Bill was referred to our advocacy service by a Social Worker from an Older People’s Team. Bill had been told by the Manager at the sheltered housing scheme where he lived that he was being served notice because of anti-social behaviour which they claimed contravened his tenancy agreement.
Given the urgency of the situation an advocate met quickly with Bill who told them that he had been accused by other residents of causing noise disturbance and of being verbally abusive. Bill disputed these allegations and told his advocate that they were untrue. He felt that he was being unfairly treated and that this was having an impact on his health and well-being.
Under Bill’s instruction our advocate requested a meeting with the housing provider and Scheme Manager. At the meeting, the advocate asked what steps had been taken in relation to the accusations. It transpired that formal process had been followed and nothing had been documented. The advocate challenged this as unjust and requested copies of the organisation’s policy in relation to potential eviction. The advocate also asked why mediation had not been explored.
The housing provider agreed that in hindsight they should have handled the situation differently. Bill also spoke in his own defence and explained that he felt as though he had been unfairly singled out by other tenants.
Because the advocate had challenged the process that had been followed, the Scheme Manager agreed to contact their Operations Manager about the situation. Later that day, they agreed to call off any potential action and look at mediation between the residents. They also acknowledged that in future any disagreements of this type would be properly recorded and documented before formal action is begun.
This is an example of how we can help to achieve change on two levels: Bill had a positive outcome – keeping his home and losing the cause of a lot of anxiety and the practices of the housing scheme were improved because of the intervention.