If benefits do not increase in line with inflation, it would mean we will become homeless. I am already in receipt of full housing benefit and I still need to pay extra to the private landlord. I struggle to cover this and energy bills, food and necessities.
It causes me anxiety on a daily basis of losing our home. We have lost 2 homes already in the last 6 years.
The council refused support with discretionary housing payments.
They are not adhering to rules of benefits where disability benefits are not to be taken into consideration when processing applications. Citizens Advice are overwhelmed and have a backlog for support.
I feel I am trying to keep my head above water and it's exhausting.
I get very down at knowing what the Conservatives think of our worth and how we are punished for not bringing in a high wage, and prejudiced for relying on benefits
Today, the Scottish Government released the latest homelessness statistics. The results are utterly shameful:
⬆️ A record number of children are living in temporary accommodation – 9,595
⬆️ A record number of households are living in temporary accommodation – 15,039
👨👩👧👦 45 children become homeless every day in Scotland
Scotland is in the grip of an unprecedented #HousingEmergency. We can’t wait a second longer for the Scottish Government to get its act together and commit to serious investment in delivering social homes.
So I'm definitely feeling the cost of living and the damage that was done by the Truss short period of time in office. My landlord is selling our home so we're having to find somewhere else to live – he told me Friday evening so not been able to get any help from any government or authority just yet, but I am blessed with a few good friends, who are already on the case and trying to help us, which has made me feel very emotional.
When we moved here, we thought it was for at least the next 10 years but because of the mortgage rises my landlord is selling up. He's a very good landlord and I'm very upset that we have to move, but I understand his situation and why he needs to sell – I just don't know what we're going to do. I don't have money to move, I don't have money for a deposit or anything and what's worrying me the most is everywhere I'm seeing online is £3000 and up per month. How is anyone able to afford this? I know my housing allowance won't. I can't work, I can't save, and I can't seem to find positivity from this. I'm scared we're going to be left homeless, or worse, in a damp mould filled property like last time.
It's scary and I don't know what the future holds for us or if we will have to relocate completely and uproot our entire lives or not. It's very upsetting. How is anyone meant to manage on the price increasing for absolutely everything? Housing isn't great where I am and £3000+ for a month to live in my town is so ridiculously overpriced. The government did this to us –why aren't they doing more to help?
One of the often overlooked aspect of poverty, relative to the UK I mean as that's my area of experience, is the home. Council houses are great for not being on the street, and safer by far than private renting, but so hard to get into. I've moved home, the floors cos over £600 quid and that is an absolute steal! And I'm lucky. I took out a loan to pay for them and other furniture items cos my council consider a fridge freezer, washer, sofa, bed and either wardrobe or drawers, essential, the rest of the stuff needed is up to me.
I'm also super lucky that I had a housing support worker from a local charity who could advocate for me and make sure I got the washer which wasn't guaranteed as new home is within walking distance, for a person without mobility issues, of a laundrette. She fought for me and I got granted a washer. She also sorted new bills out for me and saved me the stress that is dealing with energy providers while stressed by moving. She got that sorted and set up for me, as well and updating my benefits and council tax. I've had more support from her in one week than I got for two years with the last supposed support service I had access too. It's a joke.
This question of the week is very interesting, but also very difficult to answer. An immediate thought might be great, but when you think about it more it seems to be riddled with problems and far too many to write about here. There are to many different types of family and household groups to consider for one, near where I live there is a small terraced house where there is a large family of 8 or more working adults living together, Where as I am a single parent on Legacy benefits, not even able to receive free school meals for my daughter.
Or put in another way there are so many geographical differences in the cost of living, so I don’t believe it could really level out society that much. There are different costs involved with living in a city center or in the countryside.
Other things to consider would be…
How open to fraud would this be,
Initial cost to the country & where would the money be recovered from,
Number of qualifying adults in a household,
Would other help remain, for people with disabilities ect. War injury payments, pensions, PIP, funeral payments. This list could go on…
Medical health costs, NHS dentist, medical exemption certificates, infant milk,
What about the homeless ? What about refugees that are unable to obtain public money?.
On the face of it it would seem to be a good idea but it would not change the fact that we are all living in an unfair society that has very little chance of changing.
There are many people in this country that simply would not even notice if they were given 1600 pounds a month. Also there are many families / households in this country that do not get that amount, Including housing costs, new style ESA, water help ect. I am one of these people despite living with and supporting my daughter who is still in full time education and will one day hopefully be able to make her own way out of the life she has been up in despite it being her fault in any way.
As for the actual question I just remembered I was answering. I simply don't know, it has been too many years since myself and my daughter led any sort of meaningful life.
What are you doing about the homeless not having affordable housing?
Having to change circumstances is a scary process, you never know if they're gonna stop your benefits or not, especially PIP, I've heard loads of stories of people being forced to reapply when they report a change in circumstances.
