Homeless hotels from hell – Daniel’s story!

Besi Besemar February 1, 2016

After three years, Brighton and Hove Council have overturned their earlier decision not to home Daniel Harris and accepted they have a care of duty to him and he is in priority need.

Daniel Harris
Daniel Harris

Last week the Council’s Housing Department put Daniel into emergency housing which he says is not fit for purpose and he has challenged local Councillors and the Head of Housing for Brighton and Hove City Council, Tracey John, to spend a night in the type of property they are putting vulnerable people, many with mental health issues into.

Here is Daniel Story:

“Having been homeless and sofa surfing for 3 years, Brighton and Hove City Council finally overturned a decision stating I was in fact in priority need and rightly so accepted a duty of care.

Today I was emergency housed at Percival Terrace in Brighton & Hove, there are over 60 rooms in this privately owned accommodation. In order for me to be housed and not street homeless I accepted the property.

I am suffering from a mental illness and in particular from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following sexual abuse I suffered as a six-year-old boy. I didn’t have an advocate with me today at the meeting with the council and feel I have been pushed into a decision which is unlawful and took advantage of my vulnerable position right now. I am suffering from chronic anxiety and depression, however I am having counselling which I missed today in order to move.

The rent on this self-contained room is £28 a day, I have to pay a further £50 a month for utilities and Council Tax. I have worked out I am actually £600 worse of each month moving from my friend’s house where I was paying £300 a month. In total I have to pay £900 a month to live here.

I tried to commit suicide last year when everything got too much, I am in recovery and have a history of not eating well, this room only has a microwave. The bed is not fit to sleep in and the mattress is stained with what looks like urine. The ceiling is falling apart and I am now seriously doubting a way forward in my life, I simply cannot afford to pay those rates and am considering quitting my job.

I am not allowed visitors so I will be on my own a lot, I was told today that I should feel privileged as most people get moved 30 miles away, I should feel privileged that I am staying in the city my family have lived for over 300 years, I am privileged for needing support in terms of my medical condition.

Based on my calculations on £800 a month rent x 60 rooms in total that’s £540,000 vulnerable people are paying to this Private Landlord annually. 

Please support me by signing this petition and asking the council to give me a secure property that meets my needs.

By supporting this petition you will be supporting other homeless people as I will ask the council to review their policy for placing vulnerable people in privately owned accommodation which is a detriment to their health.” 

Daniel is calling for a review of his application to the council and his circumstances in particular with regards to the historic sexual abuse which Brighton and Hove Children Services refuse to investigate to help him get the answers and move on with his life.

To sign the petition, click here:

Gscene have asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr Warren Morgan, Cllr Anne Meadows Labour’s lead on housing, Cllr Caroline Penn, Labour’s lead on Mental Health issues and Tracey John the council’s Head of Housing if they will be taking up Daniel’s challenge and spending a night in his room or a similar one where they are placing vulnerable people. We await their reply.

In the meantime you can sign sign Daniel’s petition here: