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?!


Programme on c4 now btw

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 21:05:15

Benefits bashing begins.

I think this could get messy!

It must be so hard though working out whose needs are greater than others...

Yes it's everywhere at the moment!

Make the commoners fight against each other aye!

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 21:09:33

The good ol' private sector, where no one will take him because he will need HB and where the caps will mean it's nigh on impossible. Anywhere around where he can still keep his job.

Plus the deposits, agency fees etc and non security, could be in the same position in 2 months. Having to fork out another few grand that thy don't have, moving, instability for children etc etc.

Why don't they build more council houses!! Fair affordable rent for all

Council houses were billed as affordable housing for everyone.
Not last chance saloon, you'll be lucky if you even get considered houses.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:17:27

I must be watching a different version of this programme as I've seen no benefit bashing or fighting.

I'm just astounded at the conditions in which some people are living and the lengths of time they have been waiting for adequate accommodation.

I'd like to see where the programme takes me before being critical of it.

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 21:19:18

Where should all the council houses be built? On the green belt??

The country is literally running out of room!

The system needs sorting there are lots of empty properties offices which could be converted. Saying build more houses isn't actually realistic.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:19:22

Seems very cruel to have 5 contenders. 3 would surely be more than adequate.

milkysmum Thu 01-Aug-13 21:20:05

I work for a mental health team in a fairly deprived city and it I'd a constant struggle foe people to secure housing that they can afford. I have several clients homeless at the moment as they are not considered high enough priority at present- Truly shocking in this day and age!

That's true.
There are so many empty houses. I see lots when walking about, family sized houses. It's such a shame.

I don't like the 'im not a racist but' remarks.

ShadeofViolet Thu 01-Aug-13 21:22:46

I hope Simon Cowell doesnt see it, he might float the idea of an Xfactor replacement show sad

girliefriend Thu 01-Aug-13 21:22:57

12 years in band 2 shock

Blimey am shocked by that!!

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 21:25:14

There seems to be a way that the benefits people speak to the applicants, as if they (the applicants) are a bit thick. I wonder if they are trained to do this? I had exactly the same when I was unemployed and when I went to sign on each fortnight I was spoken to as if I was really a bit simple.

Bico I had the same too. I went to the job centre to get child benefit form (didn't take bounty pack out of principle) and was spoken to as if I was thick as shit scum!

EeTraceyluv Thu 01-Aug-13 21:27:47

Blimey when we got our council house 13 yeas ago, we had the choice of two, if we turned both down, it was back to the bottom of the list - but you can stay at the top and keep turning them down mow? Have I got that right?? Cannot believe the amount of years people are on he lists now though shock

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 21:28:43

Don't flame but I'm really confused (cuts aside) doesn't claiming housing benefit mean you can rent in the private sector and then not need housing from the council?

How does the system work? And how do you qualify for housing benefit is that different from bands?

Can anyone ex

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:29:19

It's very unequal that some can get subsidised council housing yet others with the same needs have to pay higher in the private sector.

The rent for the Guy who came back from the Philippine's is ridiculous. And councils should not be paying for crappy quality like the guy with the pregnant girlfriend and dog is living in.

Does no one inspect the private sector housing that the public is funding via housing benefit? If not they should be.

I think the whole housing issue in this country needs a fundamental rethink.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:35:34

Tis complicated Racmum but basically each local authority sets a maximum rent that they will pay for each type of accommodation in the private sector e.g 2 bedroom house max of £550 ocm, 3 bedroom house £750 pcm (rough examples only). This is called Local Housing Allowance.

The council tells you what rate of LHA it will pay based on your family size, your income, any disabilities etc. The person then looks for a private rent that is affordable with the LHA that the council will pay. If the private rent is greater than the LHA you have to pay the extra yourself.

Of course it's much more complicated than that.

I was talked to as if I was a bit thick too.
Benefit claimant=stupid, apparently.

I made sure they damn well knew I wasn't, and if I was, then that shouldn't mean I'd be treated badly.

It took me a year and a half to get my flat, and I only got it because I got an outside agency involved.
I was offered crap, and more crap, and then lied to, repeatedly.
They are still lying to me.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:38:55

Tell them you are a civil servant - no one has ever talked down to me.

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 21:40:24

Thank you August I see now why in Lond

chickensaladagain Thu 01-Aug-13 21:40:58

The guy that has just been offered a 3 bed with a garden is frustrating me

Entitled much?

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 21:41:06

Sorry ......
London especially it's such an issue.

Chicken - yes me too but then I remind myself that actually these are valid concerns, are the rooms tiny like many new builds, is it practicable for children etc especially as he's being forced to move. He isn't asking to move they're making him.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:45:44

You can try out the Tower Hamlets housing benefit calculator here

Yep - that guy does sound a bit entitled but that's straying into benefits-bashing territory and this is about housing allocation

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:48:02

I saw a programme once where the last person left living in a tower block they wanted to redevelop kept turning down alternatives until they offered him some stonking sum (thousands) to move out.

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 21:48:03

The JSA people knew what my job title was as I had to put it on my application forms. What they couldn't do is actually understand what I did for a living. The first person I saw was helpful (never saw him again!) but did tell me that I shouldn't expect to get a job via the job centre. Fortunately I was only unemployed for 2 months but at the time of course I had no idea how long I'd be signing on for. I ended up treating it as a bit of a game - they spoke to me as if I was simple so I responded as if I was and would ask them really stupid questions grin.

chocolatespiders Thu 01-Aug-13 21:49:21

I thought he would only get a 2 bed, I have seen such awful conditions in my work. Wo3st was a 1bed flat parents in bedroom and 4 teenagers in the tiny lounge in one set of bunk beds and sofa, it was so sad. I really want to know if they have moved but to scared to find out in case they have not

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:50:41

The ESA people know my former job title and it's one that was about 5 above them in the public sector grin. Perhaps that's why I get good service. grin

Mans neighbour was right 'it used to work'

EeTraceyluv Thu 01-Aug-13 21:54:20

2 bathrooms!!!!

