the best day of my life’

He wasn’t wrong I had an absolutely amazing time and some very much needed fun and relaxation. There was Greg a care leaver on the KeyBoard (out of sight) Zion, Son or Nattylyn (a care leaver) Carlena (Care Leaver) and Myself and a special appearance from another care leaver Ian.  Below is the performance, this was arranged only a few weeks ago and we had our first rehearsal the day before, we had no sound check on the day, but we had so much fun!!!

Just like at the Full Council Meeting, this performance took me outside my comfort zone, I was bricking it, the last time I was on stage was 14 years ago.

How Did I Feel After The Performance……AMAZING!!!

It was hard to leave that special day behind and come back to the emergency accommodation I am in, after becoming diagnosed last week with Bipolar whilst I am happy to have a reason for being the way I am, I have a fresh determination to push forward and expose the conditions in these places and the scandal of what it is doing to care leavers like me.

We need to push for better services for children in care and care leavers because we have a voice and our Voices Matter.

As always you can find out more about the voices matter project by clicking here. Contact me by clicking me here I also welcome to comment below.

Finally I never ask for personal support, however the Rees Foundation rely on Grants and Donations, if you were touched by this then head over to the Rees Foundation Website and donate and help us care leavers to continue doing this every year.

Picture gallery of the Day will be uploaded soon.

Blessings

Daniel

Voices-Matter
Left to Right: Nattylyn, Daniel, Carlena & Jim. Big Sing Off 2016 Singing Waltzing Jan to celebrate Jan Rees’s OBE Award in this years New Years Honours Lust for Services to Children.

Brighton and Hove A City of Hope, Dreams and Desperation

I became homeless again in Jan 2016

Tired
Me tired but alive Having recently went to the full council whereby I presented a petition signed by over 1500 people, detailing the conditions I have to live in. I am in Emergency Housing, My Landlord Helgor Trading Limited – Own two further properties housing the homeless and vulnerable, in total I make this 130 rooms.

Now in the council presentation and the following debate if you haven’t already seen the video you can watch here, the council acknowledged my statement, some councillors even come up to me after and told me how brave I was to come forward, I was told the council officers were looking into my case and I will hear back.

I also set out a plan to improve the standards in emergency accommodation, the initial room they put me in, room 24, was not previously inspected, it hadn’t been cleaned and showed signs of drugs use. I still have the previous occupants diary left under the mattress. I was provided a tiny room, no bed covers, a microwave and they said it was suitable, I saw another door kicked in downstairs and panicked.

I then in manic mode took my belongings and put them in Bishops Move, It costs me £81 per month to store my belongings. I get £74 a week to live on from ESA, with bills including the £50 service charge at Percival Terrace  to pay before I even feed myself I am left with £64 a month or about £2.30 to live off, could you live of that?

The stuff in storage by the way is going to be destroyed or sold because i haven’t been able to afford to pay this, I owe £161, the council have a duty under the housing act to ensure my belongings are not destroyed, they deny this knowledge because I arranged the storage myself. The council office was closed, I was given no advice and they failed to hand over correctly, The council say its affordable if its affordable why am I losing my property.

Check out this video which gives you an understanding on how this is continuing to effect me.


Posted by Daniel Harris on Saturday, 9 April 2016

I am not looking for pity, I am exposing the truth.

My History

Find out more about Daniel Harris

Revelation number 1

On the 16th December at 10:49 am 12 days away from being street homeless and facing eviction I spoke to a housing options manager, yes i was in a manic state, they hadn’t even looked at my homelessness application and proceeded to say point out that i wasn’t the only one on the list, and rolled out figures like bumbling politician. I had made him aware that just the week before I had a panic attack well, four in one hour after meeting him and seeing the officer who turned me away in 2012, unlawfully. and that I had to be hospitalised, however he was rude to me and treated me like a fool. I filed an instant complaint with Brighton and Hove City Council which was never followed up.

To my amazement the same member of staff I complained about was the decision maker for the suitability review on the property I live in, the same one with the waterfall windows.

They decided on 8 weeks 1 day the property is suitable, I am not going to go into my circumstances but i assure you it is absolutely not suitable and as the council have a duty of care they are required by law to ensure a property is suitable and make a decision on the evidence I have provided, the housing options manager failed to acknowledge half of the reasons and for this and the fact he is subject to an official complaint by me means the council have failed to provide a suitable responce withint he 8 week time limit as discloded in the housing act 1966.

I am looking for someone who can see the human side to this story

I need help to stand up and fight for my rights. Feel free to check out my linkedin public profile after having to leave my last role due to ill health, I am disgusted I am or anyone is expected to live in these conditions.

I am an intelligent person, I can speak well when I am not manic or in a depressive period, I would welcome press interviews, tv or radio interviews or any way to expose this wrong doing and help changes peoples lives for the better.

If you want to interview me or have any comments please email them to daniel@survivorblog.co.uk

Revelation number 2 – Another Death

I have been informed that a vulnerable resident here at Pervical Terrace was found dead (suicide) last week, I don’t know anymore information and will update the blog when I have it, however for someone like me to break this news and the local media ignoring this issue shows their is something wrong here. How many more people have to die in these conditions?

Revelation Number 3 – Images from a Baron Homes property for those in emergency housing.

Thanks to another source I have here are some images, if you want to use these images you are required to ask me first for permission to use, you are welcome to share this blog on social media to highlight this issue locally.

I urgently need help from a lawyer to get justice for this, if you are a journalist or a researcher for a documentary Brighton’s Housing Mess and the individual stories linked need to been seen and heard to evoke change.

Again if you want to get in touch email me daniel@survivorblog.co.uk.

I look forward now to my next petition, make sure you subscribe to this blog for more updates or add me on Facebook.