Disabled mum from Maidstone faces being made homeless if she cannot get social housing

Annette Shaw, 53, has secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, a devastating condition which has left her in a wheelchair and unable to work.

The family of three privately rents a two bedroom bungalow in Loose which costs £1,000 a month – a sum they can no longer afford.

Due to errors registering her application for council housing Mrs Shaw says she has found it impossible to find anything accessible in her 18-month search. The family have borrowed money which could run out by Christmas.

The former legal secretary is cared for by husband Ady who receives a carer’s allowance of £55 a week.

 Mrs Shaw said: “I have always paid my council tax, income tax and my national insurance contributions and have done so since I was 16.

“I have never asked for anything from the council. I check every day on the housing register but there is never anything available and, bearing in mind all of the new-builds going up around the town, I find this soul destroying.

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease caused by the body’s immune system attacking the protective sheath around the cells of the central nervous system.

Symptoms vary for each sufferer but can include fatigue, heat sensitivity and mobility issues.

Mrs Shaw was diagnosed with the condition more than 25 years ago and is visited by four carers a day.

MS sufferer Annette Shaw says she will be homeless unless she is able to get council housing

This year she has been in intensive care, had several operations and has started having seizures.

Subsidised housing in Maidstone is provided by a number of housing associations as an alternative to the rental market.

Few new properties appear in this pool each year compared to the rental market and data from 2015 indicates there are just over 9,000 homes of this type within the county town.

Access to the register is subject to a proven local connection and a demonstrable housing need such as medical or welfare issues, overcrowding or the unsuitability of the current property. After application people are given bands and can then bid for properties.

Research published by the London School of Economics for the disability charity Papworth Trust showed there are at least 1.8m people struggling to get into accessible accommodation in England alone.

Source: http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/wheelchair-bound-mum-faces-homelessness-130013/

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