Michelle’s story

MICHELLE is a 25-year-old mother who has been on the housing waiting list for six years.  She did not want to declare herself homeless and move into a hostel, so rents private accommodation that is partly paid for by her housing benefit.

“I have been on the waiting list since my eldest daughter was born six years ago and with 156 points I seem to have no chance of getting a house,” she said.

“I’m not earning any extra points while I’m renting, yet I know of people who came on to the housing list a year ago that have been allocated a home in front of me – it’s just not fair.”

Michelle, who lives in the St James’ area, recently gave birth to a baby girl. However, her points total did not increase with the birth of her second child as she was told she would only get extra points had she given birth to a boy.

“They class two female children as being able to share a bedroom, so my points didn’t go up,” she said.

“It’s a ridiculous situation. The new Fold housing development at the bottom of St James’ would be ideal for me, but they’re looking for 180 points to get in and I’m sitting on 156. I don’t know what else I can do, it’s just not a fair system.”

Joanne’s story

Gerard’s story

Leah’s story