How to get a council house - definition of entitled?

(94 Posts)
Notcontent Wed 30-Apr-14 21:39:06

Just watching that show on channel four. Yes, I know, I shouldn't watch it but need some rubbish tv. Anyway, that woman Marilyn - really, why would she go on tv when she is obviously being so unreasonable. She has been offered a place to live but nothing is good enough for her. I know she is not representative of most people but in a minority. But annoying nonetheless.

I was buying a place a while ago. I quickly realised I couldn't afford the perfect house in the perfect location. So I ended up buing a really shitty house that ticked a few boxes because that's all I could afford. And I am very grateful.

LEMmingaround Wed 30-Apr-14 21:42:10

biscuit FFS - you know these programs are highly edited don't you! I am pleased for you that you have managed to buy a shitty house that ticked a few boxes, that is alot more than many can afford.

Nerf Wed 30-Apr-14 21:44:44

Actually I'm not sure what they could have cut out that would have redeemed Marilyn. I feel for Steve though, and the man trying to leave home. There should be more social housing, it's disgraceful.

racmun Wed 30-Apr-14 21:45:29

I agree notcontent. It may be edited but these events have occurred these people do exsist.

The people who have 6 daughters then moan about being overcrowded!! Why keep on having children??????

rinabean Wed 30-Apr-14 21:45:33

It absolutely doesn't count that you watched a show that exploits people who don't know what they're in for to whip up hatred - because you knew it was wrong and you shouldn't have! Congratulations! You are a superior human being. Please, give us all your wisdom and we will worship at your feet. I really admire you for the things you've shared, like how you're able to afford to buy a house, which makes you better than others, and not only that you are wise and humble and grateful about it. I think they'll make you a saint one day. It's an honour to have read your post and YANBU at all.

JackyDanny Wed 30-Apr-14 21:46:48

Rina grin

And now you own an asset that will, with a bit of luck, increase in value, leaving you better off and able to climb the next rung to something that ticks a few more of your boxes. So cheer up and stop poking poor people smile

Notcontent Wed 30-Apr-14 21:47:27

I really, really feel sorry for Steve. No one should be truly homeless - ie living on the street.

chocolatespiders Wed 30-Apr-14 21:48:25

Loved how pleased the young couple were with the temp one bedroom flat smile

JackyDanny Wed 30-Apr-14 21:49:00

Sadly, they are. And it decreases your life expectancy by 25 years. Homelessness is a death sentence

Bigglesfliesundone Wed 30-Apr-14 21:51:07

I think it's a bit wrong that they make three people view the property at the same time. Like offering sweets to three and then taking them away from two of them. Can't they stagger the viewings?

Nerf Wed 30-Apr-14 21:52:16

I totally feel for Steve. I wonder if Marilyn has mental health issues?

Notcontent Wed 30-Apr-14 21:52:32

Actually, Rina, you have no idea what my circumstances are. I am a lone parent and you really wouldn't want to live in my house - it's horrible and damp. The only reason why I bought it is because the mortgage repayments are less than if I had tried to rent privately.

What I am saying is that we all want a really nice place to live - but most of us can't get that.

Roshbegosh Wed 30-Apr-14 21:54:17

Sharif and girlfriend not working and choose to have a baby and then they believe they deserve the nice flat they ended up with. They were lucky.
Marilyn must have mental health problems and then the family feeling sorry for themselves for being moved to Kent with cartloads of children and the eldest daughter with a baby, no one ever cleans the house though. All so entitled and none of them get off their arses and go out to work, and they have babies without a care.
I do agree there should be more social housing but some of these people are feckless.

Notcontent Wed 30-Apr-14 21:54:40

Nerf - you may be right - she isn't really making sense. In which case she shouldn't have been filmed.

Joules68 Wed 30-Apr-14 21:55:24

Marilyn has only herself to blame. What did she want?

Nerf Wed 30-Apr-14 21:55:44

Yes I agree, I am also horrified at Steve being filmed while drinking.

