Housing and your environment play a big part in your recovery. In early recovery, having a stable roof over your head and somewhere safe to go to is a big asset.
But let’s just get real about the situation today, particularly in London, it’s tough out there and the indicators suggest that the situation is getting worse rather than better.
The days when you could come out of rehab automatically to a Council or Housing Association flat have gone.
Unless you have special circumstances such as children or a severe mental or physical disability, or been on the waiting list since God was a boy, be prepared for a very, very, long wait for social housing- but if you do qualify, put your name down, if nothing else it reveals the true state of the housing economy, and again, you never know in time, your name might just come up!
If you are currently in social housing, one bit of good advice is to hold on to it. Don’t give your Landlord any excuse to end the tenancy. In this current climate Social Landlords have any number of “good” potential tenants waiting in the wings, so, look after your place, see that your rent gets paid on time, and don’t piss off your neighbours.
Getting evicted is not only a big hassle at the time, but may also hinder your choices in the future.
Homelessness and Hostels
Let’s face it, if you’re out there and homeless, and either in, or seeking recovery, you are probably not in a good place. There are good hostels out there and we have listed the organisations that run them. Some are ‘dry’ hostels although the quality of this endeavour can be variable.
Hostels, however, are not a long term solution and most have a maximum stay time. Many are in contact with both the Services as well as a network of housing providers to help you with longer term solutions.
Finding your own place
As we’ve said above the huge pressure on social housing and suitable rentable accommodation in most London Boroughs makes this a hard, but not impossible task.
Firstly, see you have your name down on waiting lists for Councils and Housing Associations you’ve got to start somewhere. If you have children, certain health conditions or are considered vulnerable according to their criteria, this will count in your favour.
The private rented sector is an option, the Council Housing Departments have lists of Landlords and Agents, and adverts abound from websites such as Gumtree, down to postcards in the newsagents window!
This is often the clincher, as because of the demand, landlords and agents demand fairly high deposits and fees. Some Services have Rent Deposit Schemes, so check and see if you qualify.
Sharing a house or a large flat with others, whilst often a cheaper option can have pitfalls, however it can also have benefits, frankly it’s down to who your flatmates are. Share with someone who is still using is a potential recipe for disaster. However sharing with someone who is sympathetic or in recovery themselves could provide you with additional support, with the usual warning that if they relapse, can you cope with it?