I'm pretty upset.
I'd been bidding on a house (Council waiting list) and I hadn't realised how sure i was that we would get it, i mean it was perfect for us - 4 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, plus a downstairs wc (privacy for me and no more horrid commode) plus a separate dining room that i could have used as a temporary bedroom. I Google mapped the street, it was one street over from a good primary school, a distance i would have been able to manage in the wheelchair, meaning i could have taken the children to school myself. It was an older property so it would have reasonable room sizes, we wouldn't feel all cramped up together as we do now. It was in a nice road too, wide grass verges, trees, nice.
We didn't get it and i was pretty crushed.
I mean, proper tears, feeling hopeless and helpless and destined-to-be-stuck-here-forever, crushed. I mean, i had three social workers, a health visitor and my disability advocate contact the council to weigh in in our favour. If that isn't enough, what is?
I looked around myself at the current situation we are in. We are overcrowded, there are 6 of us in a 3bed house. I can't get up the stairs to bed so i have to sleep on the sofa (which is causing problems in itself), there is no space for a bed down here, unless i get rid of the sofa and buy a bed for down here but a) buy a bed with what? Pixie dust? and b) where would we all sit?
Not being able to master the stairs means i have to wash in the kitchen. Great for privacy, that. It also means i have to use the commode. You cannot possibly comprehend how much i detest that thing, nor how i hate having to use it. No privacy. No dignity. Nobody to empty it on any regular basis. Not nice.
What else? Oh yes, the damp. Our little house is the middle of three, a small terrace. In our front garden is the only downpipe on any of the three properties. Guess what? There is no drain and no soak-away under it, so when it rains our front garden just fills with water. This has lead to damp. I have lived here for almost 8 years and i have lost count of the number of times i have called out the council repairs team. They usually turn up, take a look and tell me i need a soak-away, then they leave never to be heard from again.
The last time i complained and they sent out environmental health who initially tried to blame us for the damp, saying we didn't open the windows often enough (how he thought he could know that confounds me). By the way, i open the windows every day - i hate that stuffy feeing of old air you get when the windows haven't been opened. Eventually they said we just needed better ventilation, so the council installed an extractor fan in the kitchen and some weird air-circulating thing in the landing/loft.
So far neither of these have produced a soak-away nor a drain.
March 2011 Front wall, left corner
Because of the damp we have black mould. It started under the lounge window, where the wall is cold and damp. Despite bleaching the wall, using every mould resistant product i could find, it came back again and again and each time it spread a little further along the walls. At the last count the mould appears on every upstairs window sill (where i cannot get to clean it off), there is a patch on the ceiling in the main bedroom and it is on the front wall, all along the side wall of the lounge/diner and now patches are showing on the back wall as well, even though it is south-facing, even though the extractor is on continuously, even though the window vents are open 24/7 and the i air the downstairs every day.
March 2011 Front wall
All of that mould means so much extra work, pulling out furniture, bleaching walls (the scrubbing removes the paint and eventually the plaster). It would be hard enough on somebody able bodied, but i can barely stand when i am supported by two crutches. How the holy hell am i meant to clean all that up now? My children and i are breathing mould spores every day and the council don't care.
March 2011 Main bedroom (back of house) ceiling
What does this have to do with me not getting the 4bed i'd applied for?
I found out today that part of the reason i missed out was because of the 'decorative condition' of this property. Apart from what feels like clear discrimination against my disability (i'll just hop up and run another coat of paint on the walls shall i?), i feel like it is an absolute sham of an excuse. Want to know why? Because when i moved in here it was MUCH WORSE!
Pic of a pic, sorry
When i moved in to this property there was no ceiling in the hallway from the front door to close to the stairs. There were floor boards screwed on to brick walls. There was a hole in the floor of the main bedroom (ok, that is still there, that one has stumped me). The walls were pitted and scarred. The back garden was in such a state that a guy from the council came out and declared it unfit for use! That's right, they told me it was too dangerous to let my children play out there, that was the state of it. The kitchen consisted of two double cupboards and one single, and a long surface that wasn't attached to anything (ok, the council replaced the kitchen a year or two ago, but only because they had to by law).
Another pic of a pic, work starting on garden
Want to know the best part? They refused to help with any of it, hiding behind a clause in the contract i had signed in my desperation to get a suitable home.
I have paid, by scrimping saving and (mostly) borrowing, for a ceiling, several walls to be plastered, for a garden that cost me close to £4,000 to get up to a usable state (and even now, it isn't finished).
So yes, the plaster work hasn't been painted. Yes, there are screw holes in the wall from where we had a stair gate that broke. Yes, the entire house needs a good lick of paint. In fact the entire upstairs needs carpeting (except the smallest bedroom), the boys don't even have any flooring in their room. But you know what? The money ran out, i became disabled and now I'm screwed. I won't get another place because this one isn't "pristine" (to quote "... homes need to be in pristine condition to keep any costs incurred to a minimum"). I have absolutely no way of making this one any better than it is now.
But hey, i shouldn't moan really. I have no idea how i'd afford the furniture we'd need to use 4 bedrooms anyway.