Getting a council house on priority depends on whether the claimant(s) meets the eligibility criteria to be ranked higher for allotment of council housing. The aim of this blog post is to explore whether someone can get a council house if they have a mental health problem. In addition to this, we will discuss the process of applying for a council house based on mental health problems as well as the impact of ones; housing conditions on their mental health.

Can I Get A Council House If I Have A Mental Health Problem?

Yes, you can get a council house if you have a mental health problem. In fact, you will be placed on priority for council housing if you have a mental health problem and are looking for a council house.

In addition to this, if someone suffers from a mental health problem and their mental health assessment reveals that they should not be living alone, council authorities can also suggest care homes, supported housing, therapeutic communities or crisis houses for individuals. 

However, some of these are paid services which will be offered on the basis of one’s income and savings. Since council houses are offered to individuals with a low income, some of the people who qualify for a council house may not be able to afford mental health care services on their own and may have to seek support through grants, and charities such as Find local Minds or their council authorities.

If you are applying for a council house on the grounds of a mental health concern, you will need a letter of support signed by a qualified GP, psychiatrist or psychologist who can confirm the health problems that you face, the impact of your current living conditions on your mental health and the potential advantage(s) to your mental health status by living in a council house.

How Can I Apply For Council Housing Due To A Mental Health Problem?

If you are applying for a council house on the ground of mental health concerns, you will need to provide evidence of the following: 

  • detailed assessment of your health conditions ideally signed by your GP
  • how your current place of residence is making your condition worse
  • how living in a council house can be beneficial to your mental health 

If a council housing applicant faced with depression is assessed with the need to have more support than they currently have, their GP or the council’s occupational therapist may advise the following alternate living arrangements through the council or charitable schemes:

  • Supported accommodations such as group flats or housing with self-contained accommodation and communal areas
  • Sheltered housing with medical and communal support
  • Hostels for short-term accommodation; usually until an applicant is allocated a council house 

How Can I Get A Letter Of Priority From My GP To Get Council Housing?

You can request your GP for a letter of priority that states details of your mental health and the impact better housing conditions can have on you. Otherwise, below is a sample draft that can be helpful in getting a council house on the mental health grounds:

Dear To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing to you today with reference to the council housing application filed by Ms. (insert name) with the request for a claim to priority considering their medical condition.

My name is Dr. (insert name). I have been consulting the applicant for the past two years now for depression and anxiety. 

Ms. (insert name) has been living in overcrowded conditions for the past few years due to her limited income from part-time employment. With her inability to afford an independent place to rent privately, the situation keeps getting more challenging due to the financial constraints she faces. 

It is, therefore, requested that Ms. (insert name) be granted council housing on a priority basis so that her health does not deteriorate any further under the current living conditions. I am sure that once she finds community support and is able to manage her expenses through affordable housing, Ms. (insert name) will find an improvement in her general well-being.

Enclosed are some of the medical recommendations made to the applicant over the course of the past few months by the undersigned. Should you require further details regarding her medical records, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sincerely,

(name of author)

(position held by author)

(organisation/department)

Does Poor Housing Increase Mental Health Problems?

Yes, poor housing conditions can increase mental health problems faced by those who are vulnerable. Some of these include the following:

  • Anxiety, Depression and Stress
  • Physical health problems
  • Sleep disorders
  • Relationship difficulties

As per research, poor housing conditions or a hostile neighbourhood are the main reasons for mental health problems in a lot of cases. Additionally, individuals with mental health problems face the following issues:

  • They are one and a half times more likely to live in rented housing
  • They are twice as likely to be unhappy with their home
  • They are four times as likely to say that their housing condition makes their health worse

Conclusion:

The discussion in this article brings us to the conclusion that not only can you get council housing due to a mental health problem, but you will also be placed on a higher priority rank so that you are provided with council accommodation as early as possible. You can get help from your GP with a letter of support when you apply for a council house so that you have evidence to support your claim.

FAQs: Can I Get A Council House If I Have A Mental Health Problem?

What support is available for a mental illness?

The kind of support that is available for mental illness includes community mental health teams (CMHTs) social (or community) care, residential care and crisis intervention.

What is a medical priority for housing?

Medical priority for council housing is awarded n cases where the applicant (or a family member) is either suffering due to the conditions of their current home or they are making their health worse or they fail to meet their medical needs. A change in residence is expected to improve the ailing person’s health or provide them with better medical amenities.

Can your GP help with housing?

Yes, your GP can help with housing by writing a letter to state your medical needs in support of your application. However, even if they don’t write a letter, the council will contact them for an assessment of your medical needs if your council housing application is based on medical grounds.

Can you be evicted if you have mental health issues?

No, you cannot be evicted if you have mental health issues and your health concern is categorised as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 as this will be considered direct discrimination.

Can I claim benefits for depression and anxiety in the UK?

Yes, you can claim benefits for depression and anxiety in the UK. These include Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, employment and support allowance and universal credit.

References:

Housing and mental health

Shelter’s report on the impact housing has on mental health

Housing and mental health

Social Housing and People with Mental Health Difficulties | The National Disability Authority

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