Roshbegosh Wed 30-Apr-14 21:58:40

rina wtf are you so nasty for? At least the OP is trying her best and she makes a valid point, life is hard and you have to compromise.

BillyBanter Wed 30-Apr-14 21:59:42

So very very many programmes on the tv just now about people on benefits, people getting council houses etc.

I wonder why.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 30-Apr-14 21:59:58

Steve seems vulnerable, I was very shock and sad to see him knocking his meds back with a glass of wine.

Pipbin Wed 30-Apr-14 22:00:29

I think it is worth understanding that programs like this are very cleverly edited. And that doesn't just mean what they cut out. It's the music they use and the shots they chose. For example when Steve, the reformed alcoholic was moving they showed a shot of a box of wine glasses. We also saw him drinking from a wine glass. There was no indication that he was actually drinking wine.
When they looked round Marilyn's flat they showed her iPad on her bed.

They insinuate things that they cannot say.

expatinscotland Wed 30-Apr-14 22:00:37

Julie, a two bed house with a garden in London. Sure.

Nerf Wed 30-Apr-14 22:01:15

But Steve has said he's drinking again.

Why did you buy a damp property? That's not a great investment whatever your budget unless you can afford to have a lot of work done. Did you not take any advice? Sounds a bit feckless to me.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 30-Apr-14 22:01:16

The disgust thing about that program was the market rents on the propertys. Obscene.

PavlovtheCat Wed 30-Apr-14 22:04:13

Steve seems vulnerable, I was very shock and sad to see him knocking his meds back with a glass of wine.

Is that not normal then shock, it goes down much better with a glass of wine. At least he was using a glass.

giggleshizz Wed 30-Apr-14 22:04:36

Watching it too. Was tempted to start a thread but too lazy grin. Was thinking exactly the same thing 're entitlement! If you move to a council house with one child and an adequate sized house for the three of you, how on earth can you keep having more without any plan to actually be able to buy/rent something to accommodate said family.

My heart sinks for those who genuinely are made homeless and desperate but as for the others...what a sense of entitlement!

Btw I am a LP with small dd who was made homeless. Thank my lucky stars for my mum who took us in and we have a very comfortable home until I get back on my freet. This show makes me think 'there for the grace of God.....'

Pipbin Wed 30-Apr-14 22:06:21

And like one of the housing officers said the problem is the council houses that have been sold off and are now being rented back to the council. Council houses should never have been sold.
not that I bought an ex council house you understand

I watched this. I felt for Steve but I don't understand why the options are 'one bed flat' or 'homelessness'. Of course he'll struggle to find his own flat for £254pw, but he could rent a room in a shared house/flat for about £150pw.

Swathes of professionals in their 20s/30s and beyond can only afford shared accommodation post-University in London and it's a reality for a generation. And if you're single it's better than homelessness if that's your only other option.

BillyBanter Wed 30-Apr-14 22:10:28

It would have been ok to sell the council houses if the money had been ringfenced and used for building more council houses. I can't remember whether councils were banned from using it to build more or just heavily discouraged.

Nerf Wed 30-Apr-14 22:11:30

But is it the housing benefit? So if he rented a room at 150 he'd only get 100? I don't know how it works.

So there's a banker, a benefit claimant and a daily mail reader sitting down to share ten biscuits. While the others are not looking, the banker swipes nine of the biscuits and says to the daily mail reader, 'careful, that benefits claimant is after your biscuit!'

Wise up! This is divide-and-conquer bullshit. Ask yourselves where the real money has gone. A very few people are doing very well indeed.

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 22:15:15

I'm with you, I felt really sorry for Steve, but couldn't believe the attitude that Marilyn had. Or that women that wouldn't move out of her three bed place unless she got a house with a garden. She was incredibly selfish.

chocolatespiders Wed 30-Apr-14 22:16:13

So many people continue to live in the family homes when there children have left home.. Should people only be able to stay in the property while it meets their need and be moved on when it is no longer appropriate for them? Or should they be able to stay in the family home even if it means they are rattling around with 2 spare bedrooms.

