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to think about living in a caravan in a field?

(146 Posts)
OhLori Fri 12-Apr-13 17:46:45

I am on HB with one child. Been offered one flat that smells totally of piss, on a housing estate that looks like something out of the Soviet Union, circa 1959. I mean open-air prisons look more inviting: low-rise, green spaces, plenty of facilities. (Those architects should be serving life sentences, preferably living in the flats they designed).

At least I could do a nice fry-up outdoors in the morning, like the gypsies do.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 15:10:04

It is doable, but is it doable for a person with no money who is renting?

GoSuckEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 16:09:43

i dont know expat, it is not something we are/would consider. One of my friends is claiming housing benefit and living aboard. I am not sure of the ins and outs of her situation. She lives on a boat with her 2 children, and has housing benefit to pay for a mooring.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 17:03:20

'One of my friends is claiming housing benefit and living aboard. I am not sure of the ins and outs of her situation.'

That's illegal. You can claim housing benefit to pay for site fees/mooring fees, but you do so because you are living in that council.

But it's not really helping the OP to tell her to buy a boat when she doesn't have any money to do so or she wouldn't be claiming benefits. The threshold for claiming HB varies by council but it usually between £8-£16K so she's not going to be able to live on a boat if she can't find someone who has one and is willing to rent to a HB claimant.

VerySmallSqueak Mon 15-Apr-13 21:12:40

Teacup do you Winter in the caravan or the boat?

<nosy>

GoSuckEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 21:55:19

what is illegal? she is claiming benefits to pay for mooring fees. so what is the problem?

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 22:04:21

Because she doesn't live in the UK.

GoSuckEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 22:05:19

where have i said that she does not live in england?

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 22:05:31

The LHA is to pay for mooring fees in the council in which she resides, which is not in the UK if she is living abroad.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 22:05:55

You said she is living abroad.

GoSuckEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 22:06:42

no i didnt. read it again

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 22:10:54

K, sorry. My bad.

Still not very helpful to the OP unless there's some way the OP can find a boat owner who will rent out their boat to someone on HB. Because if she had that kind of money needed to buy a boat she would, until that money was spent, be ineligible for benefits.

GoSuckEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 22:14:33

"unless there's some way the OP can find a boat owner who will rent out their boat to someone on HB" - there you go, it is helpful if she can find someone to rent to her.

stubbornstains Mon 15-Apr-13 22:31:54

Awww...lots of boat and caravan dwellers coming out of the woodwork smile. I've lived in both. In fact, I've got a boat for sale too. But mine's a little fat sailing boat (I used to live in it).

I'm so much poorer since I moved into a house- costs are sky-high compared to a caravan or boat.

The problem with trying to live in either is lack of places to moor a liveaboard/ put a caravan. Loads of boatyard owners don't like to have liveaboards, and it's very difficult to get planning permission to live in a caravan somewhere. Which is crap, crap, crappity crap, crap with crap on top.

Can you imagine how much money this country would save on HB if anyone who wanted to live in a caravan could? Many farmers could do with some extra money- they could have a field full of caravans- make it nice, everyone could have a garden area, piped water and electricity, charge a modest rent, win/win. Our local town has an expanding university, and everyone moans about the new student accommodation they're throwing up- what about some caravan sites on the edge of town? Etc etc etc....

My dark and paranoid suspicion is that "they" won't change the planning laws to make it easier to live in temporary dwellings because it would reduce demand for housing, hence house prices would go down AND THAT WOULD BE THE END OF THE WORLD.

thegreylady Mon 15-Apr-13 22:45:03

We have had four narrow boats over 25 years and if I were younger I'd live on one like a shot. They are very cosy with the stove lit and usually have access to all mod cons. However they are expensive to buy. The very cheapest 40 foot boat would cost at least £20,000. A caravan can cost less than £1000 but would only be a temporary solution.

thegreylady Mon 15-Apr-13 22:47:06

She said living aboard not abroad!

OhLori Tue 16-Apr-13 09:33:30

My dark and paranoid suspicion is that "they" won't change the planning laws to make it easier to live in temporary dwellings because it would reduce demand for housing, hence house prices would go down AND THAT WOULD BE THE END OF THE WORLD

Wow, I have also had the same dark suspicions as yourself! i.e. its all about control and ensuring the profits of private property.

Other times I have thought its because the chocolate box countryside would look a bit of a mess if caravans were here and there. But then again, the way you describe it, it could be done nicely. Some of the countryside looks a bit sterile to be honest. Few farmers live there anymore as farming is largely done by machine. It might be nice to have a few more people living and moving around doing stuff (or am I being hopeless naieve?). I have even thought of claiming "traveller" status to achieve my housing idea but am probably too old and decrepit to actually live like that, and one of my wackier ideas ...

Anyway, I do share your sentiments entirely.

stubbornstains Tue 16-Apr-13 10:09:17

Other times I have thought its because the chocolate box countryside would look a bit of a mess if caravans were here and there

I think definitely our countryside would look different if more people were allowed to live there in cheap, low impact dwellings, Lori. It would look messier and more rambling; there would be lots of sheds, shacks, ingenious constructions, small gardens and vegetable plots everywhere; probably little fields with pigs and chickens in all over the place. In short, a lot like it would have looked pre-Enclosure Act, when the landlords took the poor peoples' common land away, thus depriving them of a living and effectively banishing them from the countryside.

I've just been up to my parents in the Home Counties, and we travelled through a lot of North Bucks/ Oxon countryside, which I found alienating and depressing. Huge, huge bare windswept fields, with hardly any houses, and the ones that there were were really big, posh ones.

The problem is that this is what people have been conditioned to think of as "ideal countryside"- fields and trees with no people, even though this is an intensively humanised landscape. People think that it has magically looked this way forever, when in fact it's a creation of the enclosures about 200 years ago.

I think we need a whole new debate about what the countryside is for and how it should be used.

kim147 Tue 16-Apr-13 10:18:42

It's not helped by the fact that every piece of land is owned - including the actual river. I'd just love to take a boat - any boat - down a river but that's impossible - because it's all owned and you just can't get permission.

I have researched this a while ago and it does seem difficult to get moorings. Especially permanent moorings.

lollilou Tue 16-Apr-13 13:45:01

I think that farmers/landowners being allowed to have a field of static vans that can be lived in all year round is a great one. Why not? It would help farmers and people needing homes. I'm sure it could be managed in such a way that it doesn't cause a blot on the landscape. Perhaps limiting the amount allowed.

valiumredhead Tue 16-Apr-13 16:12:29

I actually did live in a caravan in the middle of a field as a child - there is a reason that I have a house and I am the biggest homebody ever as an adult wink

TeacupTempest Tue 16-Apr-13 19:19:47

Sorry cant remember who asked up thread but:

At anchor near the mouth of the river mostly. Used to move along the coast and up and down rivers much more pre DD. Moor up in very sever weather conditions (or sometimes just for a change).

Winter in the caravan (on the moors! but that's just to be near family for DD. We used to live on a boat all year round.

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