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:15

But the numbers have changed. The numbers wanting housing have increased enormously through immigration whereas the housing available has not kept up with the pace.

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:19

This gal is picky as hell. That flat is gorgeous!

EeTraceyluv Thu 01-Aug-13 21:55:44

Sorry I may be out of order but she is really pissing me off!!

chocolatespiders Thu 01-Aug-13 21:56:12

They could have built another flat in that kitchen and housed 2 families

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 21:56:22

She's refusing the house because it has no parking - in London!

There should be a limit on the number you can turn down as this woman is simply wasting everyone's time. That would focus her mind.

GibberTheMonkey Thu 01-Aug-13 21:56:32

One of the problem with hb and private rental is there are so very few houses that the amount you get for hb would cover and then some of them would refuse people claiming hb so you are left with people living in hovels as it's all they can afford (especially with moving costs and never knowing when you'll have to move on). Then of course they get put in the pigeonhole as housed and it looks like the amount of hb that is allocated is enough when it really isn't in the private market.

EeTraceyluv Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:02

Exactly angry

racmun Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:41

FFS she can't get a parking space in central London and she's going to decline a lovely half million pound flat!!

I'm sorry but she can't be that bothered about being overcrowded- didn't she say earlier she doesn't even have a car!

EeTraceyluv Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:47

That was to wetaugust btw

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 21:58:05

That is so unfair. I don't understand why some get offered a flat complete with 'gifted' appliances and that poor man doesn't even get the cost of a tin of paint.

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 21:59:57

Good to see they have changed their policy on refusals.

girliefriend Thu 01-Aug-13 21:59:58

He wants it decorated as well?!

At least he has taken it, I am on the bottom of the waiting list for a 2 bed council house. We are in a council flat at the moment but would love somewhere with a garden.

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 22:01:54

I think he should be entitled to a decorated flat or the funding to get it done. It isn't his fault that the home he has had for 30 years is being demolished confused.

expatinscotland Thu 01-Aug-13 22:04:01

They should at least clear all that shit out of that house.

WetAugust Thu 01-Aug-13 22:04:41

What's surprising me is that they're nor prepared to make any investment in it themselves. Even when I was a tenant I would pay for my own decorations and some minor home improvements. These just expect everything to be funded.

This is unfortunately a sense of entitlement nowadays in some people that I never came across when we lived in social housing as a child or when I rented privately. I wonder why and when this changed for the worse?

girliefriend Thu 01-Aug-13 22:05:08

When I got my flat it was bare but magnolia on every wall, I had to carpet it myself though.

Normally councils give grants to help decorate I thought but maybe that something else thats been 'cut'

cleoowen Thu 01-Aug-13 22:05:13

But the family who turned a flat down because it doesn't have a parking space, terrible. She should not be able to be that fussy. She really can't be that.desperate if she turned it down. It had a nicer kitchen than,my house. She should be told well that's all you're getting.

dirtyface Thu 01-Aug-13 22:06:21

what a bleak, depressing programme. i felt so sorry for the people on it that desperately needed a home. the old lady who could barely climb the stairs, but desperately needed a place of her own as she was living with her daughter. and the young couple who bravely congratulated and shook the hands of the family who pipped them to the post of the 3 bed house. god i was about in tears

what sort of country are we living in when the poor, the weak and the disadvantaged are pitting against eachother in a race of who is the most deserving of something as basic as a roof over their head :,(


madamginger Thu 01-Aug-13 22:10:02

I agree, a million years ago I lived in a 2 bed flat and I was given a set amount by the council to decorate it, a couple of hundred I think for paint and paper

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 01-Aug-13 22:14:36

Agree, dirtyface. I see it everyday at work and it is so depressing.

dirtyface Thu 01-Aug-13 22:17:55

There seems to be a way that the benefits people speak to the applicants, as if they (the applicants) are a bit thick. I wonder if they are trained to do this? I had exactly the same when I was unemployed and when I went to sign on each fortnight I was spoken to as if I was really a bit simple

yep, i thought this too.,

and also had same when i was signing on. :/

GibberTheMonkey Thu 01-Aug-13 22:23:23

And when dh was signing on

I have never seen him as demoralised as when he came back from the job centre. Soul sapping.

dirtyface Thu 01-Aug-13 22:34:58

she annoyed me though. that woman who kept turning them down

bloody timewaster, felt sorry for her dcs

bico Thu 01-Aug-13 22:36:03

Soul sapping is spot on. Surely you'd want people working in a job centre to be supportive and encouraging?

ChimeForChange Thu 01-Aug-13 22:37:47

My London borough allows you 2 refusals I think. If you refuse 2 reasonable properties you will be taken off the list.

No life tenancies anymore, I believe they are 1,2 and 5 (the maximum) year tenancies.

NO landlords around here will accept housing benefit! I have family and friends in very, very tricky situations. The local council even said we cannot get landlords to accept housing benefit, there's just nothing.

I got a 2 bed garden flat in 2009, £350 decorating vouchers and a life tenancy.

It's all changing very fast!

olliesmom Thu 01-Aug-13 23:10:01

As the chap with the 2 girls (same sex can share a room) accepted the 3 bed house then he will be affected by the bedroom tax, maybe something else to consider with this bidding business and not mentioned on programme

Kasterborous Thu 01-Aug-13 23:48:15

I know exactly what you mean about job centres they are soul destroying I hated having to go. They were totally clueless too. They told all 4ft 11 of me to apply for a security guard job.

aturtlenamedmack Thu 01-Aug-13 23:58:59

My dh works in housing and his solution would be to cap the amount that private landlords can charge for a property.
At the moment housing benefit is set in line with the cost of average property (room, flat,house, whatever meets the needs of the claiment) in each LA. The market rate is obviously just what private landlords decide to charge. This means that public money is going into the pockets of private businesses.
If caps were set, private housing would be more affordable and many council tenants would be able to move to or live in private housing, this would leave public housing provisions there for the most vulnerable.
It would also mean that less public money were paid to private individuals.
The money that this would save the state could go into maintaining the properties that they have and making the thousands of unused properties habitable again.

givemeaboost Fri 02-Aug-13 00:01:47

I think the chap with the 2 girls is getting an unfair bashing tbh, of course hes bound to be concerned/asking if theres any help- that wasn't just simple decorating-it was being let "as seen" from what the lady said- so costs of removal of doors/wood, repair/demolish fireplace, plus decorating/carpeting. if hes a single parent that's not going to be easy. im shocked they are allowed to let out in that state tbh!
Im glad my HA is better, my flat was a decorative/minor problems state but I was given £500 bnq voucher to help rectify.
He was clearly daunted by the look on his face but easily persuaded by his daughters delight.

MrButtercat Fri 02-Aug-13 07:13:25

What turtle said and the last poster.

My dp is on a HTR and we own our own home but couldn't afford to redo a house like that,who could?The paint alone and skip hire would need saving for let alone anything else.

Private landlords are hacking me off,pretty much holding the whole country to ransome for their shitty accommodation.

Something has to be done.

Only saw the tail end of it but have to say it was a shock and made me rethink a lot of things.

Having said that the lady being shown the dream flat hacked me off big time.Confused as to why she was getting something gorgeous and the others were being shown hovels.Could somebody explain.Was dream flat private and the others council?

Davros Fri 02-Aug-13 07:57:19

Did private rents go up in the past because they knew HB would pay (and did?). Serious question.

RedHelenB Fri 02-Aug-13 08:23:49

Surely landlords that receive HB should have to provide accommodation that is of basic quality ( ie doors that lock!)

dirtyface Fri 02-Aug-13 08:35:16

i think they did davros

rents have gone silly in the last few years

its a disgrace that normal working people are having to claim HB (and many, many are) because renting has become so unaffordable

the only greedy scroungers in this sorry situation are the landlords, not the benefits claimants.

owlface Fri 02-Aug-13 08:57:02

The dream flat must have been in one of those developments where a condition of the build is that a certain amount of flats must be for social housing. So it was council/housing association and anyone could bids for it.

EeTraceyluv Fri 02-Aug-13 09:01:08

W have a lot of 'exclusive' developments where I live and there are always a percentage that have to be social housing. One of my clients has moved into a flat where his neighbours are paying up to a million for their homes.

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 09:01:37

I hated seeing the way they show the properties. 5 or 6 years on a waiting list to reach number 3 and then hovering outside the door hoping against hope that the person in front of you will turn it down. Could they not at least stagger the viewings through the day - it seemed cruel?
It is good they changed the rules about turning down properties though - declining a £half a million flat because it lacks private parking in London is crazy!

With rental prices - private landlords can charge what they want. You can't stop that. Landlords know councils rely on that private supply of housing and that councils have just paid whatever the price - which in turn has driven rents up and up for everyone else (in London at least).

You can't cap what a landlord asks for but you can cap what a council is willing to pay them for a 1, 2, 3 bed property. This is what is now happening but, if the landlord won't accept a lower price and can find private tenants instead who will pay more, council tenants will be priced out of many areas. In the longer term though it is one solution to the problem of the council being treated like a bottomless pit for greedy landlords and will hopefully mean more sensible rents.

MrButtercat Fri 02-Aug-13 10:02:45

Me too.

So why don't they cap how much they pay landlords?

I also wonder why you can't legally have to meet criteria re rental accommodation before you are allowed take rent eg room size,condition of carpet/fittings,damp,windows,heating system(no storage heaters)etc

Shops can't sell utter crap so why can landlords take money for crap not really fit for purpose?

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 11:20:01

I think they are starting to cap how much they will pay landlords (i.e. they are capping the housing benefit a family get and can pay for a private rent) but this has led to a lot of upset too. For example, in parts of London rents are much higher than the council will ever pay so some people are forced to move away from their friends / neighbours / schools to cheaper areas which is sensible in some ways but obviously very upsetting to individuals.

That tiny one bed flat with 4 people in it was £600 a month - the family wanted to live in Tower Hamlets but for £600 a month they could get much more elsewhere (and did eventually move out of the area when it was clear they would never get offered a council property).

There are lots of regulations about the standard of rented properties (safety regulations anyway) but how strictly they are enforced is a different thing. I agree though that, whilst private tenants may choose to overlook certain things for lower rent, the council shouldn't pay money for properties that are so awful - it just encourages landlords not to bother.

78bunion Fri 02-Aug-13 11:34:57

As people say above most landlords will not take housing benefit claimants there is not much point in capping rents. We tried that with the Rent Acts and it meant private rented property ceased to be available and those seeking housing were the loser. Most landlords make only a tiny bit more than they would if they put their 10% deposit in a bank at 1% interest and that is whilst only paying interest only mortgages.

soverylucky Fri 02-Aug-13 11:55:42

A very interesting and thought provoking programme. I found I had lots of questions after watching it.
I felt very sorry for the couple living in one room with a broken door and a dog. I did think why have they got a dog? But then when the man explained about the door I though - fair enough. Why are landlords allowed to get away with letting a room like that? Disgusting.
I got annoyed with the woman who turned down several properties and was pleased to see the rules had changed. I will probably get flamed but it did annoy me that she didn't work and did have a sense of entitlement. Her daughter and sons were amazing though.

