Tuesday, 9 October 2018

We actually got on the Priority Housing list! *faints*

It's lucky I was lying down in bed when David read the letter from the snail mail letterbox, otherwise I might have fainted. After he informed me of the news that we'd been accepted for Priority Housing from the New South Wales dept of Housing, I suggested (in a shocked voice) that we should frame the bloody letter!

I have to thank John at Positive Life. We couldn't have negotiated the form and all involved with it if not for his expertise in that area. He represented us to the Dept of Housing as a go between. There were a couple of times I was ready to just give up, but he doggedly persevered through the whole process.

We were rejected for Priority Housing 4 years ago when we first applied for it. This present process was initiated by Federal Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite, after I sent a raving dummy spit of a letter to him about our situation after the gov cut the funding for the food charity we were using, to fund the NDIS. This was a Change of Circumstances form, but exactly like the first diabolical form that we were rejected on 4 years ago.

And believe me I really mean it when I say diabolical. I've filled out a number of Centrelink forms over the years but this was way way worse. And after the form was lodged they kept asking for more shit, like they were just dreaming up more stuff just for the hell of it.

There were 2 Medical certificates from David and I's doctors, 2 support letters from both our psychologists, bank statements going back a month for each of us, a rental payment log from the real estate going back about 5 years, and a report from the chemist we use for prescriptions for the last financial year. The last 2 were quite bizarre. It was quite the thing to ask the chemist and the real estate for something really out of left field.

They also had us see a financial advisor appointed by them. She was shocked at the rent we were paying and how little we were actually living off. Said she couldn't do a better job budgeting herself, and wrote a support letter for us to Housing recommending we be accepted for Priority Housing.

For the record we get a bit over $30,000 a year between us with a partnered pension each and David's Carer's Allowance. However the rent has been going up faster and faster in recent years and we're now paying $850 a fortnight/$22,100 a year/59% of our income. We're left with about $10,000 a year between us for everything else.  Have been drawing on our Super the last 4 years under financial hardship provisions, but how long will that last? 

It can still take a year or two to get a place, but paying only 25% of our income in rent will be like winning the bloody lottery!

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