Public Health Scandal At Notorious Emergency Housing Premises – Part One

Another Day Brings Another Scandal

For months now I have been campaigning locally in Brighton and Hove to push for standards in our cities Emergency and Temporary Housing to be improved and just last week I was given another anonymous tip off.

Contaminated Water Supply in Emergency Housing Premises

The images you are seeing below are proof that the water supply at Percival Terrace could be contaminated, I first moved in in January 2016 and after just a few days I had Diarrhoea I was drinking the water supplied from the tanks in the roof.

As previously reported there have been issues with getting hot water here at Percival Terrace, which has been a little better recently, now I use the water feed to brush my teeth and not long after I moved here, I started getting pains in my teeth.

I went to the dentist who informed me I had a bacterial infection, they gave me a strong course of antibiotics to try and stop the infection spreading, unfortunately the damage had been done, which resulted in me losing a front tooth on the 28th April 2016.

What Do I know?

I know that in 2013 Percival Terrace was refurbished, because they effectively made each room self contained this meant that the building no longer needed a HMO (Homes Of Multiple Occupancy)  Licence, so this was the last time they were checked for one.

I have been informed that the water tank images above had been like this since 2013, so basically these fuckers have been messing with our health by cutting corners, I was also informed that the owners three weeks ago ordered staff to get this quickly cleaned and covered up.

What Have I done about this?

On the 27th May at 12:50pm I phoned Brighton and Hove City Councils HMO Department and asked some questions:

DH. What do the council do with regard to safety checks, what are your minimum standards?

Council. What do you mean about safety checks?

DH. Part of the HMO Licence process, you have a legal duty to conduct safety checks, for things like Electrics, water supply…

Council. We expect to see certifications to know that these have been done, we need to see a five years electrics certificate, yearly gas certificate, EPC, Fire Precaution Certificates,

DH. What about for water?

Council. Errrm I don’t think there is anything for water in it. There is a standards document you can have a look at (click here to read).

The Council Employee was quite helpful when I was asking general questions until I tried to report an actual concern, I have put this recording on this website so you know what it is that I am up against at the council.

The staff are often rude and really don’t seem bothered with peoples health and wellbeing.

Emergency and Temporary Housing Residents Action Group.

We need to hold the council and landlords to account which is why I have set up a residents action group, our first meeting will take place on the 8th June at 7pm, The meeting is for residents in Emergency and Temporary Housing Only and will take place at the Friends Meeting House.

Image of a poster promoting the event
Residents Meeting 8th June at 7pm

If you are a resident and want to have your voice heard, please RSVP on the Facebook group and event so I know who will be coming on the night.

A New Creative Project To Raise Awareness Locally and Nationally.

I am looking for a talented Camera operator who can spare a day in the next few weeks to do some filming with me, I want to interview high profile people and residents in these unsuitable accommodations to help promote the human story and expose the wrongdoings happening today in Accommodation which has been taken out of local authority hands and given to profit making landlords and limited companies.

If you or anyone you know wants to be involved please email daniel@survivorblog.co.uk with your details. I need someone who is able to also do video editing.

Are you a resident in Brighton and Hove who is fed up?

I am looking for people to be brave and come forward, I need picture evidence, stories, maybe you have worked in one of these places before? Be brave and speak out so that others can move forward with their lives.

I recently met Yannis Varoufakis here is what he had to say:

Come back soon for more on this in my two part special story.

 

 

 

 

Image of the Sponsors

Its a Mad World out there for Children in Care. Voices Matter Cover the Gary Jules version

Last year when I had a mental breakdown following 6 days of mania, confusion, paranoia, Euphoric highs, I was literally on high alert, I had an over active mind and I crashed into a depressive state.  Then I found the Rees Foundation, a charity for previously looked after children, care leavers.

Who are Rees Foundation?     download

Only a few years young this national charity goes further than many across the country, they help to empower care leavers of any age, I am 32 and Nattylyn another service user is 36 they have supported us, linked us to each other and provided us with respite from our difficult and stressful lives right now.

