Saturday 12 November 2022

Housing and being overwhelmed

 Thank you once again for all the comments and emails, very helpful.  

I've amended the medical sections on the housing application and almost finished the whole form - it's around 30 pages long, incredibly.  Some of the medical questions were quite sneaky really - they're worded in such a way as to put you off of answering them, giving the impression that if one answers truthfully, then you may well have your application turned down as you might not fit the criteria.  But then after reading all of your comments and giving it some more thought, I realised I'm simply stating the facts on the form - we do have these health conditions, I'm not lying about it and all the evidence is documented on our medical records, particularly recently as we've both had several appointments and tests.  The form makes a point of saying that all health information must be backed up with evidence - well, it's all there on our records.  I guess what was putting me off is that, although we both have several health problems, some more severe than others, neither of us is actually disabled - we're not registered disabled, nor do we get any kind of disability benefit, attendance allowance or carers allowance.  So I was kind of thinking that we might not be eligible as we're not ill enough!  Which I know is daft.  The CAB advice session I was going to go to next week in a neighbouring village, I have since found out is specifically for employment matters.  However, the charity Age UK are holding an advice session for benefits and housing matters in a local village hall the week after next, I will definitely go to that.

The social housing system here works by designating the applicant a bronze, silver or gold status, based on health, social and family needs and whether you are, or about to be, homeless.  It's based on a bidding system - homes are advertised each week and the applicant can 'bid' for (declare your interest in, no money is involved) whichever homes you like and are eligible for - you can't ask for a 3 or 4 bedroom house if there are only 2 of you, e.g., nor can you bid for a sheltered or assisted housing scheme or an over-55s place if you don't meet the criteria.  If you are offered one of the properties you show interest in, but turn down 3 properties in a row, then you are automatically suspended from the housing register.  I've had a look at the current properties on offer (obviously we can't bid for any until the Council accepts our application and puts us on the Register) and was pleasantly surprised to see that the rents for social housing are considerably cheaper than we pay for our private rent here - even though the rent for our current house is much cheaper than we'd pay for private rental in a town.  Heating bills will most likely be higher though - our heating, electricity and water bills here (private sewerage, not mains connected) are extremely reasonable.  So it's swings and roundabouts.

One of the things the cardiologist said the other day did concern me a bit - I don't think husband picked up on it as he was busy putting his jumper and jacket back on.  The doctor said that if the angiogram doesn't show the expected narrowing of the arteries, then it may indicate a somewhat more serious heart problem, which may require a pacemaker or ICD device to be fitted.  If that's the case (and I hope it isn't for husband's sake), then he will be suspended from driving for a varying amount of time - weeks or months - depending on the device fitted and the reason for it.  That of course will make our lives here in such a rural area a lot more difficult.  But if it comes to that, then that will make our social housing need greater and thus increase our chances of getting somewhere sooner.  As things stand, a move to social housing isn't going to happen anytime soon - the waiting time can be up to 5 years, unless you have a particular need.

All this form filling I find more and more difficult the older I get - it fries my brain to the point where I feel like I can't even think straight anymore, and gives me a headache.  I've done some washing and housework and a bit of cooking and meal prep for tonight, now I'm going upstairs and reading for a while.  Husband has been in the garden doing a bit more clearing, and we shifted some furniture around in the lounge.  That's enough for today.

I'm feeling quite overwhelmed with everything right now, I think I need a day of doing nothing, not even thinking, tomorrow.


  1. Wow..difficult..
    Hope it works out…

  2. Well, I think you've done all you can for now regarding the housing. The CAB session should be helpful, and if you can wait to submit your form, they may be able to help you complete it. I remember the form I had to fill in for my father to claim attendance allowance. So lengthy and worded in such a strange way. I'm sure they make the forms so complicated, people either give up or make such a hash of it, they find they don't qualify! I hope your husband's heart problems aren't more serious. Neither of you needs more worry. A day of rest and quiet sounds like just what you need right now. xx

    1. Ooops, sorry, I meant the Age UK not CAB session. (Blame old age and dry rot, as my Dad used to say!) xx

  3. We don't have a system like that for housing in the US. You have to be at or below poverty level to be considered for public housing, and not much more income for vouchers called Section 8. A person truly must be almost rock bottom for help. I wish you well in completing and moving up in the list.

  4. Hopefully one or two steps closer to a place to stay. Fingers crossed. Nap when you can .

  5. Here in Canada, we don't have that kind of system, so I am finding it very interesting.
    Hopefully your husband does not have to undergo the operation for a pacemaker.

    God bless.

  6. Well done. These things are really hard - I used to fill in forms for families due to being the school SENCo and it was so, so difficult to get the balance right.
    You've done it now so it should just need tweaking in the future, if necessary. Fingers crossed. xx

  7. The forms are mind blowing, daughter has to fill in them regularly for George's disability allowance, pages and pages of questions. The relife once it's done is always there.


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