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Housing matters (1)

Hi readers, it’s Emily, Kerry and William here writing about supported housing, which we all live in. We know that many other people who have a learning disability want to live like us, so we hope that it helps to share our experiences, plus tell you all what it’s like for us.

So, supported accommodation can mean different things to each of us, and tenancy agreements are not all the same. Take me, Emily for example. Unlike Kerry and William, things like carpets and white goods, like our washing machine, are provided by our Housing Association. Also, when things that go wrong, they’ll sort it because we pay a monthly service charge for repairs. Like when our microwave broke last year, they got us a new one. The downside was that it took ages, like around two months, for them to replace it with a basic model but at least it does the job. Why so long to wait though? They’ll also repair our washing machine if it got broken, but if it was because one of us, say accidentally put something inside which made it break, I don’t know if we’d have to pay because it was our fault.

As for me, Kerry, my housing association will only pay for things that are external, and only internal repairs if it’s electrical, like the extractor fan in the bathroom, which they did last year. When I rang them about the broken lock on my door recently, I got told, in quite a blunt way, that it was my responsibility and maybe my support worker could help me. I just wish they were more sympathetic and kind, as it’s hard enough when things go wrong, so an understanding person would be nice. Even to say ‘I’m sorry to hear that Kerry….’ but more about getting the right support next week!

The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff.

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