The council offering 1000 incentive for the lady to move was an eye opener! In my job I see lots of people in under occupied properties and then also the extremes of severe heartbreaking over crowding.

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 30-Apr-14 22:17:26

"The problem is the council houses that have been sold off and are now being rented back to the council."

Crazy times!

HopeClearwater Wed 30-Apr-14 22:19:13

why would she go on tv when she is obviously being so unreasonable

Duh!! Wrong question!

The question should be:

why would tv makers film her when she is obviously being so unreasonable

and the answer is:

'Because it makes good TV as thoughtless, gullible people like the OP fall for it every time'.

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 22:35:05

Do people really think that even with editing that women didn't really turn down three separate offers of permanent homes and that she didn't really think she deserved whatever sort of a home she wanted?

Editing and carefully chosen shots can only do so much.

Quoteunquote Wed 30-Apr-14 22:38:53
BillyBanter Wed 30-Apr-14 22:45:53

I don't think any ethical programme maker should be churning out this crap at all.

Pipbin Wed 30-Apr-14 22:48:51

I don't think any ethical programme maker should be churning out this crap at all.

No, but these aren't ethical programme makers.

Pipbin Wed 30-Apr-14 22:51:27

Do people really think that even with editing that women didn't really turn down three separate offers of permanent homes and that she didn't really think she deserved whatever sort of a home she wanted?

I'm sure she did. I also feel that she may have had mental health issues. We also didn't see the state of the other properties that she was offered. I agree that she should have cut her loses and taken one of them but they could have been on some dreadful sink estate, have needed a lot of work or been on fire or something.

Ketchuphidestheburntbits Wed 30-Apr-14 22:56:31

I felt very sorry for the council worker who was being shouted and sworn at. She was only carrying out her job and didn't deserve the abuse. I suspect she has rude people treating her like rubbish every single day.

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 22:59:04

I don't think there's anything wrong with the programme being made, what's unethical about a documentary showing how housing is organised in certain parts of the country?

Generally people who want to promote the plight of the poor want these things to be discussed openly so that people who are unaffected can see what's going on.

Busybusybust Wed 30-Apr-14 23:05:48

I thought Marilyn had some sort of cognitive problem. Possibly brain damage - accident, drugs, who knows. But really didn't appear to be 'all there'

Oh, and the selling off of council housing stock - not one of Mrs Thatcher's better ideas, but the worst bit was that the Government banned councils from using the proceeds of sales to replenish social housing stock.

happybubblebrain Wed 30-Apr-14 23:13:16

I felt sorry for all of them. It must be really hard. And the rents are ridiculous.

But, what I don't understand is why people are so reluctant to move out of London when you can have a better standard of living in most of the rest of the country. Can you someone explain that to me.

Forago Wed 30-Apr-14 23:15:30

taking selective editing outbofbthe equation, I did see a lot of unnecessary rudeness to people trying to help. I think the housing officers attitude to people was telling - think they probably had the best idea of who "deserved" a break and who was playing the system.

all the "because I deserve it" got a bit wearing I have to say. As well as the reluctance to move out of London to find somewhere big enough and affordable for families - like myself and everybody I know that was also born in London has had to.

WooWooOwl Wed 30-Apr-14 23:16:41

I guess people just want to stay where they know other people and they have friends. I can understand that for single people who don't have children and are literally on their own in life. It's less understandable when you will be moving with family.

