Mom shares bedroom with teenage sons at elderly parent’s home after frustrating over five years on Thanet Council housing list

Katie has been vying for council property for five years but still hasn’t been able to secure a home for her and her two sons

In 2016, Katie Crood and her two sons had to leave St. Peter’s home because the owner sold.

Katie and the boys moved into her elderly parents’ home in Margate, sharing one bedroom, while she began bidding for new property.

More than five years later, Katie and the boys, ages 15 to 18, are still on the housing waiting list unable to secure a new home for council, at prices above the private rental market and unable to risk being evicted from the area by going to Temporary residency due to “open access” of youngest boy Katie to the pediatric ward of QEQM Hospital in Margate due to CKD.

The 39-year-old man’s eldest son suffers from PTSD after a terrifying armed robbery at his grandfather’s house – the same property he now lives on – when he was just seven years old. During that incident, his nanny threw herself at him after a gang broke into her house and ordered her husband, at gunpoint, to open a family safe.

Katie, who receives PIP due to poor mental health, says she is amazed at why it continues to be rated in the C band — despite the family’s mental and physical health needs — listed as a ‘reasonable preference’ but not priority bands A or B.

She said, “I have been on the council waiting list since 2016 and my priority in moving was July 31, 2017. Initially I was bidding for two-bedroom properties but now my sons have grown so I have to bid for a three bed role.

“My parents were trying to downsize to one floor because my mum has arthritis and struggles to climb stairs but they had to stop because we would be homeless.

“I can’t go into temporary housing because we will likely be sent out of the area and my youngest son has open access to Rainbow Ward. He has kidney disease and has already had one kidney removed, has had more surgeries than I’ve ever had and is in very bad shape. He had He was misdiagnosed as having a bladder problem, but was hospitalized with a blue light in toxic shock and sepsis.His kidney was removed and he has a catheter.

“My eldest son suffers from PTSD from witnessing the armed robbery and I have poor mental health, but Thanett Council told me they no longer take that into account.

“I can’t afford private rents that are astronomically expensive, the raise is higher than what I have and I need to make sure I always have a little money left in case my son needs to go back to hospital in London.

“I’m not bothered about what I’m bidding on or where, although I prefer to stay as close to the QEQM as possible because I don’t drive, but I’m still in the c range even though there are five of us living in a three-bed house with my parents sleeping Currently in separate rooms due to my mother’s disability.

“I’m not here by choice, the previous landlord sold the last development property and we got no help.”

Katie says she called the MP in North Thanet, Sir Roger Gill, but was told he was not dealing with housing issues and now had no idea where she was going next.

She added, “I’m not the only person in this position. There are a lot of families struggling for housing. It’s very frustrating.”

A council spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual circumstances, we can confirm that our clients’ medical issues are taken into account regardless of whether they are physical or mental.

“We will always continue to support people who need help, and contact other services and agencies to ensure that any vulnerable person gets the help they need.”

Thanet Council currently has 1,740 families on the housing registry waiting for an affordable rental home. These include 923 individuals and 817 families.

Majlis is the owner of 3,034 properties, 888 of which are three bedrooms.

Those eligible to join the housing list are placed in one of four bands, -A, B, C, and D. Applications in band A will be given the highest priority for rehousing, band B is the next highest, and then C with band D applicants with the lowest priority. Bidding on real estate is submitted through Kent Homechoice. Once bids are submitted, they are sorted by priority, and once verified, the property will be offered to the person with the highest priority.

However, demand is outstripping supply and many of the island’s renters in the private sector spend half of their income on rent. The National Housing Federation says only 30% of income should be spent on housing costs.

Housing Allocation Policy in Thanet Council

Scope A – Urgent Housing Needs
Factor 1 urgent medical or care needs.
Factor 2 Transfer Management.

Scope B – Serious Housing Needs
Factor 1 Persons occupying overcrowded housing or living in extremely unsatisfactory housing conditions.
People are leaving subsidized housing.
Factor 2 social housing tenants in Thanet who occupy one or more bedrooms.
Working 3 members of the armed forces.

Scope C – Reasonable Preference
Factor 1 All other homeless families.
Factor 2 People who occupy unsanitary or crowded housing or live in unsatisfactory housing conditions.
Factor 3 Persons who need to move for medical or social care reasons, including disability-related reasons.
The fourth factor is the main workers who have a need for housing

Scope D – General Housing Needs
Factor 1 Persons who have intentionally become homeless, or who intentionally worsen their housing conditions.
Factor 2 Homeless people by another local authority
Factor 3 Families that have a housing need but owe a previous rent debt or are seen as unacceptable behaviour

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