Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Killer Housing form arrives in mail :s

All 27 pages of it. Four sections individually stapled together, plus a single page where we're supposed to list other cheaper places we're supposed to apply for, numbered to 12.The whole lot is about two and a half mm thick, only because it's printed both sides or it would be 5mm thick. FFS.

This is the result of us going to our local Labor federal MP Matt Thistlethwaite (at his invitation) after I did a dummy spit to him about the federal gov ripping funds off other charities to pay for the NDIS, most notably the fruit and vege charity we used that has now ended because I'm not 65, and which staff where made redundant over at the community centre that was serving us (our fridge has been very empty a lot since then). In that dummy spit I also raved about our housing situation and the lack of help from the NSW Dept of Housing.

In short he contacted the state authorities about it of the Liberal state gov here in NSW. The response so far has been a short phone call from NSW Housing a few weeks later asking me briefly of our situation, followed by this form being sent out about a week later. The purpose of which would be to get us Housing on the dire type list rather than the forever years waiting list on the never never (of which we've already done 4 years of that).

A mind numbing form(s) that has the audacity to call itself "Housing Pathways". They didn't even put a letter with it saying why they sent it or when we should put it in by. Just a blank generic NSW  Family and Community Services comp slip without any writing on it, and a business card from the Maroubra office just down the road. On the business card was an arrow pointing to a Maroubra Housing email address, the arrow put there with a ball point pen. Does this mean I should scan all the pages after filling them out into a PDF and email it to them? I have no idea. No explanation provided.

Last time this was the only form in my life that had ever broke me, and I don't consider myself stupid. The only pathway we found ourselves on last time was on a yellow brick road to nowhere's-ville. A complex maze of hurdles where if you fall over on just one you're fucked.

Last time 4 years ago we fell over on the having the ability to apply for another cheaper private place question on the medical certificate filled out by my GP. He said yes I was, simply for my physical state at the time. Which meant we were supposed to go and try and rent a cheaper private place sort of near here but nothing like the public transport services here that take us to our support people. With a new landlord that we don't know if they'll jack up the rent by $30 or more a year. Doomed to failure anyway as we have three cats and we're both on Centrelink pensions.

Last time I just couldn't do that; apply for a place knowing we were going to fail just to fill out this BS Housing form. I myself can't remember the details of the $ with the form which I do remember at the time we were both aghast about it (David does) but I do remember that not looking for another place was a major reason why it all fell over. I've been in psychological mental health therapy since 2009 after being diagnosed with HIV and have dealt with much of that time the suicidal ideation that exploded in my head that year. I'm diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression. Yet they expected us to fail 12 times applying for another place before the form could go forward?

Not to mention David's mental health issues, which I'm loath to mention here as it's really not my place to say. Other than he's also been seeing a psychologist for some years over the discrimination that happened to him the other year in the health profession for him being HIV+. He's not capable either of facing 12 times of failure.

He, Like me, relies on the local support we get in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. Moving out west, finding another HIV GP and psychologist that specifically deals with HIV+ people is not an option. The postal survey proved that.

David's psychologist gave him a reference to an ACON person recently who apparently is quite successful in doing the Housing thing for people. I think we'll have to try that.

BTW just to recap. Our present housing situation is that we both get about $16,500 a year in a partnered pension, me of course on the DSP and David the Carer Payment. He also gets the Carers Allowance of about $3,300 a year, along with the Carer Bonus of $1,200 at the beginning of the financial year. Grand total $37,500 or so between us (and yes we've both worked 30 years apiece before all this happened). The killer is the private rent, currently $425w/$22,100yr. Leaving us with only $15,400 for everything else, for both of us, for a year. 

It all works out to an iota under 59% of our income going in rent. Despite modest increases in the pension in the last four years, the situation has got worse. Four years ago it was only at 55%. I've rented this place for over ten years so the rent increases are a touch smaller now; $15 instead of $20 a week.

*click to enlarge