Joanne’s story

By Staff Reporter

Joanne’s story

JOANNE, a mother of three children, has been on the housing waiting list for over two years since her marriage broke up. She works part-time and lives in rented accommodation with the Housing Executive paying a portion of her rent through housing benefit.

“I have 152 points and three children who all live with me, but even that’s not enough to get me a house in West Belfast,” said Joanne. “I lived with family in the first few months after my marriage broke up and have been on the housing waiting list since 2009, but have mostly had to rent.

“This causes great upheaval when landlords need you to move on as you cannot build a home for your family. Because I work part-time my housing benefit does not pay for all my rent so I have to make up the shortfall myself with my own money.  I’m worried with the cuts in welfare that are being brought in, I worry that I won’t be able to afford to do this any more.”

Joanne said that her mental health has deteriorated because of the uncertainty over her family’s future.

“I am suffering from depression and this is made worse by being uprooted and going from house to house,” she said.

“I would love to get allocated a house so I can bring stability to my children’s lives – and to my own.”

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