Diary entries cover a variety of topics, some of which you may find triggering. These topics include self-harm, suicide and domestic violence.
27 May 2023
Q&A

Bessie J

What are your experiences of housing support and dealing with changes to housing costs?

There is a huge lack of affordable houses to rent in this area.

Private rents have risen by 50% since lockdowns.

Council rules say I cannot be offered a home from them as adequately housed and not homeless... although I'm in poverty paying the extra rent over the benefit limit.

The bidding system for homes is online with many housing associations all connected to this system.

There are around 100 people applying for each home.

It is a cut throat, dog eat dog system. Abrupt staff talking down at me as if I am stupid... just a bit hard of hearing. There was a lack of compassion from a housing officer as my pet dog was being put down to ill health later that day and she called to check had we "got rid of dog yet". Pressure to make quick decisions in a poor frame of mind.

The same housing advisor gave out wrong information on benefit/ UC rules too for changing circumstances. Which swayed me to decide to leave an offer of a flat that day. Later found out from citizens advice much info from housing officers is wrong.

I'm 52 left a violent relationship with my children 10 years ago and still not worthy of a warm, permanent affordable home.

Nobody told me that 10 years ago. If I knew, I would probably have stayed.

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Use Bessie J's words in your own research or editorial
Changing Realities (2023), Bessie J. https://changingrealities.org/e/XTskW (27 May 2023)
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