If you have left care and feel ready to truly move forward in life and dream again then the Rees Foundation is for you,  Afshan the Project Development Manager, initially contacted me, she LISTENED. A few months back I got invited to a Revolution event organised by Rees Foundation, and met other care leavers like myself, we looked at personal development, education and employment.

It was such a great day and an experience I will remember forever, I met some lovely people who finally understood me and I understood them.

On the train journey home, I started singing and someone said you have a good voice, I rebutted the compliment as I struggle to accept them, we all started singing and I was like we should do a Rees Foundation Choir. Little did I know Voices Matter were born.

Voices Matter Perform Mad World at the Big Sing Off 2016.

Performance Image Four People on Stage
Voices Matter Performing Mad World (Left to Right: Nattylyn, Zion, Daniel & Carlena)

The audience was 700 strong, the atmosphere was fun, emotional and energetic, full of happy children currently living in care and full of foster mums and dads.

Remember from my own experiences what you see in front of you with one of these kids is not what they have experienced, all of these kids have suffered trauma of some sort, some were sexually abused like me, some were simply not wanted or taken away from voilent homes or abusive parents.

One child said “this is the best day of my life’

He wasn’t wrong I had an absolutely amazing time and some very much needed fun and relaxation. There was Greg a care leaver on the KeyBoard (out of sight) Zion, Son or Nattylyn (a care leaver) Carlena (Care Leaver) and Myself and a special appearance from another care leaver Ian.  Below is the performance, this was arranged only a few weeks ago and we had our first rehearsal the day before, we had no sound check on the day, but we had so much fun!!!

Just like at the Full Council Meeting, this performance took me outside my comfort zone, I was bricking it, the last time I was on stage was 14 years ago.

How Did I Feel After The Performance……AMAZING!!!

It was hard to leave that special day behind and come back to the emergency accommodation I am in, after becoming diagnosed last week with Bipolar whilst I am happy to have a reason for being the way I am, I have a fresh determination to push forward and expose the conditions in these places and the scandal of what it is doing to care leavers like me.

We need to push for better services for children in care and care leavers because we have a voice and our Voices Matter.

As always you can find out more about the voices matter project by clicking here. Contact me by clicking me here I also welcome to comment below.

Finally I never ask for personal support, however the Rees Foundation rely on Grants and Donations, if you were touched by this then head over to the Rees Foundation Website and donate and help us care leavers to continue doing this every year.

Picture gallery of the Day will be uploaded soon.

Blessings

Daniel

Voices-Matter
Left to Right: Nattylyn, Daniel, Carlena & Jim. Big Sing Off 2016 Singing Waltzing Jan to celebrate Jan Rees’s OBE Award in this years New Years Honours Lust for Services to Children.
Homeless and Bored

Brighton and Hove A City of Hope, Dreams and Desperation

I became homeless again in Jan 2016

Tired
Me tired but alive Having recently went to the full council whereby I presented a petition signed by over 1500 people, detailing the conditions I have to live in. I am in Emergency Housing, My Landlord Helgor Trading Limited – Own two further properties housing the homeless and vulnerable, in total I make this 130 rooms.

Now in the council presentation and the following debate if you haven’t already seen the video you can watch here, the council acknowledged my statement, some councillors even come up to me after and told me how brave I was to come forward, I was told the council officers were looking into my case and I will hear back.

I also set out a plan to improve the standards in emergency accommodation, the initial room they put me in, room 24, was not previously inspected, it hadn’t been cleaned and showed signs of drugs use. I still have the previous occupants diary left under the mattress. I was provided a tiny room, no bed covers, a microwave and they said it was suitable, I saw another door kicked in downstairs and panicked.

I then in manic mode took my belongings and put them in Bishops Move, It costs me £81 per month to store my belongings. I get £74 a week to live on from ESA, with bills including the £50 service charge at Percival Terrace  to pay before I even feed myself I am left with £64 a month or about £2.30 to live off, could you live of that?

The stuff in storage by the way is going to be destroyed or sold because i haven’t been able to afford to pay this, I owe £161, the council have a duty under the housing act to ensure my belongings are not destroyed, they deny this knowledge because I arranged the storage myself. The council office was closed, I was given no advice and they failed to hand over correctly, The council say its affordable if its affordable why am I losing my property.

