My name is Danny, and I'm a poor disabled mixed race trans guy who uses a wheelchair. I've been in and out of activism for a few years, and I've been so blessed to have the support I needed to fund an electric wheelchair last year. That kindness literally changed my life, and I managed to complete my first year of university and to carry on the work I do in LGBTQ+ and Black activism.
In 2003 (aged 8) I developed rheumatic fever, a rare disease that becomes a permanent chronic pain condition when left untreated. As I was not correctly diagnosed until 2010, I have been left permanently disabled.
I require carers to assist me daily with personal and domestic care, which I have finally managed to obtain from the council.
The story thus far
In 2014 I finally left my abusive childhood home to pursue my transition and general attempt at trauma recovery. I was homeless for 6 months, somehow managing to drag myself through exams whilst experiencing horrific institutional racism at university.
I also spent a considerable amount of money kick-starting my medical transition, which has also helped me greatly with my mental health and general safety but has obviously put me out of pocket somewhat.
I eventually changed courses, saved up enough money for a deposit, and moved into a private rented flat with two other students for the year. Having my own place was really important for my mental health after homelessness. We all came under a single tenancy as one tenant, paying £1650 per month in total.
My physical condition deteriorated in the winter of 2014, and I was forced to be dependant on an abusive partner as I did not have the social care I needed in place.
Now that it is winter again, I have once again physically deteriorated and desperately require adapted and wheelchair accessible housing. I require support with basic day-to-day tasks and am reliant on huge amounts of painkillers to get by.
As most disabled people know, housing that is adapted, accessible and affordable is literally impossible to find in the private sector. I have looked and searched, and such housing does not exist in London at all. It is also very limited within social housing, as disabled people aren’t really considered a priority in terms of designing housing.
I have had to take the year out of university to mentally and physically cope with the extremely demanding process of completing a homeless approach, seeking regular legal advice, fighting for accessible social housing, and trying to recover from a mental breakdown I had in August (I suffer from bipolar type II among other disorders). This means that I am relying solely on DLA and ESA as income, and my application for housing benefit is still being processed.
I have been on the council housing list for 5 months and have still not been upped the banding as my medical assessment has not even been completed yet. This means that I will definitely require temporary housing once I’m evicted, and I need to be registered as homeless to qualify.
Although the property I'm in is completely unsuitable and unaffordable (as I pay 3 people's worth of rent, with my flatmates having left when the tenancy ended in October), the council has stated that I have to stay until an eviction notice is delivered by a judge in early January, otherwise I will be classified as "intentionally homeless". Which would mean that the council would not have a duty to rehouse me at all, and I would be street homeless.
I did not choose this situation by any means, and I do not have any accessible places to stay at all. I have received transphobic and ableist threats of violence from my landlady, I have been subjected to ableist abuse and an attempt to sabotage the entire process by my ex flatmate’s family, and I have mentally deteriorated with anxiety and intensified depressive episodes.
My housing situation has become more complex and desperate over the past few months, and I really need to get money together to pay off rent arrears, as I already have to pay for the court fees.
I currently pay what I can afford in terms of rent, which was the third I paid before my flatmates moved out (£550 pm). The other two thirds, for the amount of time I will have stayed here before being evicted, amounts to a total of £3300 in arrears.
Anything I do not pay off will remain as bad credit, and potentially ruin my homeless approach application with my local council as it comes under “failure to pay rent arrears”. This would mean that the entire reason for me being forced to stay in an unsuitable and unaffordable property would have been for nothing.
TL;DR I need help paying my rent arrears ASAP before my eviction court date in January.
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