Forago Wed 30-Apr-14 23:20:21

they were being asked to move a 30/40 Min train ride away though. people move way further than that for education, jobs etc on their own. I just cant see how cramming your kids into a mouldy flat in tower hamlets is preferable to an affordable house in Kent or Essex (where they do have midwives)

Roshbegosh Wed 30-Apr-14 23:25:06

It doesn't matter how affordable it is because they won't be paying for it.

happybubblebrain Wed 30-Apr-14 23:27:23

Most people move in their lives for university/college, careers, relationships, opportunities. New friends can be made. Family will always be on the end of the phone/internet. I still don't see why people are reluctant to stay put and not accept a better life for themselves and their children. London property is unaffordable to most people now.

BoomBoomsCousin Wed 30-Apr-14 23:27:26

OP why are you "very grateful" about buying a shitty house? Isn't semi-reasonable housing a reasonable expectation for people who live in one of the richest countries on earth? A country in which the vast majority of the wealth is owned y a miniscule percentage of the population (and quite a lot of the housing stock is owned by people who aren't even members of the UK population).

I didn't watch the program, let alone know the woman involved, so I don't know if she was entitled. But being very grateful for the opportunity to work hard and purchase shitty housing sounds like you are too far out of balance in the other direction. That is something to be angry about, not grateful.

Forago Thu 01-May-14 07:30:31

yeah I meant affordable for the council

sarahquilt Thu 01-May-14 07:41:02

Felt sorry for the older man with arthritis but Marilyn and the family of 6 were ridiculous. Why couldn't she be working? Also, why should the council have to look for accommodation for people who refuse to use contraception? There has to be some requirement for personal responsibility. Most people work their asses off to pay for a roof over their heads.

Deathraystare Thu 01-May-14 07:43:41

I am still shocked from the last programme when a guy said most people are now priced out of the local private rent/sale market in Tower Hamlets. Tower hamlets ffs!!!! Was one of the cheaper boroughs. They are shoving them out to place like Loughton and Barking which are already crowded (esp Barking) as it is one of the more cheaper areas. What happens when the poor run out of places to rent/buy???

This is what happens when councils sell off housing stock and let people buy sad . I was especially annoyed by the couple with all those children who just assume that they will get to the head of queue and be ENTITLED to a bigger home and they have spawned more kids without a worry as to how they will be rehoused. This means another large private property will be found for them, doesn't it??

Interesting tht those born and bred seem to be at the back of queue (and no I am not voting UKIP, and I don't just mean white English when I say that.)

eurochick Thu 01-May-14 07:47:19

Most of tower hamlets isn't so cheap anymore. Canary Wharf is in TH and the City is right next door. It's filling up with professionals in many parts.

JakeBullet Thu 01-May-14 07:49:06

I didn't see the programme but sometimes people stay put because their support structure is there.
I don't live in London but my family are my safety net. ...DS is autistic and just having family at the end of the phone isn't always enough.....although it's a good second best. It's the practical support they can give at times which is my saving grace.
I am in HA housing in Essex.....also an expensive area to rent or buy. No way would I consider moving away from my support network.
I work part time and it's hard to manage this and my son ....Full time work is not possible at the moment but preferable to not working ....also nd for two years I couldn't work. Work is my sanity grin.
I couldn't afford a private rental in this area.

AramintaDeWinter Thu 01-May-14 08:05:08

pubGarden your post is brilliant!
"So there's a banker, a benefit claimant and a daily mail reader sitting down to share ten Biscuits. While the others are not looking, the banker swipes nine of the biscuits and says to the daily mail reader, 'careful, that benefits claimant is after your biscuits !'"

Deathraystare Thu 01-May-14 08:09:04

jakebullet - this is th eproblem I have with peope being told to move out of the area, or the idea behind the bedroom tax. So many people have an established support network - and in particular I am thinking of he mentally ill who have taken mnths/years to build up confidence to trust their doctor/care team/social worker but are expected to move out of the borough??

Euro - yes I realise that but it still amazes me - hence my comment about the poor being driven out of even the cheaper areas. Rents seem high wherever you go though there may be a difference oop North I guess.

msscoob Thu 01-May-14 08:18:16

I wonder when they are going to make a programme about entitled politicians viewing tax payer paid for second homes with a glass of champagne and turning their noses up due to lack of original features or something of that like

Feminine Thu 01-May-14 08:22:11

The show made me livid.