I felt angry that the old man with the granddaughters was having his flat demolished to make way for PRIVATE housing. That didn't seem right at all. I was pleased he was given a nice home. The fact that he was their legal guardian suggests a sad story somewhere but won't he have to pay the bedroom tax and really those two girls could share. The state of the house was very poor though and I don't think that it was unreasonable of him to request some repairs - I felt it went beyond a lick of paint.

Other things bothered me - the flat with the cockroaches! Yuk.

I also felt very sorry for the man who had lived in Singapore and saw that he has now moved out of London. Good for him. As a southerner livingin the north in a 3 bed semi with a garden near a park in an ok neighbour hood I find it difficult to get my head round the rents in London. Our house would be £550 a month to rent. You can buy a three bed house here for 90K. There are also job opportunities here. More help should be given to help people relocate if they want to.

"but you can stay at the top and keep turning them down mow? Have I got that right?"

We were told that if we turned down any we'd be moved down the list. And that was only about 2 years ago. We were lucky the first place we were offered was nice.

"Does no one inspect the private sector housing that the public is funding via housing benefit? If not they should be."

Nope. We had to move out of a private rental (funded by HB) because there was a hole in the wall, and the landlord got violent when we asked for it to be fixed. Council knew. HB knew. We were on our own. And the one before that lied about there being heating. And the one before that the roof leaked. <sighs>

"They are still lying to me."

Oh they are good at that. In the situation above we asked for advice as we obviously weren't safe, we spoke to one of their experts and they told us to stay with family but still pay rent via HB. A year later they took us to court for those few months of HB, accused us of stealing it. Then last month they cut off all our benefits because they apparently got a letter from us saying we'd moved back to that property!

"One of the problem with hb and private rental is there are so very few houses that the amount you get for hb would cover and then some of them would refuse people claiming hb so you are left with people living in hovels as it's all they can afford"

Yep, or you only get the choice of extremely dodgy landlords, who will charge less because they know their property isn't fit for purpose and they have no intention of repairing it. And they know you have no other options.

"Normally councils give grants to help decorate I thought but maybe that something else thats been 'cut'"

They've cut that here. We got a paint tray and couple of rollers instead. hmm Really helpful when they'd taken out all the carpets/curtain rails/light bulbs! Though they helpfully left us the cockroach infested mattress and carpet in the loft.

PearlyWhites Fri 02-Aug-13 12:19:58

They are not his daughters they were his granddaughters so hopefully if fostered they won't be affected by bedroom tax.

EeTraceyluv Fri 02-Aug-13 12:54:38

We were incredibly lucky getting our lovely house 13 years ago. We have now bought it - yes we one of 'those' but nearly everyone in this street has - I think about three of them still are - the solution of course is to plough the money back into housing stock - but sadly labour didn't implement this as they said thy would so it has continued. If we were to rent this out, we could get over £1000 a month without anyone blinking a eye- those which are still social housing are £600 a month

RedHelenB Fri 02-Aug-13 13:05:55

78Bunion = the sort of landlord that rents a room for £400 with no lock are raking it in! And I certainly don't agree with taxpayers money supporting it!

Davros Fri 02-Aug-13 14:04:56

Mind you, I've known a lot of people who own their own homes but have moved out of London to afford something bigger and better. It isn't just renters who find they have to leave an area they like and have fri DS and family nearby.

expatinscotland Fri 02-Aug-13 14:46:34

Renters who do not have an asset to sell, Davros, are a different kettle of fish from homeowners, and those who need HB to top up their rent because they are in low-paid work are at serious disadvantage.

Compounding the issue now is that there are now more renters as fewer and fewer are able to purchase a home. So competition is fierce and HB applicants are going to be at the bottom of the pile, right under the Beds in Sheds people and illegals.

pining Fri 02-Aug-13 14:52:42

The family that turned down 12+ properties due to not liking the kitchen cupboards etc. Really? And they were in band A.....something isn't right. 2 choices and back to the bottom of the list is much fairer.

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 14:55:51

At the end of the programme it said the rules had changed since filming - families can nolonger keep turning down properties and remain at the top of the list

expatinscotland Fri 02-Aug-13 14:56:15

They changed the policy now. 3 refusals and you go to the back of the list.

LOL at her wanting a parking space when they had NO CAR!

tiggytape Fri 02-Aug-13 15:15:21

Lol at wanting a designated parking space in London!
The best most people get is a residents' permit allowing you to park on the road if there is a space but there are normally less spaces than permits.

Catsnotrats Fri 02-Aug-13 16:00:59

I was particularly impressed by the woman who turned down the flat due to the lack of parking, however I just want to defend her a little bit.

The building is a no-permit development which means that nobody in the building can be issued with a residents parking permit. If its like where I live there are no permit free streets so effectively you are banned from owning a car if you live in the building. It wasn't that she wanted a private space, she just wanted the option of owning a car.

I have a little bit of sympathy as they had been waiting for 12 years and I'm sure in that time she'd been dreaming of her perfect new home. When you have been waiting that long then I can see why it would be tempting to hold out for the perfect property if you are top of the list and won't lose your place if you turn places down.

expatinscotland Fri 02-Aug-13 16:24:38

Then move out of London or get a job and rent that perfect place on the private market. Her children were all well past early years. PMSL at the option of owning a car. In Central London. Oh, diddums, I'm effectively banned from owning a car and stuck living in this gorgeous half-million pound flat with TWO bathrooms, three big bedrooms and all new appliances built in for cheap rent.

Then hire one when you need it! Or join a car club. Car club cars are able to park in certain areas. Or buy one and pay to park it somewhere on a private lot.

That flat was to die for and they were in an overcrowded tower flat.

I'm glad you can't just go turning down again and again. What a joke. She was a pisstaker. She'd only waited 12 years with that family crammed in because she was a pisstaker.

EeTraceyluv Fri 02-Aug-13 16:29:24


Catsnotrats Fri 02-Aug-13 16:46:55

I agree with restricting the number of times you can turn down.

