Speaking to my sister today got me thinking and I actually said this to her
Stop moaning about your housing situation and take action, do something about it?
Granted she is a mother of two girls under the age of 2. My sister who was up until 2014 was living in a flat in Brighton and Hove, sadly a knock came to the door one day and it was a council officer, my sister answered and they said this is a council property you are illegally subletting.
For months my sister was getting letters for the landlord and were left unopened as the landlord move away to live with a partner, never did my sister think she was actually sub-letting a council property.
Anyway my sister assisted with the councils investigation to take action against the so called dodgy landlord, who not only has taken advantage of my sister, but also lied to the council and state and profited from council property.
To my sisters amazement she was then told she had to move out by Brighton and Hove city Council, leaving her homeless.
My sister ended up moving into a family members spare room and was on the council waiting list. She then after 10 years and no success found out she was pregnant, up until this point she was working.
The council placed her in private rented accommodation with a long term tenancy agreement, I think 10 years. She was in Band D, she as told me today she is spending £5 per day on electric, as her flat doesn’t have central heating. She told me its full of damp and on top of that her second baby girl arrived this year.
The council then remove her from the council housing waiting list, after evicting her from her previous place, through no thought of her own.
Ive learned that you need to take action
Its hard to know where to start with taking on the council or ensuring your rights are being met, I discovered this first hand. Being homeless myself had its challenges, but from day one I know I had to speak out and take action.
We have choices on where we go or how we go about it, but I soon discovered that I wasn’t alone in my crisis and struggle, I discovered that their were many like me living in a temporary and emergency accommodation nightmare.
The press in the city are kind to those who have been marginalised but they only publish a few stories, to get a real voice I set up this blog and started writing and evidencing the issues people and myself faced.
I believe this continued partnership will eventually lead to better prospects for locals in terms of secure and affordable accommodation. The Brighton and Hove Housing Coalition which launched their website this week, is an organisation bringing thousands in the city together, collaborating for all our futures.
In conclusion I’ve seen many people speak out and help to change the futures of others and themselves, they’ve been brave and often been persecuted for this bravery by the establishment. I’ve come to see that, we need to have a no fear attitude and follow through until we are happy with the outcome.