I felt very angry that the man born and bred his entire life (in Tower Hamlets) was unable to find a home in that borough.

Housing on this tiny island is a mess!

Lj8893 Thu 01-May-14 08:47:38

it doesn't matter how affordable it is because they won't be paying for it

I haven't watched the programme so not sure about all the people on there, but you do realise not all social housing tenants claim HB yeah?

angelos02 Thu 01-May-14 09:54:51

Out of my circle of friends, not one person has not had to move at least once in their life due to work. I've moved a few times for work opportunities and not given it a second thought. People that don't work being given properties in central London is bonkers.

Forago Thu 01-May-14 10:27:34

Mental health and support structure is a separate and important issue - of course it is.

But a young, healthy couple in the early stages of a pregnancy (apparently, of course) refusing to move because "my midwife is here" is ridiculous. I never saw the same midwife twice in any of my pg except in the first where I moved out of London midway through but chose to come back in to use the same hospital.

I thought the program was very interesting because, as that housing chap said, whether society as a whole believes people should be given free or subsidised housing when they don't work, and we can bitch about it on here all day, the reality of the situation is that it is not sustainable in London and people will have to leave. As most people who work in central London already have.

Xenadog Thu 01-May-14 11:16:52

My blood pressure was raised last night when watching this programme but for so many reasons.

However, when the older guy with arthritis was saying he was struggling to find a ground floor flat (Just wondering would not a flat with a lift have also been suitable?) I went on Right Move and found loads of flats within the council's budget which met his needs. Admittedly the only flats in TH were flat shares but if he wasn't fussy about the area then there were definitely loads of places he could have lived in in a self-contained flat.

I think the reality is there isn't enough social housing and I can't imagine we will ever have enough of it now so the councils have to make very difficult decisions. It's not ideal but I think people will have to relocate to find a home.

Xena did ou find loads of flats within his budget that old also accept housing benefit ? Because that was the problem.
He found a nice place that would accept him but the council refused because it cost £50 more tan hi HB, despite him assuring them that he could pay the shortfall

So they can't provide him anywhere, they don't pay enough to cover private rents and they won't allow him to pay the difference - what's the chap supposed to do ?

Absolutely ridiculous situation when you have a disabled person born and bred in this country made homeless and a family housed in an adequate 2 bed but continue to churn out children they can't afford to keep demanding a bigger property

Forago Thu 01-May-14 11:50:07

its a condition of many buy to let mortgages that they cannot have tenants funded by HB. I think if I was on the list for a property and was healthy and able to work I'd be seriously considering moving away from London or retraining, getting a second job etc, as its clearly only going to be the very vulnerable who get to the top of the list going forward. in London anyway.

Xenadog Thu 01-May-14 12:14:40

Korma I am absolutely sure that is the problem - private landlords wouldn't accept housing benefit. I guess a large number of properties I saw on RM wouldn't accept HB either. Am I right in thinking that HB gets paid to the tenant and not directly to the landlord these days? I imagine if this is the case (and I haven't just dreamt it up) many LL will be reluctant to take the tenants on.

It's an awful situation - rights and wrongs on both sides - but I really think the decline of social housing under Thatcher has led to this plight.

shirlynot Thu 01-May-14 12:46:15

It was really sad to see Steve turned down for help from the council because of the £50 excess on the rent, though I can understand why they have their limits. I have to top up just over £50 for my rent and it's only manageable because I get extra benefits for my disability, so it suggests to me that he probably isn't getting everything he should be (DLA) although they didn't reveal what benefits he was getting, but many people only get ESA which would not be enough on its own to top up an extra £50 a week and survive.

expatinscotland Thu 01-May-14 12:50:12

Xenia. The lender and often the insurer doesn't allow for tenants in receipt of HB. This is a huge, huge problem.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 01-May-14 13:07:11

