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housing when you've got kids

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:49 pm
by Bel Bel
hubbys sis has two kids under 16 and isn't with the ex whom she never married.
the ex set her up in a house in his name. he now needs money and wants to sell it. he lives abroad.
she is telling her parents she needs £30K to get out of trouble having just gone bankrupt already
she is a bit of a snob and therefore doesn't want to go into council housing and we have all said hard cheese but now she is lying saying she can't get housing, she will be dumped in an awful b and b and they need to help her.
this is all their savings and the other siblings think it's outrageous.
the council are not very helpful as they want all your details before they will tell you anything
does anyone know what the rules are surronding her getting housing and anything about what benefits your entitled to if you go into the pivate tenant route. she currently works part time and I have suggested she needs to work full time to get any help as the kids are secondary school age and she is capable of full time work just makes excuses like she needs to let the dog out
also someone has suggsted he can't leave his kids homeless but we can't seem to get the CAB on the phone ver to ask for help, and we don't want to pay a solicitor on her behalf

Re: housing when you've got kids

PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:10 pm
by Jo
Hiya, I'm no benefits expert and the rules are changing all the time (they are about to go through a very big change for single parents as we speak) - BUT - I rented privately as a single parent and now my daughter is doing the same. For some of that time I was claiming benefits but for most of it I was working full time and paying the rent myself.

There are a few different benefits your sister in law can can claim depending on how many hours she's working and how much she earns. I'm not sure what the rules are but it involves different types of tax credits and possibly Income Support - she's probably got all that sorted by now.

If she's claiming any of those benefits it should be pretty straight forward to get Housing Benefit - she might not get ALL of the rent, it depends on whether or not the house is reasonable for the size and make-up of her family and whether or not the rent is fair.

It can be time consuming to find the right house at the right price but apart from that I can't see why she can't get housing. From what I remember the council would only put someone in a B&B if they were actually on the verge of being made literally homeless. Would her ex-husband actually make her and the children homeless right away? If not then she's probably got time to find a house. Even if he puts it on the market now it could take months to sell. The fact that he set her up there in the first place suggests he's not the type of person to throw her out on the streets with nowhere to go.

I'd keep trying with CAB and Welfare Rights - they are busy but you'll get through eventually. Also look online, there's load of info there about benefits rules etc. Also try the Lone Parent Helpline of One Parent Families|Gingerbread - 0800 018 5026.

Here are some links to get you started...

Tax Credits
Income Support
Benefits
Single Parent info on money
One Parent Families|Gingerbread

Re: housing when you've got kids

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:08 pm
by retrochav
The housing act has five tests to judge who would be given priority:

You must be a UK resident
You must have a local connection to the Local Authority you want to be housed by
You must be vulnerable (having children under sixteen - or under 21 if in full time education will qualify you)
You must be unintentionally homeless
You must be deemed to be in housing need

The only hoop your sister must jump therefore is to prove she has not made herself homeless. She could be offered a B and B if there is no temporary accomadation available but its rarely done now.

Alternatively, she could rent privately and get partial housing benefit. The local housing allowance (levels shown in libraries) show the maximum rent they will pay which is based on the number of rooms you would need. Typically, she could have a two or three bedroom home. As she only works part time, she would probably get partial housing benefit - say 35 -60% as a ball park figure. She can then apply to the council and be put on the list so that if her situation got worse, she could be considered for housing quicker

Anyone can apply for social housing - however, without having priority, you could be on the list forever. Always ask for the allocations policy to maximise your chances