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Housing in Shetland


Angel
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I just needed to have a wee rant about this, and just wondered if anyone shares my opinion/experience on this subject, as I'm at a loss what to do next.

 

I've been on the council and Hjaltland housing lists for nearly 4 years now, I currently live in Lerwick and have done for the best part of the 4 years, I've never had arrears in rent in places I've lived and never had any complaints made against me. I've worked in Shetland since I left school at 18, I've lived in shetland since I was 3 which was 20 years ago, I've never been unemployed or claimed money from the government.

 

I recently got into a bit of a situation and found out I'm expecting, the lease where I currently live runs out when I'm about 5 months pregnant. The council and Hjaltland have both been informed of my situation, yet in my home visit recently, I was told I won't have many points because I live in a 1 bedroom flat and don't share and amenities! I've told them when my lease runs out and they have a copy of my tenancy agreement and also my due date for the wee one, yet they say it's unlikely I'll be housed very soon and very unlikely they can house me in Lerwick as I won't have enough points for the Lerwick waiting list. I find this all very disappointing, all I'm asking is for somewhere stable for my child to come into and grow up and I'm being met with no help. I currently work and plan to work til a month or 2 before my due date. If I was unemployed... or just come off the boat from 'Sooth', or an alcoholic or dependant on drugs.... in my opinion I'd be housed straight away. But no I'm an honest, hard working tax payer, so I have no chance.

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I think you will find that Hjaltland don't operate a waiting list. The houses that they allocate are rated on a points system. The more needy you are the more points you have. I feel that a one bedoom flat for a mother and baby is more than acceptable for the first six moths of a baby's life.

 

In relation to current occupancy running out I am sure if you explain the circumstances to yor landlord they will try and give you an extension. I am also sure that you will get some support from the baby's father.

 

Hjaltland as with the council only have a limited number of houses that they can let. Given the Planning departments recent block's on Hjatland's developments (Nederdale and Grantfield) I suggest that you lobby your local council member to grind down the powers of be.

 

Lastly when you are up against a brick wall you can't complain where you are getting a house. As you said you are only wanting somewhere stable to bring up your child. There is plenty of housing in Mossank. There is alos a shop and good bus links to Brae (Doctor's) and even Lerwick.

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I think you will find that Hjaltland don't operate a waiting list. The houses that they allocate are rated on a points system. The more needy you are the more points you have. I feel that a one bedoom flat for a mother and baby is more than acceptable for the first six moths of a baby's life.

 

In relation to current occupancy running out I am sure if you explain the circumstances to yor landlord they will try and give you an extension. I am also sure that you will get some support from the baby's father.

 

Hjaltland as with the council only have a limited number of houses that they can let. Given the Planning departments recent block's on Hjatland's developments (Nederdale and Grantfield) I suggest that you lobby your local council member to grind down the powers of be.

 

Lastly when you are up against a brick wall you can't complain where you are getting a house. As you said you are only wanting somewhere stable to bring up your child. There is plenty of housing in Mossank. There is alos a shop and good bus links to Brae (Doctor's) and even Lerwick.

 

Yes I know about the Hjaltland points, but after 4 years of applying it does feel like 'a waiting list'.

 

I cannot stay in my current flat from the day the lease ends, it is the landlords circumstances and I cannot argue it, and they can't change it.

 

I also feel you have no place to comment about 'The Father' you have no idea of my situation with him, so will ignore that comment.

 

I haven't only applied for Lerwick I have also applied for other places, you get 4 areas of choice on the forms.

 

I grew up close to Mossbank and can honestly say it is NOT a place I would want to bring up a child.

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I was also a single person, born and brought up in Shetland and in constant full time employment from the age of 16 when I got pregnant. There was no question of the father being involved due to circumstances I won't discuss on a forum. I waited for 3 1/2 years to be housed, after my child was born. We had to share a small bedroom in a shared house for all that time. It meant that I couldn't even close the door at the end of a tough day and relax - we were together 24 hours a day except for when I was at work.

 

In that time I wrote to the council repeatedly asking for the tenancy of every empty house I came across in the town - I had to stay in the town as I didn't drive and my work was in Lerwick (I continued to work and support my child when he was born and didn't claim any benefits) - and countless times I saw good decent family homes being given to single people, couples with no children and people off the boat.

 

It is so demoralising. I even got to the stage of reading funeral notices to see if any council houses would be coming available!!! Thankfully I got somewhere (not from a funeral notice!) and I've been happy ever since!

 

Stick in there Angel. I know its a soul-destroying process but hopefully you will get there. Just keep on at them.

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Now wonders how many you actually need to get anywhere - what kind of addictions/problems do I need to develop I wonder??

 

You could always try getting addicted to "smack". You could also aim for an ASBO too, and make sure that your milking the system on benefits or even incapacity benefit, Pretend your a lunatic and Im sure they would probably bombard you with more free housing than you could shake a stick at. :roll: :lol:

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Stick in there Angel. I know its a soul-destroying process but hopefully you will get there.

 

Yeah, stick in there. I'm on the SIC list (not Hjaltland) & for about the same time, it does get you down.

 

I'd offer you my spare room, but it's 500 miles "sooth" :(

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First thing I can say is don't worry. The SIC/Hjaltland would rather that you helped yourself if you can but they will come to your rescue before the time gets crucial. Just hang in there.

 

I am one of those stepped off the Sooth boat to get benefits and a house. Wouldn't you leave the place of your birth and travel 650 miles to a remote island just to get £45 a week free? No, nor would I, and I find it offensive when people trot out this line.

 

I came here with £5,000 in my pocket and hope in my heart with the intention of finding work, buying a house and finding a peerie Shetland wife. It took 6 months to find work, just as the £5,000 ran out. I ended up in SIC housing because my landlord needed their property back which I was renting from them. It was either temporary housing or sleeping in the car. As far as the peerie wife was concerned, I found a sooth wife here!

 

Despite having stepped off the sooth boat, I have paid my rent, never been in arrears and have never had a complaint against me.

 

I wouldn't choose to live in SIC housing. There is nothing wrong with it per se, but I would rather have my own home. I would love to move out of Lerwick, but I have to be able to get to work and empty houses tend to be where the buses are least regular.

 

All you have to remember is that SIC and Hjaltland HA allocate housing on housing need. You are not in need at the moment. In a few months time you will be in severe need and your points will rocket. Get your GP on your side. It will help your points and is something to which you are entitled.

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Angel, I used to work at Hjaltalnd and I just wanted to see if I could help in any way.

 

I appreciate that you said you understand Hjaltland don't operate with a waiting list. But have you been applying for any of the properties they advertise in the Shetland Times? That is one of the things a lot of the applicants didn't seem to understand was that HHA would not contact them when a suitable property came up.

 

Also what groups have you been allocated points in? Just reading your post you should be allocated points for Overcrowding (group 4) and Insecure Tenancy (group 5). If this is not the case I suggest you contact them to update your application.

 

Can I also suggest that you ask the SIC about being put forward as a nomination for one of HHA's properties. Because you have been given notice from your current home it is in their interests to stop you becoming homeless.

 

I hope this is of some help, if you have any other questions I will try to answer them as best I can.

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My brother in-law and sister has been on the SIC waiting list for 16 years and still no luck the whole waiting list thing is complete farce but come up from the south and then theirs no problem if you live in Shetland and born in shetland should come first starting at the top of the list and every one moves up one as houses become available

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