"all the "because I deserve it" got a bit wearing I have to say"

I will bet you all the bacon in my fridge that every single one of those "i deserve it" comments were in direct response to the camera man/ investigater asking "do you think you deserve this property" that was edited out to look like all these people were running round saying they deserved it. Guarantee it. Have you ever given an interview for a newspaper/ newsreport? I have, and the reporter had an agenda that i knew about, which is the reason i was sought out to give the interview- every single question was leading i.e; "in your opinion is it very likely to happen again?" "Would you agree that children's lives are at risk?" When reading the article- it looks like those were spontaneous comments i had offered up rather than the one word "yes" answers i actually gave.

expatinscotland Thu 01-May-14 13:23:00

Don't understand why Julie had never bought that maisonette. She could have sold it and easily bought a small cottage by the sea with the proceeds.

shirlynot Thu 01-May-14 13:45:26

There is already a specific exchange scheme for people who want to move to the country/seaside - she would have been more likely to get a house that way. I wonder if she was aware of it, and why the council staff didn't mention it? But I also assumed she wanted to stay in TH, if she lived there all her life and raised a family there then she must have a lot of ties in the area. I think that if she was prepared to move out of the area (even to another part of London), she would have had a better chance of getting that house she wanted. Council houses are rare in London but if she downsized right from a 3 bed to a 1 bed she could well have found a suitable exchange partner. But getting an exchange means being proactive and contacting people yourself, and she just expected the council to offer something directly.

expatinscotland Thu 01-May-14 13:48:39

She did not want a one-bed, she wanted a two-bed. House. With garden. And it appears, yes, she wanted it in London. From the council.

Would have been far more doable if she'd bought the thing back when she had a big discount and then flogged it on the open market.

Forago Thu 01-May-14 14:30:53

I have been interviewed many times, yes. This program was clearly designed to show the approaching housing crisis so they will have specifically chosen very entitled cases, sure. Doesn't change the facts about housing stock though and the expectation of a right to life-long housing which I think anyone can see is no longer realistic.

BillyBanter Thu 01-May-14 15:40:34

Doesn't change the facts about housing stock though and the expectation of a right to life-long housing which I think anyone can see is no longer realistic

It's as realistic as any other scenario providing there is the political will.

It's not inevitable that anyone on low income will have to leave London either, not if the political will is there to change it.

And again policies could be changed on BTL re HB etc.

What is happening now isn't a force of nature. It's a consequence of lots of decisions made by people other than Marilyn or Steve.

Rebelwithoutapplause Thu 01-May-14 16:21:04

Why do some people continue to have children beyond what they can reasonably afford to care for?

I agree with the points made regarding selective editing, however the underlying issue of a percentage of people having large numbers of children with an expectation of the state caring for them is valid. Too many on the programme seem to be saying, I'll do what I want, when I want and where I want.

I cant see any major changes until there is a general change in attitude from what society can do for me to what the individuals responsibilities are to society.

Preciousbane Thu 01-May-14 17:27:33

Rebel I have no idea. I am one of six. We grew up with naff all tbh and an interesting outcome of this is we all have small families.

BillyBanter Thu 01-May-14 20:07:04

A girl at school was one of 6. they didn't have much. An interesting outcome of that is she has 12 kids.

Sicaq Thu 01-May-14 20:15:44

I still don't see why people are reluctant to stay put and not accept a better life for themselves and their children. London property is unaffordable to most people now.

I've reluctantly had to relocate numerous times for work, so I am willing to do it. BUT I have a major problem with the idea of cordoning off any city for the uber-rich. Telling those earning the average wage (because even average, let alone low, wages won't keep you in London in any decent accommodation) to just evacuate and let the rich carry on without you is actually quite a disturbing idea to me. Where will that end?

BillyBanter Thu 01-May-14 20:31:40

I'm not sure why/how moving somewhere else = better life for themselves and their children.