I've got an upcoming change in circumstances at the end of the month, it'll mean changing address, probably twice cos I'll be homeless for a while, I hope not long, and a reduction in my benefits of nearly £500. I'm lucky to have support from a local charity who's going to handle those phone calls for me and help me set up bills because I'm gonna be emotionally strained at the time, my mental health won't handle being homeless very well (triggers flashbacks of being homeless as a teen and sharing rooms in hostels with people taking drugs, drinking alcohol and violent - not to misunderstand I meant some amazing people when I was homeless and most turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with being homeless, most also protected me in my youth from copying them and I was only homeless for a few months but it was still very scary experience to have). I have to go through that again as an adult through no fault of my own but cos I was put in temporary accommodation which isn't a real contract but a licence meaning they only have to give 24 hour notice but gave a months, I'm bidding on homes but there's been nothing to bid on since early May, it's scary. Anyway, so I know I'll be at risk of mental health decline, I have a housing officer at local council who's trying to help me find a home there, I've local charity supporting and trying to push getting me a place, but can't give what's not there to give. So right now I feel homelessness, I fear loosing my benefits and I fear the uncertainty I face. Benefits are seldom straightforward and they often look for excuses to screw us over and we can't trust benefits services to be there when we absolutely need them, that's when they're most likely to screw us.
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.
It’s been awful I have been on the waiting list for over a year. Who wants to wait up until midnight to bid on a house? The rent prices are ridiculous you can’t get anywhere that is even covered by support from the council. So how are you supposed to find a house?
Facing homelessness and no set date which means I can't even plan. Adult social services rendered me for housing support services, they're going to help me find and maintain a tenancy. Agencies see my mental health diagnosis and think I'm high risk or need high intensity support and I really don't. My CPN has my back but I hate that others control my life, where I live, when I can live independently or not, it's unfair and really drags one down. Mental health services are so poorly funded and so poorly understood that service users in high need are left without and those who function well but need occasion support, such as myself, are vilified.
But my PIP got me membership to local leisure centre so now, so long as I can afford bus fare, I can go swimming whenever I want and have started some low intensity fitness classes. Went to first one today, I was so nervous, had a panic attack, but everyone was so friendly and kind I stuck it out. People seem to understand mental health far better than professionals do. It's weird.
I meant to answer last week's big question, how do I find joy with limit income. I've extremely lucky, like super lucky. Because I have social services I'm able to access discounts not available to everyone, so I can go to the threatre occasionally (our towns local threatre is heavily subsidised and offered additional discounts for vulnerable families which opens so many wonderful experiences), our local leasure center is also heavily subsidised, meaning my PIP now covers a membership for swimming and fitness classes, including dancing and other low intensity activities. Which I access when I can afford the buses, the £2 bus cap has helped alot this year. I'm also lucky that our town has various free or low cost charity arts n crafts groups, lots of churches put on free events and the council put on almost monthly (or weekly in the warmer months) events for the community (definitely happy with how my council taxes are being used here) more directly taylored support, such as mind, is harder to access but so much around town that I don't feel like I'm lacking. Our town was built on Victorian Quaker values and it shows, the parks are gorgeous and the town is thriving even with businesses struggling. It helps alot to feel like you live in a thriving area even if it's got struggles, but it's a comfort that every struggling area within this council has its own community centre that gets not enough but better than you'd expect for the hardships funding for its community. These things bring me joy, taking part in the community, trying new things, seeing things from other cultural perspectives. like our town not only accepts LGBT families but celebrates them, minorities are rarer, it's a very white area, however the council still do events for different cultures, it's a lot of fun living here. and I'm extremely fortunate .Plus all the resources I need are here, mental health services are the best in this country, social services are easier to access and get at sign posting. but my favourite thing that brings me so much joy and costs nothing, the free courses on offer for adults in the town, when I am finally well enough to work again I'll already have a folder full of certificates to help give me an edge while also socialising and learning more about myself and my skills. so my town and what the council here do with the taxes bring me joy while I may struggle, it helps to know there is help somewhere in town if I need it.
All we can hope for is change. The change would have to be drastic such as the ability to change circumstances to lift us out of poverty. This was almost in reach last year. However I’m finding myself almost but not quite back to the place I was before. There have definitely been some improvements and I shall be working with those as the year progresses. I’m still fearful of homelessness. That has been a constant for years.
One time we'd had an eviction notice, just before Christmas(!), and really weren't sure we could find another suitable size property in the town we were living. We were desperately trying to avoid options like having to move in with family, or having to put our stuff in storage and take whatever/wherever temporary placing the council might offer (might have risked losing the kids' school and nursery places). I was really mortified when my son, who was 8, said he'd been talking to friends and teachers at school about not knowing where he might end up living. It was so upsetting that he was having to try and deal with that fear at such a young age.