But just on the car issue. I live in an area that is more central to where that flat is. I used to be a member of a car club and get the tube to work. I've now had a car for 2 years and tbh it costs me less to use it to commute to work than the tube and has cut my journey time in half. Plus I don't have to plan car journeys 2 weeks in advance to be able to use the car club one. My friend lives in a no-permit building round the corner from me and its a complete pita for her. She has looked in to hiring a private space, £150 a month compared to the £70 annual charge I pay for my permit.

I don't think it's reason enough to turn down the flat, but I just wanted to correct those who thought she wanted her own private parking space.

Vivacia Fri 02-Aug-13 17:03:33

Just watched this (partly by accident). It really makes you count your blessings. What a minefield. What a disaster it was selling off the social housing.

EeTraceyluv Fri 02-Aug-13 17:04:53

But she said they didn't have a car but might like to get one in the future!!!!

JakeBullet Fri 02-Aug-13 17:06:06

In my area you only get two offers and then get removed from the list. If you are homeless/come out of the refuge etc then you get one offer and that is it.

I am in a lovely two bed house with a garden which I got because DS is autistic. It can't be bought which is fab because DS will have a home here for as long as he needs one.

My friend who came out of a Refuge was offered a two bed maisonette on the local sink bad it is slowly being demolished. She hates it but had no option other than accept it.

When I was offered this house they took me off of the Choice Based Lettings system they usually use and rehoused me as a priority under medical need. I am more grateful than I can say for my home.

Under Choice Based Letting locally you only get the address and a photo of the property exterior and don't get to look inside. If you bid and are successful then you get to look round but if you then turn it down it counts as one of your two firm offers.

Oh and you HAVE to bid a certain number of times, miss too many and they remove you from the waiting list.

cantsleep Fri 02-Aug-13 17:38:19

I waited 6 long years for my council house. At the time I had 2 dcs and was living in one room. Despite us being overcrowded and dcs having medical problems I was band c for 5 of those 6 years only being moved up to the highest band when dd was seriously unwell.

I had to view my house with 5 other applicants, none of us knew what. Number we were we just had to say if we would take the house if offered and later that day I got a phone call telling me I was first on the list but could I consider it carefully as the people second had 4 dcs and were in b+b accomodation.

I was a bit shicked they said it to me, especially giving out details of others circumstances and trying to influence my decision. I since found out it costs LA lots to have families in b+b long term so maybe that was why they tried to put me off.

cantsleep Fri 02-Aug-13 17:39:36

Shocked not shicked !

dirtyface Fri 02-Aug-13 17:40:15

Under Choice Based Letting locally you only get the address and a photo of the property exterior and don't get to look inside

see that makes me mad jake. as if us people in social housing are somehow lesser than normal renters or buyers. they get to look round a house, often several times if they want, and take their time, understandably. but its like they are saying no, you filthy council dwellers, you dont deserve that, be grateful for a shitty picture, take it or leave it we dont give a shit if its disgusting inside, its tough. ffs


oh i could rant for hours about this whole subject angry

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 22:17:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jux Sat 03-Aug-13 00:04:12

I would increase Council Tax 400% on second homes, unless they are occupied full time - ie not just a family who like to spend a bit of time in the country, and don't really contribute to the local economy, and take up a home which a local family could live in full time.

I hate all the holiday homes around here which are empty except for a few weeks a year, and the odd weekend. We have so many young families having to bunk in with parents and so on.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 03-Aug-13 00:06:57

I live in a council house. It is not "social housing", it's my home. When I applied I was treated with kindness, respect and the utmost sensitivity. My housing officer was one of the few stars in a very dark part of my life. She listened to me, understood me, got me and DS a home (like how huge is that?) and her kindness and wisdom gave me hope.

Yeah, it's a home one street away from the Entrance To Hell, but it's quiet enough here, my neighbors are friendly enough and it has been our happy home for more than 5 years.grin

The benefits officers I have encountered here have been very helpful and lovely with it. I am aware and have experienced less lovely staff in other places.......But

And I think this is a big but,

I think that at these times I was a huge pain in their asses. I was clearly only going to be claiming for a short time.blush I was always looking for a job or had one lined up and just needed enough money to tide me over for a little while. Who wants to have to do all that work when the likelihood is that the claimant will have a job before you manage to get through all the paperwork involved in their claim.

I think that the benefits system should be made much easier. So that people who really just need it as a stop gap between jobs are not afraid to take work where we find it because it's temporary and the amount of hassle signing off and then on again and then off again is cut right down. It took my initial claim 3 months before I received any money. That puts people off taking the risk of getting a job that may not seem secure.

"Under Choice Based Letting locally you only get the address and a photo of the property exterior and don't get to look inside."

Ours doesn't even necessarily use the outside of the property, just a property in the general vicinity. It's odd. I know the picture of our home wasn't actually our home and was instead one of the neighbours.

JakeBullet Sat 03-Aug-13 00:18:18

I used to drive round to see where places were when I was in the bidding system of Choice Based Letting. I never got any of the properties I bid for as there were just too many people ahead of me.

In the end it was DS being autistic which got us housed by a housing association and then there was no bidding. A straight letter offering me the tenancy of this house once I had viewed it and deemed it suitable. It was and is suitable.....won't mention the previous tenant, the graffiti on the walls or dart board marks etc. I didn't get offered anything for redecoration either....had to do it as I had the money a little bit at a time.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 03-Aug-13 01:02:47

My LA don't provide money for decorating. But I was fortunate, my family bought me some cheap paint and helped me out with furniture. The ex tenant of my house sold me her washing machine, cooker, fridge freezer, wardrobes and sofas for £500. My mum gave her the money and I paid her back over time.