Are they going to be moved to some Utopian paradise with decent homes and full employment that has somehow evaded my attention?

you're poor so you're allowed no agency over where you live. We're going to move you to Stoke where you have as few employment chances as you do here so can't even afford to visit family.

BarbarianMum Thu 01-May-14 20:35:00

I don't like cordoning off certain cities for the rich either (and I don't think the rich would like it either cause who'll wait on them?).

HOWEVER dh and I are both from the south east and left (independently) as young adults cause we couldn't afford to live there. This was 20 years ago. It's nothing new, and it doesn't by any means just affect those living in council accommodation. There is no automatic right to live in the area you were raised and where your family are for anyone.

To a certain extent council's should provide more housing but the south-east is already massively over-populated and you can't concrete over every square inch of it to provide homes (subsidised or otherwise) for everyone who wants to live there. Perhaps if the country's wealth was spread a bit more evenly people would be happier about the prospect of moving.

And I do think programmes highlighting these types of issues should be made. <gets off soapbox>

Pipbin Thu 01-May-14 20:40:07

I agree Barbarian I'm from the West Country and would love to move back there, but there is no way I could begin to afford a house in my home village because it's full of people from London now.

Not that I'm saying people should be forced to move, but some of us have no choice.

misselphaba Thu 01-May-14 21:38:53

The pp who mentioned poor ppl having no agency over their lives hit the nail on the head.

I think there's a big difference between choosing to move away to take up career/educational opportunities and being forced into it. It's a hugely frightening prospect, especially when you're already in the unenviable and often humiliating position of traipsing up to join the endless queue at the council offices in order to beg the housing officer for a home. The housing dept of my local council employs a number of security guards and for good reason -its an awful, intimidating place to wait and I dont envy anyone that has to do it and when youre waiting for council accommodation you do it a lot.

I live in an outer London borough and I don't suppose the inner London ones are any better.

However, moving out of borough isnt anything new. Councils have always relocated ppl to houses outside of the borough. I know pensioners who were moved from inner to outer London boroughs when they were starting out. There were happy to leave as they were moving to start new lives, in new houses with actual gardens with space for their families to grow. Theres whole estates in towns just outside London which were built almost entirely to take the overspill from outer London. I think a big difference is that relocation was once sold as moving for a better life in a nicer area with more opportunities and for the most part that was probably true. That just isn't true anymore. People are moving from one shitty, damp flat to another and losing family/friends/school/work to boot.

medic78 Fri 02-May-14 18:04:43

So if you are lucky enoughto be in social houses you are unable to have more children as you are housed according to your needs. In that case I would never have been born. Yes, I am 1 of 7 and grew up in a council house but my parents always worked.

theresnowheretohidewithachip Fri 02-May-14 19:03:45

If Marilyn was just being hyper-picky and entitled then I do think she was totally unreasonable to have turned down 3 properties and then say she should be given what she wants. But like others have said, I suspect she has MH or other difficulties that make it hard for her to make the best choices or to compromise. Knowing the scarcity of housing, to not even go to a viewing, doesn't make sense.

Steve did seem so vulnerable. I agree that the major problem with his situation was that few private landlords will accept people on HB, which is just wrong.

People should be able to stay where their roots are, but when demand is so high and rationing of properties is so tight, I don't think it is feasible any more. I lived in a lovely house before my divorce. I was homeless afterwards and am now in a 1 bed HA flat in a totally different area to where I lived before. It's not where I'd choose to live, but have had to accept if I can't afford private rental properties then sadly, I don't get to have the choices I'd like to have.

Also think that if you can't afford a huge family then you may have to accept that you're going to have to have a smaller one. It's sad but it's a decision that people are increasingly having to make.

WooWooOwl Fri 02-May-14 19:42:08

I agree that the major problem with his situation was that few private landlords will accept people on HB, which is just wrong.

