Doncaster woman’s 12 year wait for a council house

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A woman who has been on a council house waiting list for 12 years says she is disgusted at the delay in finding her a home.

After spending more than a decade in limbo, Joanne North is currently sleeping on the sofa of her privately rented property due to an undiagnosed leg condition that means she is unable to get upstairs.

Miss North is currently on the gold band list – Doncaster Council’s second highest priority category.

The 44-year-old, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and depression after the death of her six-month-old baby Simon James when she was 19, says the situation is making both her mental and physical health even worse.

She said: “I complain to the council about the delays all the time and they just keep telling me to keep bidding – meanwhile other people seem to just walk straight into a council house.

“I want to be in Scawthorpe to be close to my occupational therapist but I’ve told the council there are four areas nearby that I’m happy to move to but it keeps dragging on.”

Miss North, who is currently living in Park Terrace, Doncaster, says she has even contacted her local MP Ed Miliband in a bid to resolve the situation.

After years of delays Miss North says she has now been forced to spend the last 15 months sleeping on the sofa as she waits to start a course of physiotherapy.

“The council came out to see if they could put a stair lift in my rented property but the staircase is too narrow, so I’ve got no choice but to sleep on the sofa at the minute,” she said. “It’s just getting me down and I don’t know what else I can do.”

Susan Jordan, chief executive of St Leger Homes, said: “Providing suitable accommodation for people in need of housing is of great importance to St Leger Homes.

“All applications are assessed according to our housing allocations policy criteria and this case has been placed in gold band which is our second highest priority list.

“Miss North is looking for a property in an area where there is high demand.

“We are more than happy to assist and advise her on properties we have across Doncaster which she may not have considered and where she may find a suitable home much more quickly.”

St Leger Homes manages Doncaster Council’s 21,000 homes across the borough.

The priority bands are platinum, gold, silver, bronze and general according to residents’ circumstances.