Archive for May 11th, 2012

New Home!

It’s been a very long slog but we’ve finally found a adapted council home in a decent location (for doctors etc…) and had enough points to get it.

It took years to get on to the disabled persons housing register (DPHR), we made the general register in 2010 and it was the very end of 2011 we were finally granted points for health and mobility grounds. When we did get onto the register we discovered that just about every adapted, ground floor flat or bungalow was reserved for over 50’s or for those requiring sheltered housing (and you can only access our sheltered housing register if you are over 50). We couldn’t find properties to bid on that didn’t have stairs or that had enough room for my mobility equipment. Things were getting pretty dire. We’d called the council asking if we could bid on adapted properties that had 50+ age restrictions and they told us that they didn’t deal with it. Birmingham Home Choice, a contractor, deals with the bidding process. We called Birmingham Home Choice who told us that “rules were rules” and that we couldn’t bid on those properties and nor was there any one we could appeal to about it.

Then, a fortnight ago, frustrated by the DPHR and starting to become scared we’d find ourselves homeless in a few months we decided to call up social services and ask them if they could suggest anything. They suggested that we look away from the disabled housing register and said if we could find a ground floor home that was better than the place we are currently in then they would help us adapt it (either by funding the adaptations or by helping us apply for grants). The reason we hadn’t done this before is because all of our points (barring 1) came from my health conditions and we’d been told that if we didn’t bid on homes from the DPHR the council wouldn’t help us adapt the new property.

Without further-ado we hit the standard housing register and bid on some properties including a bungalow we loved the look of. At NAIDEX we spent a lot of time pricing up how much bathroom adaptations, ramps and rails would cost us and trying to work out how we would afford to adapt a home if the council didn’t play ball. The stress really began to get to us, me in particular. In the end we did well on all of the places we bid on but because we could only view one, decided we wanted to see the bungalow.  There was a scare mid week when after rejecting the other two properties the council told us they were putting a 50+ restriction on the bungalow. We phoned up and argued our corner and eventually they investigated only to discover that there had been a error and that a 50+ restriction wasn’t going to be placed on it after all. Phew!

When we arrived at the property this morning we were greeted with a ramp, suitable for my chair, bounded by grab rails leading up to the front door. Our hopes were raised. Then when we got to see inside we discovered a porch with enough space to store wheelchairs then a bathroom with a level access shower, grab rails and a adapted toilet. The corridors and kitchen all had hand rails and seemed roomy enough for me to manage. All we’d need are a few ramps between the house and the back garden and we’d be set. We spoke to the chaps showing us around to tell them we’d really like the place if everyone above us turned it down and then we got the good news – we were top of the list and even if we weren’t, because of the adaptions they’d have fought our corner to get us the place regardless. We were ecstatic!

We’ve got to wait a couple of weeks whilst they do some repairs and sort the gas & electricity then we should get the move in date and keys. We are very excited indeed! It’s been a really long journey and it’s not been made easy at all but finally with a lot of luck and somehow finding reserves of energy to fight our corner at every turn, we’ve got a home.

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