Read one client’s story as part of our Military Matters project 5th birthday celebrations.
Rachel is ex-Royal Navy. When she first contacted us, she was living in a private rented flat, sharing with a male flatmate who had alcohol problems. She didn’t feel safe at home but didn’t think she could afford to move or know where to start looking.
We advised Rachel on her safety at home. We then worked with Rachel to make sure her social-rented housing applications were up-to-date so she stood the best possible chance of finding housing. Rachel didn’t have high priority for social-rented housing and this could prove a stumbling block. We kept in frequent telephone contact as her living arrangements were clearly difficult and causing Rachel distress.
We supported Rachel to find the right council department to speak to about her housing and to get a housing options interview with them. Unfortunately, just 3 months after making contact with us, Rachel contacted us to say she had had to leave her flat and check in to a hotel overnight as she was being threatened at home and didn’t feel safe.
Rachel was assessed by the council under homelessness legislation and classed as unintentionally homeless. This meant the council did have a duty to find Rachel temporary housing and to continue to support her until she found a permanent home. She was moved into temporary Bed & Breakfast accommodation. Meanwhile we continued to contact military charities who could offer support with moving costs and white goods for a future home.
Since Rachel was in employment, we began to advise her on the option of Mid-market rent. Mid-market rent properties are rented via housing associations at a price below market rate of private rent properties. This could provide a way for Rachel to rent an affordable home, by herself, and with a secure tenancy. Rachel completed an application with the council to apply for mid-market rent properties and soon a property became available with a well-known housing association.
6 months after Rachel’s first contact with us, we spoke with her to find out she had not one, but two housing offers! Both mid-market rent properties. She was deciding which was one the most suitable. Rachel is now suitably housed after accepting a mid-market rent offer from Link Housing Association.