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.
I haven't had a serious relationship since 2005 when I left my abusive ex-partner. I still feel damaged from that time & don't consider myself a suitable candidate for cosy coupledom, in the main because 1. I don't trust anyone enough to allow them to get close in case I am abused again & 2. I genuinely haven't met anyone as I am unable to go out & socialise - in part due to money issues & mainly due to disability. Folk with disabilities aren't exactly at the top of anyone's list of attractive people to date.
I am a single parent to 5 (ages 11-19) and DV survivor. I was not born in the UK. So my family like mother, father and siblings are not here to support me in any way.
After divorce and when my children were younger, I did not work. My income at the time came from benefits alone. In terms of doing something for myself: I could not do really anything for myself for 2 main reasons: first, I was on a very tight budget; second, there was no childcare - for me to be able to go out of the house for a few hours and relax. Friends are busy and sometimes I would feel guilty to ask them. Many people, even your good friends may not really understand what single parenting is like day to day.
Now as my children are a bit older and I can go out to work, I may go out for a meal with a friend once or twice a year or just for a coffee.
Going out and doing something for myself is good for my mental health. It is therapeutic to just disconnect from your normal routine in the house. It's refreshing and children benefit from a happy mother too.
If I could something more for myself, I would go to a spa, go to a classical music concert, spend a weekend away even if it's once or twice a year so I can recharge so I can perform better at home and at work.