It?s official ? I?m a nervous wreck. Come Friday night, I?ll be sleeping in a Bed & Breakfast and I still don?t know where I?ll be after the B&B. The confusion and resulting stress is beginning to send me ?round the twist.
Monday morning I was told I had a certain house, but then informed in the afternoon I didn?t. Tuesday morning I was told I had a different house, invited for a look around, and assured and re-assured it was going to be mine in about two weeks? time.
This morning I was told, well, maybe that house, or maybe the first house. This afternoon I was told they had no idea where I?m going. I may even have to live somewhere temporarily - after no less than a two week stint at the B&B ? before eventually moving into a permanent location.
Now, please don?t get me wrong, I?m not ungrateful in the least. I think it?s safe to say I have a deeper than average appreciation for the social housing system in the British Isles. But is it necessary to make me feel like I?m trying to grab hold of my school bag while bullies play catch?
It?s not like they didn?t know my flat wasn?t up to regulation. We?re not talking about an ordinary slum-lord; we?re talking about the local housing authority. I?ve been living in the flat for eight years ? beginning two years after the current fire regulations were in place. I didn?t let the damn cat out of the bag either ? they did.
I know what?s happening. Whenever commissioners? houses become available, it creates a chain of moves involving people who are in the system already, up or down-sizing, and people who have been on the waiting list. Because my situation is an emergency (eviction by the fire dept.), they?re trying to wedge me into an already existing, complete chain. I?m getting messed around because nobody in the chain wants to be the one inconvenienced.
What gets me is they could have admitted I needed re-housing as a priority years ago and I could have been in a housing chain naturally, instead of forced into one. It?s not just the fire regulations either. I?ve had yearly medical certification to say my current damp and cold accommodation wasn?t appropriate, for several reasons. (The waiting list is governed by a point system. You get a point for every six months and extra points for things like un-heated, damp or unsafe housing, as well as medical certificates. They weren?t taking fire regs into consideration in my case, although I was getting near to the top of the list. I?ve been on it for eight years.)
Am I being churlish? On one hand, I?m grateful for the social housing system - I can?t afford private sector housing. I understand that a housing chain is being disrupted because of me. Other people are being inconvenienced too.
On the other hand, my landlord allowed a crisis situation to develop unnecessarily. I?m being far more inconvenienced than anyone. I can?t stay in the B&B during the day as it is off-season and the proprietors both work, so I have to traipse back and forth between the flat I?ve been evicted from and the B&B, for an unspecified amount of weeks. I have no idea where I?ll end up. They?ve dangled places in front of me and snatched them away again. All this could have, should have, been avoided.
I?ve been fairly calm up to now. I?ve been cooperative and upbeat. Yesterday, when I thought I knew where I was going, I was relieved. Today I?ve been ? I don?t even know what word to use, there?s so many to choose from ? there?s frustrated, pissed-off, dejected, depressed, and anxious. I?m scared too. There is a chance I end up somewhere worse than where I am now. I?ve also had veiled threats of ending up on the street if I make too much of a fuss.
Tomorrow I?m going to attempt some advocacy on my own behalf. I am done with giving them the benefit of the doubt that they?ll do right by me. I wish I had a case worker, but they seem to be non-existent for someone in my position. I?ve been in contact with my ASO in Liverpool but they can only advise me so much because of the slightly different systems. I?ll be in contact with my doctor tomorrow.
I hate to think what all this is doing to my CD4s. A year ago I wouldn?t have worried ? but a year ago I had plenty to spare.
Thanks for listening - I?ll keep you posted.