During mid pregnancy, I moved into the housing system. Since then I have moved three times, living in three different types of temporary accommodations. On a journey that can feel lonely I have met people from all walks of life, in the same situation.
I am most definitely grateful that I have a roof over my head although want to share with you some of the issues and feelings that has impacted me and many others since living in temporary accommodation.
You are constantly feeling uncertain
The biggest problem with the housing system is how uncertain the whole thing is.
There are areas that make us feel safer than others, areas were would like to raise our kids. Some of us would rather live on the ground flood and others, like me fear lifts. The point I am trying to make is that we all have different preferences.
The world is our oyster and although we do have the option to live anywhere in the world, it often feels like that is stripped away from our right as human beings within the housing system.
Just because we don’t have the money for a house deposit right now doesn’t mean we should be excluded from having a say of preference when finding a home for our family.
It is nearly impossible for you to move to a different borough out of preference, yet families are being moved across and out of London. The government takes advantage at the fact that people have nowhere else to go, therefore compelling families to forcefully start anew.
You feel restricted
Living in temporary accommodation can also have you stuck in a rut of restriction. Feeling hopeless to better your current situation. Depending on where your housing has placed you.
A lot of people who work, feel obliged to leave their jobs as a way of bettering their housing situation. This is because families are being moved to live in private rented properties, with ridiculously high rent. Not to mention council tax, other bills and never forgetting food.
I know you may be thinking this contradicts the purpose of working to maintain an income and take responsibility, which the government claims to promote.
Although individuals are deliberately placed in vulnerable positions, as if they work over a certain number of hours (usually 16), they are responsible to pay the extremely high charging rent of their private accommodation and receive minimum help from the government.
This then becomes a vicious cycle trying to keep up with payments, unable to maintain savings and making it impossible to clear any previous debts. If anything, this causes more debt to accumulate.
Which leads me onto my next point.
With options at a minimum and years of bidding and waiting, id be surprised if someone told me they hadn’t been through a time of mental drainage. It’s a damaging cycle as people with mental health before living in temporary accommodation can find it harder to cope, making your mental health worse and also causing mental health.
‘If wherever you’re living feels unsafe, uncomfortable or insecure, you might constantly feel stressed, anxious, panicked or depressed.’ (mind.org)
For me the journey hasn’t been easy especially moving during pregnancy and dealing with mental health previously, there are many other factors like money problems, low self esteem and problems working or studying that you may not have known your living situation can affect. The mental health charity, Mind explains this in more detail.
Its important that if your going through a time of mental strain to find ways that allows you release mental pressure.
My intention for this post as sceptical as I was to share, is to bring awareness of some of the feelings over 84,704 others are facing. If you are in this situation I hope this post gives you comfort to remind you that you are not alone.
Sending you positive vibes always.