Having myself a serious interesting in matters housing, and noting the current government not wishing to improve very much the Private Rental Sector, or increase the level of social, decent homes in this country, well, not visibly. Note recent policy decisions. Thats not what this piece is about though.
Im talking here to Nichola, livng in Eastbourne , who has been speaking to me for a while over her own housing issues there.
Shelter are aware, and the local news service (of bbc) too.
This piece is distinctly apart from either of those organisations.
So I knew of multiple aspects of Nichola's experiences, as shared with me on social media freely.
And so I asked what the story really is..
The narrative now follows:
So Nichola, i note you have a medical condition that is worsened by your housing experiences, do you mind letting readers know what that is please?
"I have adenomyosis a very painful hormonal condition worsened by stress and severe migraines"
Can I share that? (yes)
So overall please describe your feelings on housing in the area you live ..
"I feel that Eastbourne Borough Council and the MP Caroline Ansell should be doing (a lot) more to help people who are homeless in Eastbourne it is meant to be a seaside town that has much wealth more should be done"
And your own experience is complicated, may i share the story in your own words? (answer yes)
Heres Nichola's experiences, in her words…
"My partner and I needed a home so Brighton Housing Trust found us (a home) out of the Friday ads in Eastbourne.
They assured me that the landlord was lovely and so Eastbourne Borough Council paid the deposit for us and we moved in.
Day one the plumbing and electrics did not work the landlord was not interested.
It went on from there every day there was a problem.
The landlord who we met and paid cash up front to then decided she was no longer the landlord and her family member took over. He was even worse one excuse after the other why repairs could not be done.
We then went to the Environmental Health at Eastbourne Borough Council in the hope that they would identify the problems and move us as by this time there was a bad infestation of beetles in the kitchen.
They got into all our food and bedding.
The Environmental Health told the landlord to get pest control but nothing stopped the infestation as in the ceiling ,above the ceiling tiles ,there are lots of holes and no insulation so insects have nested there."
Readers please now note those ceiling tiles should be checked as safe, suitable, and removed if unsafe. That is a standard habitability and safety issue. And the infestation issue is a health issue that remains.
Nichola continues ..
"Time and time again we asked the council to get the landlord to do repairs but the landlord refused.
On one occasion the landlord turned up and pushed me at the door saying that I am mental and it is all in my head.
This was not the case we have pictures of the defects and problems in the flat. "
"The Council took the landlords side in everything and not once considered how we are being affected by the situation. The flat is uninhabitable the bbc and shelter have seen the state of the property."
Have you anything else to share?
"(yes) I approached the new mp for Eastbourne regarding the housing shortage MP Ansell had absolutely no interest whatsoever about it.
Now there are over 5000 homeless applications being looked at, a lack of knowledge of the housing department and a definate lack of social housing in the area.
Too many families relying on foodbank to survive while living in a room in a hotel or in a shop doorway.
I spoke to a couple in the doorway of Boots the Chemist a couple of weeks ago and they said they are there because the council would not help them to sort out problems in their flat as their landlord wouldnt do repairs so they were evicted"
I thanked Nichola for that, and now ask the question…if you ran a council, or were an MP or a private landlord , could you STAND a story like this against your reputation?
This is real. It exists.
Update : friday 16th october : Nichola and partner are being evicted too, for complaining to the private landlord about the catalogue of errors.
I leave this with you. - Jules