CROYDON COMMENTARY: Over the weekend, I Daniel Blake, the heart-rending story of our broken benefits system, was named British film of the year at the BAFTAs. And here at Inside Croydon Towers, we received this account from a Croydon mother which demonstrates the daily, desperate struggles faced by some of the most vulnerable in our society*
I am currently working full-time as well as being a carer for my 12-year-old daughter. She has just been discharged from hospital and I have had to take two weeks off to care for her.
Being a carer and working full-time has been very hard and challenging for both off us.
I live with my daughter in a privately rented property, which is where I was placed after being in temporary housing for months. I pay a substantial amount of rent out of my wages, which leaves us with next to nothing to live off for the month (including bills and travel). My working tax and child tax credits have been stopped, so I only receive child benefit. I am in no fit situation to keep the property up and running due to this.
We have had to stay with friends and family to get by. But this still does not help. I am trying to find some sort of housing scheme or associations that help carers like myself, as I am finding it very hard to keep my head above water.
I now have been forced to go part-time as I can not work so many hours and care for my child, and pay the amount of rent I am paying.
The flat has a vast amount of mould and mildew, which I have reported. It smells.
There are also mice, and I have also reported this, and sent pictures to my landlord and council.
There doesn’t seem to be any options for people like myself.
My daughter struggles a lot as she wants to be at home. She understands I am financially unstable, and this just makes me feel worse.
I feel I have exhausted all other options. I need help. But there’s no where else to turn.
* Croydon Commentaries are usually authored pieces, a platform for all points of view. On this occasion, we have agreed to withhold the author’s identity
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