Why is it so hard to get rehoused?

Shelter (charity)

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I had a rather odd but turns out, very pleasant meeting at my local Shelter Housing Charity office today. They have said they would offer some advice on my current housing situation. Obviously, I’m neither homeless or destitute but after receiving so many recommendations from neighbours, other social services and even my current landlord, I decided it was time to go and have a chat with one of their representatives.

I made the appointment last week and I arrived at their offices for my appointment today at the allotted time. On entry I found there was a mother and a young child also waiting to see an advisor, on first appearances they looked to be in more need than me for housing but who knows, I am only assuming.

My advisor arrived and we entered a private office so that I might inform him of my current situation, basically my daughter and I are classed as living in overcrowded conditions. After filling in all the necessary paperwork we got down to what few options I have open to me and what I might expect as help from Shelter. It seems my local council take their time on sorting applications to be registered on the housing register simply because of shear numbers of applicants. So even when we get on the register I’ve been advised today that it could easily take months before we get anywhere close to being rehoused. There are a few other options but this is the main one that Shelter will concentrate on on my behalf as the city council hold access to the vast majority of social housing stock in the city even if they don’t own it themselves.

The other option is for Shelter to speak to my current landlord, a big social housing provider in the city that is also a charitable organisation, to see if there is anything they can do or offer in the way of rehousing us within their system but avoiding the city councils social housing policy. I have already tentatively spoken to my housing rep from my current landlord about such a possibility, the rep held out little hope that this could happen when I asked him a couple of months ago. My Shelter rep said much the same thing but as he said, it being Shelter doing the asking rather than the tenant, it might help ‘oil the wheels’ a little in my favour with my landlord in case such a possibility exists.

It’s a long story as to why I am having to use this route to gain access to the housing register but basically as I’ve not been a resident within the city boundary for two years, we are effectively classed as non local residents and will end up almost at the bottom of the register even though we are classed as living in overcrowded conditions.

I guess I’m looking to buck the system in my favour a bit but hey, if we are officially classed as overcrowded, why don’t we stand the same chances as everyone else on the register? I’m not looking to take someone else’s place, I’d just like equal treatment and by going to Shelter I hope to gain this equal treatment.

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