This is a huge problem, and I find it incredibly frustrating when it's something that could be improved massively just by changing legislation. It doesn't have to cost loads of money that the government doesn't have. But at the moment private landlords are reluctant to accept housing benefit because they struggle to get insurance at all, or they have to pay significantly more expensive premiums. The insurance wouldn't be so expensive or hard to get if councils didn't advise tenants to stay in accommodation until they are evicted by bailiffs, sometimes months after they have last paid rent. If they helped people that genuinely needed help as soon as their tenancy ended instead of forcing landlords to go through the hassle and cost of eviction, then landlords wouldn't be so reluctant to take HB claimants, and there would be more housing available for them.

But it goes round in a viscous circle.

I had a thread about it a little while ago, it massively pisses me off as a landlord who would happily take HB claimants if it wasn't going to cost me so much extra in time, money and risk. Councils could remove the barriers and solve the problem for tenants and landlords alike.

TheBuggerlugs Fri 02-May-14 19:51:15

I used to work as one of those housing workers that were shouted and sworn at and have seen it all:

An 85 year old thrown out by her sons wife; 16 year old girls getting pregnant intentionally to get a house; alcoholics the same age as me (20s) with severe liver problems; care leavers; marital breakdowns; asylum seekers etc etc.

Some had VERY unrealistic ideals of what they were 'entitled' to despite never working or intending to work. Others thought they'd won the lottery when I got them a flat in the worse area of the borough.

The housing situation is a total mess and the media does nothing but feed the sense of entitlement people have because otherwise the nasty foreigners will come and take it.

Look at the current UKIP campaign, the foreigners are coming for your jobs......erm what about all the brits going abroad to work?! Oh yeah, they're allowed as they're entitled. Silly me.

BillyBanter Fri 02-May-14 19:54:32

How are the council meant to magic up 'help' for people?

It's a bigger problem than forcing mortgage lenders or landlords to take HB claimants although that would be a start. We need more council housing. We need more housing for people to buy and occupy themselves.

It's not the councils that make major housing policies that result in the situation we have now.

TheBuggerlugs Fri 02-May-14 19:56:39

Also it's worth pointing out that the council doesn't have a duty to house anyone.

Under the Housing Act 1996 part 7 there is a duty to offer advice and assistance to anyone and temporary accommodation to anyone it has reason to believe may be homeless and in priority need.

Following a full homelessness investigation if a person is found eligible, unintentionally homeless, in priority need and with a local connection the duty to provide temporary accommodation is made formal and can only be discharged on the offer of suitable permanent accommodation. This is why allocation policies give extra points/ bands to some people and until recently councils could only discharge the duty to an assured tenancy, I.e. social housing so a person could sit in temp accommodation for years and years despite there being perfectly good private rented available. Thankfully this law has changed but sadly so has the local housing allowance rules.

WooWooOwl Fri 02-May-14 19:59:28

It is a bigger problem than forcing mortgage lenders or landlords to take HB claimants, but it would fix the problem for enough individuals that it would be well worth doing IMO.

TheBuggerlugs Fri 02-May-14 19:59:35

And every time housing associations try to build more properties NIMBYs come out in masses, I see it all the time.

Also the funding / loans they get to assist with building (they're non profit making) is linked to the Local housing Allowance rates which means that houses built in areas where the LHA is low will never be financially viable to build.

TheBuggerlugs Fri 02-May-14 20:02:30

Basically if you're over 18, single, childless, healthy, unable to afford a mortgage or high rent, and homeless you're pretty fucked, even more so if aged 18-35. Even if you have children you're still fucked.

I loved it when someone over 60 walked in for help, I could normally get them keys for a nice property in a nice area within a week.

Age restrictions are also a major flaw in the system. Its assumed that if you're under 50 your likely to be a bad tenant.

TheBuggerlugs Fri 02-May-14 21:54:10

Getting on my soap box seems to have killed the thread blush

WooWooOwl Fri 02-May-14 22:03:19

I was reading Buggerlugs!

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