It is so much more difficult for those without support.sad

creighton Sat 03-Aug-13 11:39:16

there were lots of things in that programme that show that a root and branch change of housing and housing allocation needs to be carried out in London in particular.

you shouldn't be able to fetch up in the country and expect to be given a council flat - man from the phillipines who then questioned the man interviewing him about his African origins

you shouldn't be able to turn down more than 2 properties without good reason without being put at the bottom of the housing list.

private accommodation should be subject to spot checks, it was unbelievable that a room was being rented out with a broken lock/door.

all property should be of a lettable standard i.e. there should be a functioning kitchen in the 3 bed house not a rubbish tip, so that the pensioner in this case could move straight in with his family.

showing five families a flat at the same time, how humiliating. I know that it costs a fortune to have staff waiting around all day to show a flat to several families but that was ridiculous.

creighton Sat 03-Aug-13 11:48:31

the housing authorities do not think that council tenants are scum, most of the staff probably have used or were brought up in council properties so they know the value of it. they do however, need to fill properties quickly and cannot give people four viewings and a few weeks to contemplate whether they want the property or not. if you don't want it, someone else will take it.

this is different from 20/30 years ago when there were fewer people looking for homes and there was more stock to choose from.

as for the woman who wanted a parking space for her 'mythical' car. tough luck! in London there is a bus, tube, train, cab and footpower available to get around. if she were so desperate for a new home, she would have had one within the 12 years she allegedly was waiting. she and her husband could have worked and bought a house if they were so desperate or done the right to buy and cashed in to make their own arrangements. there is no reason to have sympathy for her at all.

each borough has its own development plans and some will not allow a parking space to be created for each household. if you want a car you will have to park it somewhere else, not on a car free estate.

BettyandDon Sat 03-Aug-13 11:49:59

Have to admit I was in 2 minds when I watched this. Some cases I felt sorry for and others I felt they were not trying hard enough to improve their situations themselves (for example, the redundant banker eventually moved out of London which was entirely sensible don't know why he didn't before). I was aghast as the lady who nearly refused a brand new flat worth £485k because of the lack of parking. How many places in london have their own parking. I thought she was playing the system and saw no reason that if her family wanted better housing why she could not have got herself a job. The elderly and those whose communities had disintegrated yes I had some sympathy though. I can't see an easy way of improving the system and I agree that it should not be easy for people to walk into subsidised housing, but private options should be cheaper and it doesn't look like that will happen soon.

creighton Sat 03-Aug-13 12:00:16

did you see the housing officer's face when she was first at the flat? she was so happy to be able to show such a nice flat to a family and then her face after they initially turned it down? she tried hard not to show how awful she thought they were.

JakeBullet Sat 03-Aug-13 12:09:10

I must actually sit and watch this programme....I am aghast at the idea of a fully fitted kitchen. I would have loved that in mine and can hardly believe anyone wouldn't snap up a flat with such a wonderful asset.

My kitchen is old but functional and all the appliances in it are mine.

Yes to routine inspections of private lets. The last place I privately rented was unfit for human habitation by the time we left. Had the environmental health people in who slapped an order on the LL for repairs which he couldn't get done in the time. We moved and he had to do the work a bit at a time. It was a slight vindication that no letting agent would take the place on until he had raised it to an acceptable standard.

dirtyface Sat 03-Aug-13 21:52:31

oh yeah watch it jake

anyone who has a council / Ha house should watch it, it didnt half make me count my blessings

and YY to inspections of private lets, some of the states that are allowed to be rented out are unbelievable. but whats even more scandalous is that its PUBLIC money given to these robbing chancers in order to house people in them

smokinaces Sat 03-Aug-13 22:41:06

I was rehoused by the council four years ago. Homeless points as our landlord gave us notice. The choice based lettings was only in its second week, and even despite advertising many residents didn't know how it worked. Ashamed to say it worked in my favour - I was one of only eleven bidders on my three bed house (now they go for over 100 buds) and I won it in my first week of being eligible. It was in a notorious estate, was a pigeon box and I got no help with decorating or carpeting, but it was my home for 3.5 years.

I did an exchange to a two bed before Christmas, which suits me and both my boys. I am very fortunate as its in a lovely area and is a lovely big two bed house and my neighbours are wonderful. The previous tenant put holes in the wall but I am fixing it all slowly.

Being homeless and needing the council s help is so demorilising. I had my life and income and everything gone over with a fine tooh comb and was interrogated so many times. I cried nightly. Now I just thank the stars for being so bloody fortunate to live where I do. Lifetime tenancy on affordable rent in a nice area.

Programmes like this (just catching up tonight) make me so sad.

Groovee Sun 04-Aug-13 08:12:58

It did say at the end of the programme that they family were turned down for a permit but accepted the flat.

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 09:35:05

I'm glad the guy with the (grand?) daughters got the house he held out for, those girls were so excited. That poor couple with the autistic boy though, I really wish they'd said what happened to them. If they were number two, likelihood is next house would be number one?? <straw clutching>

I wouldn't like to work where they work. It must be so hard. To be number 1060 in a bidding cycle? I dont think any bids round here go over 150 - I now realise how lucky we are to live in an area with a lot of council and social housing properties still.

celticclan Sun 04-Aug-13 09:50:45

My friend was recently bidding for council properties. The system seems very complicated, she was considered a priority and was told that she was in the highest band as they were being evicted and would soon be homeless. They were told that they would only be in the highest category of need for a month and would then move down a band as you can only be considered in urgent need for a limited time. They did bid on some properties but unfortunately they were not successful. Surely if they lost out when they were considered in urgent need they will now have no chance if they are in a lower band? confused

78bunion Sun 04-Aug-13 10:31:49

Yes, Creighton, I didn't like the way the man with the Phillippines wife asked the benefits officer if he were Kenyan. Talk about doing all you can to make those who might be able to help you not want to.... No wonder his long working week only generates commission of £600 and can't his wife work? Or may be she does full time and it just wasn't said.

