When Natasha first contacted ScotsCare she was living in a damp and mouldy flat where the smoke from the connected take away filtered in, negatively affecting her health and that of her three children. She saw a ScotsCare leaflet in her local doctor’s surgery which mentioned that our advocacy service can help people with housing issues.
Natasha’s previous landlord has sold up forcing her to move into this council provided temporary accommodation in a different borough. The council said she may be in this temporary accommodation for a period of years and may never secure a more long-term social housing tenancy, her ultimate aim. Natasha was also unhappy that the flat had put her family in close proximity to antisocial behaviour, sex offenders and individuals with substance misuse issues.
“We were getting ill all the time due to the damp and smoke accessing the property. This caused us to have a lot of time off school and work negatively impacting our health, schoolwork and causing me to be on stage 2 for my absences, putting my job at risk. We were made to go to hospital over our ill health.”
Natasha felt that the council had rushed the process in assigning her accommodation and that they offered no chance to appeal. Approaching her landlord, she was told she would be evicted at any time if she raised any complaints.
“Both my children and I were suffering from anxiety and depression. It was a very worrying stage of our lives.”
At her wits end, she tried the ScotsCare number on the leaflet and was paired with one of our Advocacy workers Gearoid. Gearoid listened to her issues and her aims and worked with the client to agree on the best plan to move forward.
“Once my advocate had all of my information and understood my anxiety, he treated me like a team player and dealt with my issue both for me and/or side by side. The support that was given to me from my Advocate made it not only easier but possible to fight my case as without him, I was receiving no responses from the housing office, negative feedback and absolutely no progression.”
Gearoid worked to ascertain the details of the initial assessment of the property, and if subsequently her complaints had been registered and addressed. He made sure Natasha’s case was progressed and requested a new assessment be made of the property. Looking into her case proved that the initial work from the council had been rushed and performed inadequately, offering a stock response and not addressing her specific complaints and desired outcomes.
Recognising this, the Senior Allocations Manager from the Council offered their apology, acknowledged her complaints had not been addressed and that the accommodation was not fit for habitation. She was immediately offered the chance to move into more suitable accommodation.
Shortly after, Natasha now lives in a smoke and mould free three-bedroom private rented home with her kids, who jumped for joy when she told them they were moving. She is happy that time spent away from her job to look after her family’s health is no longer an issue and she can move on with her life. She says the property is like a palace compared to the old one, and that she would recommend our advocacy service to anyone:
“I have told numerous family members and friends to contact ScotsCare for their situations. If I did not have the support of ScotsCare, I believe that my children and I would still be living in a home that continually made us ill.
I thank you whole heartedly for fighting our corner when we needed you the most and not stopping until we got the results that were needed to change our lives.”
If you would like more information about our advocacy service, please call 0800 174047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.