Check out this video which gives you an understanding on how this is continuing to effect me.


Posted by Daniel Harris on Saturday, 9 April 2016

I am not looking for pity, I am exposing the truth.

My History

Find out more about Daniel Harris

Revelation number 1

On the 16th December at 10:49 am 12 days away from being street homeless and facing eviction I spoke to a housing options manager, yes i was in a manic state, they hadn’t even looked at my homelessness application and proceeded to say point out that i wasn’t the only one on the list, and rolled out figures like bumbling politician. I had made him aware that just the week before I had a panic attack well, four in one hour after meeting him and seeing the officer who turned me away in 2012, unlawfully. and that I had to be hospitalised, however he was rude to me and treated me like a fool. I filed an instant complaint with Brighton and Hove City Council which was never followed up.

To my amazement the same member of staff I complained about was the decision maker for the suitability review on the property I live in, the same one with the waterfall windows.

They decided on 8 weeks 1 day the property is suitable, I am not going to go into my circumstances but i assure you it is absolutely not suitable and as the council have a duty of care they are required by law to ensure a property is suitable and make a decision on the evidence I have provided, the housing options manager failed to acknowledge half of the reasons and for this and the fact he is subject to an official complaint by me means the council have failed to provide a suitable responce withint he 8 week time limit as discloded in the housing act 1966.

I am looking for someone who can see the human side to this story

I need help to stand up and fight for my rights. Feel free to check out my linkedin public profile after having to leave my last role due to ill health, I am disgusted I am or anyone is expected to live in these conditions.

I am an intelligent person, I can speak well when I am not manic or in a depressive period, I would welcome press interviews, tv or radio interviews or any way to expose this wrong doing and help changes peoples lives for the better.

If you want to interview me or have any comments please email them to daniel@survivorblog.co.uk

Revelation number 2 – Another Death

I have been informed that a vulnerable resident here at Pervical Terrace was found dead (suicide) last week, I don’t know anymore information and will update the blog when I have it, however for someone like me to break this news and the local media ignoring this issue shows their is something wrong here. How many more people have to die in these conditions?

Revelation Number 3 – Images from a Baron Homes property for those in emergency housing.

Thanks to another source I have here are some images, if you want to use these images you are required to ask me first for permission to use, you are welcome to share this blog on social media to highlight this issue locally.

I urgently need help from a lawyer to get justice for this, if you are a journalist or a researcher for a documentary Brighton’s Housing Mess and the individual stories linked need to been seen and heard to evoke change.

Again if you want to get in touch email me daniel@survivorblog.co.uk.

I look forward now to my next petition, make sure you subscribe to this blog for more updates or add me on Facebook.

The Day I Presented My Homeless Hotels From Hell Petition At Full Council

Homeless Hotels From Hell Full Council Brighton and Hove Petition Speech

Today I finally handed in my petition to the Brighton and Hove Mayor, over the last five months I have been campaigning to improve the standards of Emergency accommodation in the city.

Ten Point Plan To Improve Emergency Housing and Allocations

  1. Homemove Allocations for vulnerable persons in priority need with a duty of care should be awarded a higher banding than band C (the general band) when placed in emergency housing. I am looking for a band A Priority.
  2. More inspections of Emergency accommodation to ensure the living standards meets the needs of the people occupying them.
  3. Brighton and Hove City Council to adopt a plan to bring emergency housing into public ownership by 2020. The Council MUST pledge to stop funding private landlords who only have an interest in profit.
  4. I want the council to ask all applicants to complete surveys with all emergency housed people to ensure they have a voice.
  5. The right to food, is a human right protecting the right for people to feed themselves in dignity, The council must ensure that emergency housing adequately meets the individual’s dietary needs. The current conditions do not allow for a healthy diet which can be a huge issue for vulnerable people
  6. I want the Brighton and Hove City Council to be radical, rather than spend millions of tax payers money in private sector emergency and temporary housing, they should build more storage container homes after the success of the BHT scheme in Brighton.
  7. I want the council to ensure that all persons in emergency accommodation have access to the internet for free.
  8. To revoke the rules on no visitors. Vulnerable people are isolated enough and this in my opinion is discrimination. Even prisoners are allowed visitors.
  9. For persons who are vulnerable the council MUST provide them with secure social hosing to ensure they are able to live life free from FEAR and outside the Private Sector Property Scam.
  10. Ensure hot water is available in emergency housing for persons to wash in comfort.

