Wednesday, 1 December 2010


For the past year J and I have lived in the local sink estate. I hate the term "sink estate"as it condemns anyone living there as the type of person to be avoided.  I have seen terrible things here - a fight among two girls and a man which ended with one of the girls leaving wheeling her six month old baby. I have seen blatent drug dealing and witnessed and experienced lots of anti social behaviour. On the other hand I have also had good neighbours, people who like me are just living life peacefully, going to work, coming home and raising children. I have seen all the work which goes on here to try and promote community cohesiveness. There is an active community centre, football coaching, a cybercafe, Health and Wellness projects and a regular newsletter advertising upcoming events for residents. In short it's not all bad here apart from a few bad apples - and everyone here knows who these people are.
With J's diagnosis I decided without much hope to apply for a housing transfer. J is very very active and there are times when I wish we had a garden so that he could run around outside safely and burn off some energy. The Occupational Therapist also suggested a garden would help as it could contain a small trampoline which would help J's hypermobile joints.
I sent in a transfer application and completed a medical form regarding J and sent this back with a covering letter and photocopies of J's medical letters. I heard nothing and initially thought that J had not passed the medical officer's assessment of need. I was told by a neighbour of J's grandmother (who works in housing allocations) that the medical officer was notoriously sparing with what he would pass and what he wouldn't. To me with an extra bedroom above my needs it would seem he had decided there was enough room in the house to meet J's needs. Then out of the blue a letter came stating that we had been assessed as "Band F" and "Medium Priority". I was delighted as obviously the medical officer had given extra housing points for J. My Mum's neighbour though was negative " you'll wait forever" she said "the two bedroom places are in such short supply they are going to those on Band C and above". I was a bit dejected by this but decided that I would make the best of things and splash out on carpet for the spare room and vinyl for the kitchen, bathroom and toilet. It cost a small fortune but was worth it as everywhere looked so much better. This was August.

Last week and again out of the blue a letter came stating that we had been reassessed and were now in Band C (High Priority). I was over the moon as we were now in the magical realms of "Band C and above" but still expected a long wait for re-housing. On Saturday I recveived a formal offer of a property near to my Mum and sister. I drove out to see it immediately, it's a little redbrick house built in the last five years or so with a good sized garden for J. It had evidently been left in a hurry as there was still washing up in the sink. A note on the front door stated that "the rabbit has now been rehomed, if you have any queries contact S at Swan Housing".

Yesterday I took all papers to Swan Housing and an application form, the Lettings Officer chatted for a while and said that there had been panic about the rabbit with the staff even being asked if they could rehome him until someone else stepped in. The Lettings Officer said she would get a letter with a formal offer out to me and we could arrange a viewing as soon as possible.  Driving back via the house I could see a small truck packed to the hilt with property from the house. The men clearing said everything had been left including baby photos and children's clothes. I found this sad - someone had evidently just walked out of the door taking a child (or children) two cats in baskets and a small bag according to the neighbour. The men clearing thought there might be a debt such as rent arrears behind the sudden vacation of the property. All the property goes into storage until the owner can collect it.

I hope to be in within the next two weeks all being well and am surveying this house with despair - so much to organize and pack. Thank goodness for supportive family who have simply said "don't worry we will all help". I love them all so much and am feeling so fortunate.