How to get a council house

(259 Posts)

Who deserves it more?

Wtf what kind of country are we living in when we have to choose who deserves shelter and who should be homeless?!

Urgh

StephenFrySaidSo Fri 23-Aug-13 22:59:55

it's actually quite naïve to think that any injunction will prevent someone (a violent someone) from attacking their victim again. all an injunction does is tell them there will be consequences if they do. the consequences don't undo the damage they've done. far safer to rehome the victim (even if temporarily) somewhere the abuser doesn't know about.

creighton Fri 23-Aug-13 15:34:58

78bunion you are being far too sensible, you have to stop and apologise to all housing applicants.

78bunion Thu 22-Aug-13 21:55:57

If the partner is violent surely the answer is an emergency injunction to exclude the partner from the hosue so the mother and 2 children can stay?

if the man separated from his wife has a wife who owns a house in Kent then part of his divorce claim on her is half the equity in that house.

creighton Thu 22-Aug-13 19:56:49

it was not wrong of the manager to ask hard questions of the man. he is an idiot for not sorting out his housing with his housing officer in his housing association before going to the local authority and whining about a threat of eviction. she does not have to apologise to him.

why should the manager have to chase around after him, when he is capable of sorting himself out?, is that not arse wiping? why did he not check his facts and get his situation sorted out when his wife moved out? he caused his landlord to think that he was illegally subletting, not the housing manager.

are those people not childish?

jakebullet, the housing officer was not philosophical, she was angry but tried not to show it. the flat is probably better than the accommodation that the housing officer lives in. the woman turned it down because it had no parking space, even though she did not have a car. she was going to 'have a word with the mayor' and make him lean on the housing office to 'magic up' a property with a parking space.

NadiaWadia Thu 22-Aug-13 17:08:45

'OTT rant' obviously

JakeBullet Thu 22-Aug-13 16:29:10

I would think being a housing officer must be frustrating in the extreme at times. a short supply of housing and too many people competing for them. When you can allocate somebody a home it must be amazing which is why I was shocked when I saw the programme and witnessed people turning down NINE properties......that would not be allowed in my area...you get two offers and then are removed from the list. Couldn't believe the woman who turned down the beautiful flat in London with the fully fitted kitchen.....ws so shocked.

The housing officer seemed so philosophical about it...just said "well someone else will be grateful for it".

I think housing officers have a hard job.

NadiaWadia Thu 22-Aug-13 16:13:11

williamina - I had just posted about the episode I had watched and my perception of it (which I thought was the purpose of this sub-forum?) when Creighton chose to reply with a completely OTP rant about 'bloody whingers and ungrateful sods' and 'wiping tenants' backsides for them'.

Creighton seems to regard her former clients as the enemy, and (deliberately?) and repeatedly missed the point that it was wrong of the female officer to accuse that black guy being evicted of fraud, without checking her facts, and then offer no proper apology.

Also NOBODY is suggesting that they should provide 'handholding, cuddles, tea and crumpets' and that the Housing Officers should 'grovel'. What rubbish. All I am suggesting is that they should talk to their clients like equal human beings, not like children or criminals. It is often just a matter of tone of voice and vocabulary. I don't see how addressing them in an appropriate way would take up any more of the HO's time.

If a member of another profession (eg doctor, teacher) spoke about their clientele like that people would be horrified and rightly so. But she is apparently 'just telling it like it is' .... right . I'd gently suggest that perhaps she is unsuited a role dealing with the public, as she appears to find it too stressful.

Just telling it like it is!

alemci Thu 22-Aug-13 14:34:14

also the lady who was the council tennant who now lived elsewhere and the property where her ex and partner were going to be evicted from, wasn't she effectively subletting and isn't that against the rules

creighton Thu 22-Aug-13 14:17:47

no one looks down on housing applicants, people look down on greedy, grasping people who want more than they are entitled to

housing staff do not put people on the street, they try to keep people in tenancies. if a family is evicted, it is through their own actions. it takes a long time to get to court and get permission to remove someone from a home.

the housing manager gave the man a chance to 'come clean' if he needed to, why didn't he speak to the housing association with whom he had the tenancy before coming to the local authority? he should have sorted his situation out with his own housing officer.

the woman who owed thousands in rent has obviously been given lots of chances otherwise the arrears wouldn't be so high. they are obviously trying to help her with the resources they have

the typical attitude of a housing officer is that they are glad to help people get homes and they think it's a shame that there isn't more property to offer applicants and people who need homes.

they do resent people who turn down 8 or 9 properties, who lie on their applications, who accuse them of keeping properties for their kind of people (i.e. black/white/english/foreign/etc....) or who don't pay their rent, or who smash up the homes they are given. they feel sorry for those who cannot help themselves, like old people or disabled people.

alemci Thu 22-Aug-13 09:27:11

also the local authority is not a charity and it is run as a business. Perhaps the people on the programme getting some shelter should count their blessings. what if they lived in a different country?

