Housing association can't find Northampton woman a home despite fact her fifth floor flat leaves he a suicide risk

A woman who doctors have told cannot be living in her fifth floor flat because she is a suicide risk says she is struggling to cope, after spending a year sofa-surfing while waiting for a new property.

Saturday, 1st October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:58 pm
A woman has been told by doctors that she cannot stay in her fifth floor flat in St James - but her housing association can't find her a suitable ground floor place to move her to.

The sheer lack of social housing in Northampton has again come under fire, after a woman in her 30s has told of her 12 months spent waiting for a new property, despite being classed an emergency case.

The woman, who we have agreed not to name, suffers from a severe mental health condition and currently lives in a fifth floor flat in Melbourne House.

But her doctors have said this is too unsafe for her as she has made numerous attempts to commit suicide. In a letter to Northampton Partnership Homes, which manages social housing on behalf of he borough council, her GP said the apartment was not suitable for the woman because of its distance from the ground.

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The doctor's letter also recommends she is moved to a new property with her carer, who has a dog.

Despite this, the woman still has not been found a new home despite being in Band A, the emergency banding.

Two properties offered to her have either been too small or have not been able to accommodate her carer's pet.

It has meant she has been having to stay on friend's sofas for 12 months now, a situation which is taking a serious toll on her health.

"With my condition, there is a real risk I could jump from the balcony," she said.

"I'm just looking for somewhere I can call home, but the council keeps saying there is '3,000 people on the waiting list'."

Northampton's shortage of council homes has been well documented, with many households complaining of overcrowding and some people in a lower risk band reporting how they have waited years for a home.

Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) were due to send officers round to speak with the woman in question on Friday afternoon, following the Chron's enquiries.

A spokesman for NPH, said: "We are sorry that the tenant has not been able move to a different home as quickly as they would have liked. Properties are allocated using a choice based lettings system that enables the customer to register their interest on specific homes available in any given week. Over the last six months we have supported this tenant and, taking medical needs into account, offered two homes. After viewing the properties, the tenant chose to continue bidding and wait for a home that better meets their personal needs.

“This application has been given the highest priority on the waiting list and we are supporting the tenant to bid for a particular home that interests them this week. We will continue to support the tenant in the bidding process and have arranged a meeting to establish what further support can be offered."