Ablababla Sun 04-Aug-13 11:21:51

It's possible the banker man used to work in Kenya or something and was trying to create a rapport. It didn't strike me that he was being racist. Why on earth would he have wanted to piss the council guy off? What really shocked me was tha,t considering how desperate the housing situation is, why on earth are they still offering lifetime tenancies? The guy with the two granddaughters clearly needed that property for say 15 years but obviously would be sitting in a three bed house when the girls had left home. Meanwhile the couple with the autistic child and 100s of others like them would not be able to access the housing they real need.

78bunion Sun 04-Aug-13 11:26:11

I agree. I think he meant it well, but it was an unfortunate comment when the man was probably born in London, not Africa.

I think someone said on this thread they now tend to offer tenancies for fixed periods.

Jux Sun 04-Aug-13 14:13:09

As the man had spent the last umpteen years in Singapore I disagree. I think he was just making copious notes about who he spoke to and what they said. Thoroughly obnoxious, imo.

He did the sensible thing in the end though, started looking for cheaper areas outside London. That's what people do, isn't it?

One thing I did notice was how the Council rents are about the same as private rents where I live!

Groovee Sun 04-Aug-13 14:46:20

That poor couple with the autistic boy though, I really wish they'd said what happened to them.

At the end they did, they had been given a safer 1 bedroomed flat. They were still continuing to bid on properties.

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 15:44:40

No groovee, that was the pregnant couple who were in the one unlockable room with the dog.

They didn't mention that couple again.

creighton Sun 04-Aug-13 17:20:18

the banker didn't need to know that the man was from Kenya, he needed to know the man's name if he were taking notes for later. he wanted to be able to complain that he, an Englishman, had to ask a foreigner for housing in his own country (even though he was trying to jump the queue with his 'foreign' family.

having said that, did you see the Asian woman at the start who insisted that she would be given a home if she were white. again she was talking to a black person. tower hamlets is substantially Asian and many of the people in social housing there will necessarily be of Asian origin. I am so glad that I don't work directly in this area any more, the never ending ''you would give it to me if I was black/white/gay/straight/tall/short.....

the system in London needs reforming. they need to be stricter with people

dirtyface Sun 04-Aug-13 19:31:48

having said that, did you see the Asian woman at the start who insisted that she would be given a home if she were white. again she was talking to a black person

shock missed that, OMG imagine if that was the other way round. ie if she'd have been white and said she'd have got a place if she was asian / black etc

what an awful racist thing to say. didnt like her anyway tho tbh

RedHelenB Sun 04-Aug-13 20:28:03

i didn't think the property was suitable for the family with the autistic child cos it was very near a busy road which would no doubt pose as great a danger as being in a first floor flat & trying to get out the window. I do hope they found somewhere suitable though. As to the family that did get the house why shouldn't he stay there till he dies - it wasn't himwho wanted to move but the council cos it was pulling his housing block down. hope he maanged to get ti habitable for his grand daughters.

expatinscotland Sun 04-Aug-13 20:29:55

'No groovee, that was the pregnant couple who were in the one unlockable room with the dog.

They didn't mention that couple again.'

They did. The council sourced a private let 1-bedroom flat for them and they continue to bid on 2-bed properties. Oh, and the baby was healthy. smile

The baby was a wee boy called Brooklyn.

As for the guy who turned down nine offers, it's easy to judge, but we didn't see them.
I turned down two, before I accepted the one I have.
The two I turned down were not reasonable/acceptable offers, according to the rules of the HA, except they were insisting they were and this was my last offer (we are allowed to turn down two)
They acknowledged one was unacceptable as it had only two bedrooms, but said the other two bed place was fine confused
They offered me another which had three beds, but no central heating. They withdrew that offer, then said I refused it, which was not even true!

According to my HA, I turned down three properties, when in fact, according to their criteria as to what I need, I accepted the first one.

HA's lie.

Oh, I was gievn a decorating grant too, £117, there were no floors, and every wall and ceiling was in a state.
This grant is given in two parts, half before you move in, and half after.
I spent £1000 sorting it out to make it liveable before I moved in, and when I asked for the second half it turns out I couldn't have it because I owed them money. Weirdly, I owed them exactly £117. What are the chances.

Now we have the fun and games with the bedroom tax.
They say I have an extra room, the room that according to them I have to have, but I need to pay for it, unless I downsize, except I can't downsize because then I'll be in a too small property.

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 21:57:34

Expat, I know the pregnant couple in that room with the baby had a private rent. I'm talking about the couple right at the end who viewed the house with the grandad and had the autistic son. They didn't say if they got rehoused.

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 22:10:50

And I always remember expat you were going through the rehoming at the same time as me, and got your flat. Are you still there? Did you sort the bedroom tax issue you were having??

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 04-Aug-13 22:37:36

Finally watched - glad grandad and 2 kids got a property - but what was he offered a 3 bed room as both girls?

Thought the Austic boy/couple got a one bed flat private or did I mix them up with the preg couple in the room with no lock - disgraceful that was sad

Lady not wanting the 1/2million property coz no parking but didn't eve. Have a car hmm tho in the end she accepted it

Don't understand why the council don't check out properties before hand and clear them out of junk/old furniture and even give them a lick of paint? sad

Glad can only turn down several properties now and then go to bottom of list

Yes some look awful but a bit of elbow Grease and cheap paint and will look ok

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 22:47:14

The council dont do anything blondes. You've seen mine, with smashed doors, wrecked floors and holes in the wall and fence. The problem is with the elbow grease and paint is simply the time and effort to get it done, and money.