I think most of us would find working in one of those roles quite stressful and privately get irked by some of the clientelle

williaminajetfighter Thu 22-Aug-13 07:59:00

I did not think the attitude of the woman investigating the man was bad. She was merely stern and professional. She needs to investigate these things.

I don't think if the housing office isn't able to home people that they therefore "put them on the streets". The language people are using needs a bit of interrogating!

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 22-Aug-13 07:06:42

I'm sure housing officers do their best and yes the people we saw for helped - tho in all honestly they won't show on tv a family that they put on the streets on tv will they

But the Attitude of the woman towards the man who she thought owned a property with ex wife was rude and accusing

As I said previously why didn't she check land registry before acusing the man of owning a property and committing fraud and with the alcoholic woman deduct her rent from benefits - esp as owed thousands in back rent - how could it get so bad sad

williaminajetfighter Thu 22-Aug-13 05:33:39

Omg can we stop hijacking this thread using it as an opportunity to bark at creighton for telling her experience of working in a housing office! Give me a break people. She is only explaining what she has experienced and her reality of daytoday life in a challenging role. Has nobody else done a job which differs significantly from the actual jd?

Or are people honestly mad that the nanny state is not providing the quality level of customer service they expect?!! Lets Rolll out the red carpet at the housing office... Hand holding for everyone with cuddles? maybe hot towelettes and canapés? Or just tea and sympathy??!

Those housing staff appeared run off their feet, probably not making much £ and everyday having to deal with issues like abuse, alcoholism etc all in a frought envt but you're still worried about gold star customer service and your perception of the nuances of how kindly applicants were treated. Truly the mind baffles.

NadiaWadia Thu 22-Aug-13 01:08:56

Creighton - I have seen your posts in other threads and you seem to be a reasonable person - but on this matter your attitude is quite disturbing. You seem to absolutely despise and resent the people you were supposed to help as part of your job, (as StephenFry says), you have no qualms about showing this, and seem to think this is normal.

You take umbrage with councillors, GPs and MPs who you think are pulling rank and looking down on 'mere' housing officers, which is ironic really, as you are certainly looking down on 'mere' applicants for social housing.

Is this attitude of a typical Housing Officer, I wonder? It's probably a very good thing you're not doing this work anymore.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 21-Aug-13 23:46:09

you haven't stated facts though Creighton, despite me asking you to. you have made resentful comments about 'wiping tenants backsides' which clearly is not a fact. nor is it a fact that you are asked to 'magic' up housing for anyone. you haven't given facts.

the housing officer should have apologised for accusing that man in the wrong because she had already decided in her head that he was lying before finding out any of the facts. but because this man needed her help and she knew it she knew she didn't have to apologise as he needed her more than she needed to be decent.

you seem resentful of the people your job requires you to help.

" if a tenant is threatened with eviction it is often the case that they don't maintain their tenancy by paying the rent, or organising payment by asking for help. don't you think that people should take some responsibility for themselves?"

of course people should, but as you should know (and I would have thought more than others given your job) people fall into situations for various reasons that mean they lose the ability to this without a bit of agency help. or are you saying your job shouldn't exist?

creighton Wed 21-Aug-13 23:28:43

why should the housing manager apologise to a silly man who did not get his tenancy status sorted out with his housing association? if he had done this, there would have been no threat of eviction. why did he not take responsibility for his family?

the housing officer who works with the lady with drinking problems knows her, he has an ongoing relationship with her. he had to try to make it clear to her that the rules state that she uses the hostel space she has been allocated. if she does not need it, another person should have it.

if you saw the letters and listened to the doctors and councillors who put on their 'do you know who I am' tone of voice when they speak to 'mere' housing officers, you would acknowledge how stupid they are as they don't know what they are talking about. they assume that housing officers should bow down to them because of who they are. 'advocating' for their patients/constituents out of ignorance is not advocacy.

housing officers work to keep people in homes. if a tenant is threatened with eviction it is often the case that they don't maintain their tenancy by paying the rent, or organising payment by asking for help. don't you think that people should take some responsibility for themselves?

sorry steve, I am not teeming with bitterness or resentment, I am cheesed off with people assuming that housing staff spend their time not showing 'respect' to people i.e. apologising, grovelling and appeasing them. I am merely stating the facts as housing officers experience them.

go and work in a housing office and see what it is like.

the last programme actually HIGHLIGHTED the efforts the housing office made to keep people/get people homes despite the lack of homes available.

-they stopped the silly man and his family from getting evicted
-they found a new home for the woman who had been the victim of DV
-they did not evict the alcoholic woman from the hostel as she clearly needed help
-they helped the man whose son has cystic fibrosis. the young man did not end up on the streets even though his father threatened to do this as he was at the end of his tether.

that is what the programme was about.

Bonkers HA story of the day:
I live in a close, three of them, big outside space at the back.
I am the only one to have a back door. Most flats are owned.
I got a letter, stating that if the mattress wasn't moved from the back, I'd be charged for it.
I called them, to query this.
Apparently I won't be billed, as I told them it wasn't mine.

