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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:25 pm
Posts: 129
01895 250 111
Civic centre switchboard for refferral to Housing Benefit and Council tax benefit office

Face to face meetings available by ticket at the reception in the borough civic centre

Housing is provided by the councils own housing department and also some housing associations.

If you live locally you can go to the Councillors Ward surgeries, details of which can be found on the council website and explain your family or group of friends situation.
A costed assesment on the rent you can pay using the money Advice services budget assessment, HMRC and DWP benefit amounts, all of which checked by an auditor ,bookeeper, accountant
Previously the council had a policy for FE / HE students flatsharing to make a claim for council tax remission by October 31st as 16 to 18 year olds left one part of education to another. However the best ones at the top of queue would have arranged housing and had these forms in for when the exams finish. There is a london wide student housing website for housing and each local authorioty can suggest a list of estate agents or housing assns for part rent and part buy under housing assn HMO regulation criteria.The clever ones could now try for shared ownership and then after study sell up and get a part rent part buy flat for two of them under common law partnership laws.

If you need assistance as in special needs, there is teh adult social care department within teh council and three community mental health units for three Westminster constituencies of Hillingdon.

There is a pschyiatric inpatient hospaital on the HIllingdon Hospital site including a rehabilitation unit for illegal substance and alcohol for which there is a borough wide service centre at Old Bank House in Uxbridge opposite the original Tescos. This Health trust covers four - seven London boroughs for varrying services for transfers from inner London and the Home counties where living on state benefits is financially difficult either owing to rent rates paid for by the Housing Departments Council tax assessment and sometimes the housing / transport being cost prohibitative.

If you are unwell or find talking over the phone difficult you can check online free in the local library or phone and ask for a written address to send writen correspondence either by post or email.

I'll post the numbers and addresses over the next few days in posts below this

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 3:25 pm
Posts: 129
Housing Advice from the local authority.
James Ware (my own work this time, apologies if it isn’t as coherent as anything in the Gazette, lol).

In what was termed the global economic downturn during the 2005-10 recession the resultant job losses could see more people moving from mortgaged to rented accommodation. Additionally disabled people and the elderly may seek to adapt private sector housing to meet changing circumstances and care requirements (such as installing walk in showers or disabled ramps). Finally there are young people moving out or seeking housing accommodation for the first time having got their exam results and first job either further in in London or moving here to work in the military or for one of the multinationals such as Xerox or Coca Cola. All of which requires housing accommodation advice and support from the civic centre and charities it funds. This article lays out how to access it and to maximise the help you can get beyond just mere housing and council tax benefit advice.

1) If you face losing your home owing to employment difficulties/ reduced income.

After x months the government will pay mortgage interest if your house hasn’t been repossessed by then. As such the better option is to talk to your creditors in the first instance and explain the dilemma faced. In the current climate repossession will prevent them from getting the value of the house back at auctions that only the aristocracies agent’s and seriously wealthy pirate the hard work of those who’ve saved and worked on the no more boom and bust premise. Hence they may be more amenable provided you talk to them and talk early. The citizen’s advice bureau have advice sessions on a Wednesday 9.30-12.30 (arrive early as there may be a queue) and have a money advice service that can help prepare a financial statement. That said a qualified accountant or solicitor or insolvency practicioner would get a better result and settlement, or be able to advise a personal bankruptcy such as a debt relief order to get rid of the credit card debts and enable you to pay utility costs

2) How to go for shared ownership, local authority adaptations
With elderly relatives moving in to reduce overheads and bring in social security income (as well as to help with childcare and education of your children so as to help keep you looking for work and active), the option of the council buying a share of your house and using some of the income to adapt the house with stairlifts, disabled ramps, walk in showers or the like is there. This also applies to those with learning or mental health disabilities if properly advised. You need a letter from a specialist and a plan drawn up by a social worker and the relevant social services department. The decision to proceed is taken by the Shared Ownership Officer, Housing Assessment Team (2N/O2), Civic Centre, Uxbridge, Middlesex, Tel 01895 250147

If this isn’t an option then getting your elderly relatives into sheltered accommodation under the Homeswap scheme (and in the case of Hayes and Inner London boroughs out of Tower Blocks that may be becoming life expired and dangerous in terms of structure or crime) is an option. Their address is:
Shared Ownership Officer,
Housing Development Team (2W/02)
Civic Centre,
01895 250 147

3) Starting out in accommodation for the first time.
Some Housing and living arrangements can’t fit three generations in the same house and also cultural and relationship considerations (the school prom couple in love wanting to start a life together rather than the parents arranged marriage or ‘Metroland expectations’ that such things are for after university). The Housing Needs reception at the Civic Centre will provide an initial assessment as to what options are available and what benefits there are. The ‘This Life’ scenario of two couples opting for sharing a three bed house and getting the third bedroom as a study for further FE / HE study near a university or place of work is a successful one and one that has been used in Inner London Boroughs with town houses (Out of Town Lawyers coming to settle). Its also how those with higher wages funded the Labour Party more as part of their socialist principles while at the same time building up their own wealth (while not telling their activists the same loopholes or asking them to keep hush about it).

That said the social security system lays out that those under 25 are entitled to less housing benefit and are allocated hostel rooms or a room in a shared house as local authority housing is in short supply owing to green belt restrictions. To get any of that you probably need a medical reason for it as diagnosed by a specialist to get a higher band rating under the locata system.

One of the young peoples advice charities set up to help people get the right advice is the Navigator project. It has two offices

140 High Street,
Tel 01895 462074 / 075

10a High Street, Hayes, Middlesex
Tel 0208 581 1054 / 1055

Once you have a council property you can either opt for shared ownership or the right to buy scheme. The address is Yiewsley Housing Office, 163 High Street, Yiewsley, Middlesex, UB7 7QN

To get on the housing register you need a letter from your parents after your 16th or 18th birthdays asking you to leave without it they won’t take you so seriously. Also you will only get Housing benefit if you have less than £8,000 p.a. savings so the system is counterproductive and always designed to erode those who use it if they are not in employment. This has to change if we are all going to have to save more for our old age and pensions. Additionally this requires honest discussions between parents and children about how to allocate financial resources to achieve the best result from the state.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:08 am
Posts: 1294
Location: Floating on a cloud
James I dont know if you can help with my question, but if not perhaps you could point me in the right direction.

I currently rent my flat from a Housing Association, I have been a tenant since 1999. My Father recently passed away, leaving my disabled Mother living alone at her privately owned house. Although she is receiving some allowances for Carers she is finding it increasingly difficult to cope with everyday living on her own.

I am considering giving up my flat to move in with her, so that I can provide her with the help she needs. My concern is though that I will at some time in the future become homeless myself, because the house would be eventually be sold, with the proceeds being split between family members in accordance with my parents will and testament.

Whilst I would receive some of the proceeds, it would not be sufficient for me to purchase housing of my own, and I doubt I would be able to fall back on 'social housing' as an option. Do you have any idea what my options might be in these circumstances please ?

I hope this doesn't sound cold, but I have to be realistic regarding my own circumstances at some future date. Thank you for any advice you may be able to offer.


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