How does the petition process work?

Once you have decided on a petition topic and found out who the decision makers are (which in my case were Tracey John and Sylvia Peckham) you then need to think about the specific area you want to improve with a detailed explanation on how you would improve this.

You need to get as many people as possible to sigh your petition, in Brighton and Hove you need to get 1250 signatures before you can have this debated. I used www.change.org.

What happened following my presentation?

Councillor Anne Meadows responded to my speech for two minutes, Anne thanked me for coming along and clarified the councils response to my plan for free internet access. She gave a solid commitment to come along and visit the emergency housing herself and maintained that regular inspections were in fact carried out on a regular basis.

Councillor Gibson from the Green Party Group asked to add an additional recommendation, which were as follows:

That the petition is noted and referred to the Housing & New Homes Committee for consideration at its meeting on the 15th June 2016; That Brighton & Hove City Council recommends that Housing & New Homes committee give due consideration to the following:-

  1. An increase in the frequency of inspections of emergency accommodation and report on the outcome of these inspections at regular intervals to Housing & New Homes Committee.
  2. That satisfaction surveys are undertaken with residents moving into emergency accommodation and the results reported back.
  3. Exploring along with other relevant committees as a matter of priority the identification of sites and explore the development of council owned low-cost emergency accommodation, either through a council owned company or directly owned by the council. That this exploration focuses on nontraditional, quick to build, construction such as the Y cube and containers be considered for these sites.
  4. Undertaking a review of the no visitor rules and consider the outcome at a future meeting.
  5. Adopting a policy of only using emergency accommodation in which hot water supply is guaranteed.

How can you make a difference

The motivation to evoke change whether it’s around fostering and adoption, housing, parking or even library closures can be something that not only gives you a sense of personal achievement but can also change people’s lives for the better.

A great way to start getting active in local politics is to maybe submit some written questions at full council to elected your councillors.

Stay in touch

I welcome comments and contributions below, alternatively you can follow my blog for further updates on this topic.

Blessings,

Daniel x

A Care Leaver Gets His Social Services Files Under Subject Access Request Rules

Hey Survivors and friends,

It was a lovely day today, the sun was shining and after a 3 day low I had my counselling with Mankind who are a charity in Brighton who work wonders providing much-needed counselling the LGBT Victims of Sexual and Child Abuse.

If you prefer media and videos below is a video of me venting about Social Services and the fact as a nation we are having more cut from public services.

Whilst I don’t believe social services helped me or my family, today we do see a different approach which of course still needs improving, we need to ensure public cuts don’t affect Children’s Services as they have now been rebranded to.

For  those of you who like to read, yes its been a tough St Paddy’s day, one in which the council have tested my limits yet again. All my life I have had questions, I’ve had the same memories,  i’ve also developed a strong sense of what is right from wrong. what I cannot understand is how an innocent six-year-old can get abused?.

Who are the real perpetrators here? How did this happen? Did I do something wrong? and why me? these are all genuine questions and the memories aren’t enough. Almost 3 months ago I embarked on a journey to discover the truth about my childhood, ok it is written from someone else’s perspective but its recorded.

What I can get is answers to my memories and I have, I have had specific memories that I have lived with all my life, certain smells that make me cringe and places which remind me of the past. I sit here in my emergency accommodation bed sit in sunny Brighton and Hove, I find that writing about this and other experiences is a form of rehabilitation.

I am however really frustrated with George Osbourne, yesterday was a white wash! He totally showed his real hand, he wasn’t bluffing. We on the other hand have more chips, we can beat these cuts and save vital services like “Social Services” who are their to help families in need, protect children and help get sexual predators but behind bars where he belongs.

Listen if you have any comments or want to share any stories with me I am always happy to listen, feel free to reblog this or follow for future updates.

I am off to sleep. Goodnight and blessings.

Daniel  x