Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Landlord Community Call Out

When I started blogging, I had in mind many reason for doing it, none of which included asking for help from my online community.

Yes, I have asked for help in regard to signing petitions, one of which is Chloe's Law an Anti-Bullying Petition being sent to the Australian Senate.  This is something that is very close to my heart.  If you have not signed it I suggest you do that NOW and come back to finish reading this post. I'll wait ...

Nice to see you back.

And I also tried to bring to your attention the plight of an Australian family in Adelaide who had fallen upon tough times as a result of the Dad having suffered a stroke at a very young age. I will provide a link at the end because when you go and like their page on Facebook and see what they have done, you will probably stay there for a while getting familiar with their story and all the good they have since done, and hopefully get involved yourself if you can.  Out of  diversity, they have created something beautiful. It's called the Foxy Foundation.  Go check it out, but do that one later via the link supplied at the end of this post.

So, "Landlord Community Call Out", you are probably wondering what I can do for any Landlords.

Well, here is what I can do ... I can supply them with a reliable and financially reliable, honest, self sufficient, respectable, long term tenant, who will fill their home with love, respect and gratitude. Add to that my charm and wit ... what more could a Landlord want?

All jokes aside, I am a good tenant and I am looking for a long term tenancy for myself and my children. We have had so much upheaval and it is making life very difficult for us particularly around managing anxiety levels for us all, but particularly, LJ.

You may have read my previous posts about our situation, but to shorten all that for you, this is where we are at now. Due to major maintenance issues required in the property we are in (that existed when we moved in), the Landlord has requested "Vacant Possession"of the property to undertake those repairs. The Landlord requires that by 17th January 2014 and as of yesterday was not willing to negotiate on this matter.

Therefore, our situation is becoming URGENT, particularly since over Christmas, the Real Estate Industry all but shuts down and our required date to vacate is about the time they return to work. In real terms, I have about 4 weeks to find another property, hence my decision to blog about it!

I am a tenant who is registered on the Pathways Housing Register, which means Housing NSW and any other Community Housing Organisation are able to provide me with a service that will assist me to find a "suitable" property.

Herein lies the problem. The word "suitable". As you may or may not be aware, my son LJ, who is 11 years old, has Down syndrome.  For any parent reading this who has a child with a disability, you will understand disability impacts every person differently. So even if you have an idea of what Down syndrome actually is, unless you have close and constant contact or interactions with a person with Down syndrome you cannot understand how it impacts their life, or the lives of their families and carers. Let's just say, it adds a whole other dimension (or two). And, even if you have a person in your life who has Down syndrome, they are not MY person who has Down syndrome. Documented evidence of the details of LJ's disability and the implications formed part of our original application to Housing NSW.

Our kids are individuals, as are all kids, all people!

Unfortunately, the person who decides what a suitable property for us is, is not us. And, the person assessing a property that is "suitable" is a person who has never met or known LJ and therefore is unable to look at a property and assess it's suitability with regard to safety and security because they have no knowledge of LJ's ability when it comes to escapism or general seeking out things he should not be touching or playing with because of a level of danger. Another policy that applies to all agencies who could help us is that we are only entitled to two offers of properties and if I deem a property NOT to be suitable, there is a 28 day appeals process that I have to go through to be entitled to have that offer opportunity reinstated so another offer can be made.

Now, I know most parents are thinking, sounds just like my 11 year old ... this is where I might need to link in my previous post which talks more specifically about LJs disability.  Here is the link.  A quick overview though, LJ has an intellectual delay, receptive communication lack, delayed processing time, no idea of stranger danger, no concept of imminent danger to himself or others, the cognitive ability of a 4 - 6 year old in some things and the physical strength and ability and agility of an 11 year old. In short, exhausting. It breaks my heart every time I have to make a list of all the challenging attributes of my beautiful little boy, because he really is that, my beautiful little boy.

LJ is also a gorgeous, empathic, lovable, kind, energetic, funny and absolutely adorable child. He loves dance, sport, "shooting hoops", riding his scooter, playing with friends, watching DVDs, going to the beach, ten pin bowling and all the typical things kids love to do. He is a real social butterfly and because his favourite food of all time is ice cream, he has the energy to be one ALLLL day! LOL

Here is what I need you to do.

Share this post with ANYONE you think may know someone or who is someone or who has contacts and networks or who is in the media or who in any way whatsoever would be able to help me find this:

I need a three bedroom home in the North "ish" Wollongong area. I can consider anywhere from Figtree up as there is transport, buses are available from those areas.  We are currently in Fairy Meadow and the boys both are in Schools nearby. The property needs to have a securely fenced (level as possible) back yard, with minimal debris or obstacles, completely enclosed and preferably fences in excess of five foot with minimum foot holds. We obviously need all the other amenities such as a kitchen, lounge room, bathroom and toilet. An indoor play area would be a huge bonus.

LJ needs to have a backyard to blow off steam, he is a very energetic child and as I am a single Mum, I am not always able to supervise him in the yard, hence the need for such high levels of security and safety. To be able to see the yard from within the home would also be a huge bonus.

So go forth and spread the word.

I can be contacted at, I am on Twitter s_lynn4 or you can leave a comment at the end of this post!


I think you all know what my idea of a Happy Ending Would be in this situation, so let's get on with making it happen!

Thank you all, my wonderful online community!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Housing Update

For those of you playing along at home, the situation around our housing has worsened.

If you are not sure what I am talking about, the previous post is here

It has been proven now that despite CH organisation stating that they comply with Housing NSW policies, they have not.

I now have to wait 28 days for the appropriate process around my appeal to unfold while they do an "internal" investigation.

If I don't agree with the outcome of their investigation, then I have to make an appeal to another authority.

At the end of the day, I will miss out on a property (that we have now confirmed can be made safe for LJ) because of the time that will lapse while this due process unfolds as a result of them not taking into consideration LJ's needs for housing around his disability and my care situation, which were specified in our original applications to Housing NSW. A complete disregard for their own policy.

In short, someone didn't read a file, or someone doesn't know the policy, or someone has just made an honest mistake. But when those shortcomings mean that a family will potentially be put at risk of homelessness, does one not just put up their hand and say, "It was me, I made the mistake and I'm sorry. We don't need to waste 28 days, lets just move forward and get these people housed appropriately."

My Happy Ending - When I complete my Community Service Certificate IV next year, all this experience will only help me to do a better job than these people have!