They had no reason to think it was mine, and nothing other than a quick phone call to tell them it's not.

Now I have to weed the back.
Ha, as bloody if.
They once cut my grass, it was calf length. They swore they'd cut it.
I can only assume they used nail scissors and cut a millimetre off the grass as I could not tell the difference.

StephenFrySaidSo Wed 21-Aug-13 18:37:55

"housing officers now are expected to
-find/magic up housing for people-*there is no iniative that requires you to 'magic' housing for anyone- find? yes- although anyone going for a job as a housing officer and not expecting to have to find housing for people is at best a bit naïve*
-help them get jobs and training refer to the relevant agencies and/or resources
-sort out people's financial problems please be more specific- are you paying people's debts off?
-liaise with social services again- to be expected as a housing officer ad certainly not above and beyond the call of duty
-carry out child protection duties refer to the relevant agency
-give advice on every known subject there is no initiative in the respect either- nor would it be possible
-answer cheeky letters from councillors/doctors/social workers/MPs who know nothing about housing and expect housing staff to pull flats out of thin air in what way are these letters cheeky? or do you think anyone asking for help on someone else's behalf is cheeky? if I remember correctly the lady called lisa on the most recent episode was asked to produce a letter from her GP by the person dealing with her claim in the housing office
-wipe tenants backsides for them this actually doesn't mean anything could you rephrase to give a better idea of what exactly it is you think you have been required to do that you feel is 'wiping tenants backsides'?*
-watch some tenants spend their lives sitting down while the housing officers work all day and then have to attend evening meetings" the fact that you have a job as a housing officer implies that you will have to do some work- it really shouldn't come as a surprise to you that work and meetings are expected

your post is teeming with bitterness and resentment. you seem to object to doing the very job that you applied for!

NadiaWadia Wed 21-Aug-13 16:41:18

And to be honest your post suggests you do think you are more important than the applicants and the 'cheeky' (WTF?) MPs and doctors who write letters on their behalf. And saying that you had to 'wipe tenants backsides for them', yes I do see you don't mean that literally, but still it is a bit off to say.

Also complaining about working too much and having to attend evening meetings, seems as though your gripe was more with your management (was there no union?), but you turned that anger against the housing applicants. However I am sure you were professional enough not to make that obvious at the time.

NadiaWadia Wed 21-Aug-13 16:30:30

I'm not saying all the officers were unpleasant - eg the woman who helped Naomi (the abused woman) to get somewhere seemed nice and sympathetic.

Obviously I am not suggesting that housing officers should 'spend all day saying 'you poor lamb' and holding hands with people' - that's ridiculous. But I think that they should not talk to the clients (applicants? customers?) as though they are inferior beings, which is exactly what I saw on the programme. For example, the female officer with long hair accusing the guy who was being evicted of owing a property (without checking her facts first) and then giving a non-apology (as ImNotBloody14 has said in a previous post). Also the male officer talking to the middle aged alcoholic? woman like a naughty school girl (she was clearly older than him) because she had spent a night away from her B&B accommodation, presumably with her boyfriend. Are homeless people not allowed relationships, then?

Certainly I can see that probably you do get a lot of chancers and dishonest or overly entitled people applying, but some of these officers just seemed to assume everyone was like this.

alemci Wed 21-Aug-13 09:22:45

aslo I am sure Creigton was good at her job. She is just telling you how it is.

no one forced her but perhaps it was a rewarding job but there were negative points like in any job and she knows how it works

creighton Wed 21-Aug-13 08:30:56

nw, no one is forced to do any difficult job. the reality is that if everyone who got jaded, left the job, there would be no one to give continuity of service to the public. the programmes highlighted the fact that managers cannot take the public at their word as they have experience of them not being honest.

people have to meet certain criteria or the first people in the office every day would be the only ones to get new flats.

housing officers and managers cannot spend all day saying 'you poor lamb' and holding hands with people, they have to sort out who gets the flat and who does not qualify. that is the nature of working with the public and offering services.

NadiaWadia Wed 21-Aug-13 01:36:40

Creighton I think you just proved my point. Nobody is forced to work as a Housing Officer, surely.

creighton Wed 21-Aug-13 00:03:08

bollocks to you stephenfry, try working in a housing office.

try reading inside housing magazine and you'll see that every quarter there is a new 'initiative' where housing officers are supposed to take on new duties, being responsible for every aspect of tenants lives.

what do you think housing officers do, if they don't carry out the duties I listed? you clearly have no idea what you are talking about.

my position is one of having worked as a housing officer.

a housing officer cannot give properties out to people who don't meet the criteria without senior manager sign off as they would lose their jobs.

alemci Tue 20-Aug-13 23:03:58

yes they have to be professional and learn to distance themselves otherwise they might get too stressed out. i'm sure they've seen and heard it all. also i'm sure they would like to give housing to some who don't fit criteria but have to do things as laid out by protocol.

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