Our system is miles off ‘fit for purpose’.

I put myself on the council list because of my situation. I am going to find it hard to afford the rent long term where I am. Especially after losing PIP and also subsequently losing my LHA one bedroom housing benefit. If I hadn’t been under the age of 35 years, then I wouldn’t have been affected so much because they wouldn’t have taken away a proportion of my rent either. I’m only entitled to single room rate per week being this age without PIP’s daily living component. The rent I’m getting now only covers half of my total rent. I have to pay the rest out of my ESA. I have to pay bills and living costs out of my ESA as well.

I’ve lodged a tribunal with the PIP decision makers. I have to wait for a statement from the DWP because they’re the respondent. Once I have their argument, I can write my statement for the tribunal. I don’t know how long it is going to take though. It has taken some people over 9 months to get a hearing. I have savings to make up the shortfall and am also trying to get some form of paid work for a couple of hours a week. I can earn up to a certain amount per week and right now I cannot afford not to try to find something.

In regards to the council list, that was a waste of time. I put the area where I wanted to be rehoused. They put me under low priority. The places that your eligible for gets sent to your housing bidding account. They sent me only one flat in Charnwood (the other side of the county). I don’t have any family links there. I didn’t even put anything to do with that area on my application. The place looks a bit dodgy. It is always suspicious when they do not show you any inside photos. The flats are like a maisonette type thing. I get concerned about the potential neighbours. These are on top of one another. There is a potential of getting one that doesn’t like noise. Or who makes a lot of noise and is basically as anti-social as possible. If they keep offering me places out of area and I don’t take them after 3 offers then my account will be suspended. I don’t like being forced into another part of the county. If the place I was offered was worth it (and being on the low priority I could get it) then I’d consider relocating.

I feel bad about having to leave Dave behind. I can’t take him with me. I know that the neighbours will let him in from time to time and feed him bits. I just feel like I’m letting him down. I can’t stay in a place that I cannot afford long term though.