I found myself in an impossible situation this July 2022 and I feel I need to take action and highlight this issue. For the sake of my own family and other people in this position
No kids, no dogs, no benefits.
My name is Rah Petherbridge and I need £325k. Since 2004, I’ve worked as an Artist and Photographer in London. My work has been featured in the National Portrait Gallery and my images often accompany five-star theatrical production in the national press. I'm a single mum to a 6-year-old boy pictured here in our current home in Anerly.
The flat is being sold so I’ve been given notice to find another home. When I started my search I quickly encountered some difficult hurdles.
Some of the issues didn’t seem right …
no families, no benefits, working couples only, you must have a guarantor who earns over 50K per annum based in the UK or I must earn 2.5 x the annual rent.
If you don’t have any of these you need to pay a year's rent in advance. This is nearly 15k. I’m from a working-class background, I earn a humble wage and don’t have that kind of money available to me.
I approached the council for help. They said I would only be considered ‘homeless’ and in need, if I’m forcibly removed from the property. I would then be offered temporary accommodation for up to 5 years. This would most likely be a bedsit or one bed in a hotel situation. This seems to be my only option and my landlady has filed for a court order to have me removed from the property. She's a kind person and understands I'm not trying to make trouble. I cannot help but feel my self-worth fall apart.
I’m selling this print of my son in our home for £325k. I’ve priced it at that because this is what our home is for sale at. As you can see, it’s basic but big enough for novelty sink bath times, painting on the table, and stories of invisible strings that tie us all together. It’s room enough for our lovely life together! If I sell this print I can buy our home. I can share the memory with the buyer, knowing that we are going to make many more memories. It may seem like a large price tag, but what it buys is quite priceless and unique.
At that £325k, it becomes unfathomably valuable for me and my son’s well-being. I don’t seem to have many options and nobody has any answers for me. I’ve moved 18 times in as many years. I want to offer my son stability. So many people are facing this trauma and we can’t continue to do the bare minimum. This must change.