The bedroom tax didn't come in till April, which might be why he got a three bed. But I know round here you can still have bigger if you pay for it. And to be fair they needed him moved with the demolition due.

the autistic son couple were only briefly shown at the end at the viewing. The ones with the baby and one bed flat at the end were the ones in the unlocked room.

im still in shock at the 1060 bids. Checked our listings today and most bids on a house in last few weeks was 158.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 04-Aug-13 23:14:20

I don't think yours is bad smokin - apart from the decor in the bathroom ..,,,, pmsl

When you looked at it did you have leftover furniture / crap everywhere?

So the preg couple got a place?

smokinaces Sun 04-Aug-13 23:18:58

Oi cowbag! You'll be saying my kitchen decor is bad next!

No, this one was an exchange so there wasn't anything apart from dirt left. But my previous house did have a whole loft full of crap. And a garden. And walls where they'd pulled all the paper down and the floorboards were awful. We begged and borrowed to decorate that place as it wasn't habitable at all, but we were homeless when we got it, and broke.

SinisterBuggyMonth Mon 05-Aug-13 00:09:30

This really isn't a recent.thing, I went on the housing list when I was 21 in 1996, I waited 12 years and gave up. I had to reapply every year stealth method of knocking people off the list and the only property I was notified was a shared owners scheme that I didn't earn enough to afford.

I did manager to get my dad a HA flat after 1.5 years but that is because he has a progressive neuro disease, that took me harass ing the Council, SS and environmental health on a weekly basis. You have to be very very needy to get social housing, and even then its a push.

Groovee Mon 05-Aug-13 11:28:11

My mistake I thought it was the couple with their son who was on a medical list. Wish we could know how they got on.

One more thing about my HA.
I am about to get a new bathroom, I need a walk in shower.
The HA are insisting on replacing the toilet and sink too, with identical ones to what I have.
I have told them, and several people from there, many times, that I don't need or want a new sink or toilet.
They'll be replacing them anyway, as that's policy confusedhmm

Groovee Mon 05-Aug-13 22:18:46

Netto, My husband works for a company installing boilers for a local council and they've been told to remove things which really don't need replacing and replace it anyway. The company cannot believe how much waste the council have when they are installing new kitchens, heating and bathrooms.

It's madness.
They make up lies so as not to give me £117 to fix the mess my house was in, but insist on spending whatever it costs to replace my toilet and sink, for identical ones.

williaminajetfighter Tue 06-Aug-13 06:43:03

Just a depressing show all round. The grandpa with two daughters seemed to expect to be housed by the council for the rest of his life like the council were somehow responsible for him. Ridiculous.

As a private tenant and owner I've moved into flats that were in worse condition and where I've had to shell our my own money for repairs and redecoration. And people are balking at having to spend money likely given to then by the govt as part of their income to do up a totally subsidised house.

The mind baffles at the mentality of some people and their belief at their expectations of govt support and involvement in their life. Entitled vs grateful is how some people came across with just a complete expectation of cradletograve govt support. Dire and depressing.

JakeBullet Tue 06-Aug-13 07:03:46

I have also had to do the same william in private lets AND social lets. Apart from one home I have never been given anything towards decoration. One thing I WILL say though is that with private letting I had a choice, I could walk away from the property if it needed too much cannot do that with a social let in many cases. Two offers and you are off the list.....even if each offered property does need work.

Also remember that social housing generally houses people who don't have the money to spare for decoration and yet many manage. When I got this house it had graffiti on the walls and 8 black bags full of rubbish in the garden....yes I counted every bag I filled. A private letting agency wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole until some of this was remedied yet it is perfectly acceptable to let it to a social tenant.

I am not moaning, I am bloody grateful to have this house and I welcome the lifelong tenancy because my son is autistic, he might always need to call this house home. I got nothing towards decoration but at the time I was working so was able to do this work (yes amazingly out of my own pocket....not everyone in social housing is unemployed).

Now two years on it looks okay here, the graffiti is covered, the garden looks like a garden, the floors are carpeted and it's a home....not the drug den it apparently was when the previous tenant was here.

The granddad with two granddaughters he had taken on ....he needed housing, I agree he doesn't need a lifelong tenancy in a three bedroom property but the system is at fault here not him, they could have given him a 20 year tenancy to be reviewed when the tenancy was up and he could have been rehoused at that point into a smaller property. Not his fault that the system needs looking at and addressing though.

RedHelenB Tue 06-Aug-13 07:43:55

William - he had sole care of his grand daughters at his age - putting them in care would cost a lot more & he was promised council housing for life when he signed up in the 60's to the block that was being demolished by the council! i certainly didn't think he sounded entitled & where was the money for privaste rent to come from?

dirtyface Tue 06-Aug-13 08:28:30

nettosuperstar thats crazy re the replacing the sink and toilet, where is the logic there, its just a complete waste of money

idiots :/

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 06-Aug-13 10:17:14

Netto. What a waste of money and sure their budget could be spent better hmm

If someone gets life tenancy does it get passed to their children? Hence the prob with 3bed houses and a single person living there?

Still don't know why grandad got a 3 bed place and not 2 and the girls share

What does annoy me - the families that say they need more space as overcrowded yet have more children

I think there was a backstory with the grandad getting a 3 bed place. He wouldn't normally be eligible no matter what priority band he was in so I assume there was another person who perhaps chose not to be filmed. I wondered if his child (daughter?) was still around but for some reason not able to care for the children full time.

JakeBullet Tue 06-Aug-13 10:36:48

The tenancy only gets passed n if the child's name is on the tenancy agreement I think. I may have to do this at some point in the future as DS is autistic and might always need to call this house his home but it would be nice to think he could live independently.

I know a friend who was not allowed to take on a tenancy when her Mum died, despite the fact that she had been living there with her son for a significant amount of time.

If and when my son does manage to move out then I might well be able to downsize. I only have a two bedroom place though and judging by the home swap sites people seem to want houses with 3 -4 bedrooms. Hardly anyone wants to downsize which is amazing given the cut to HB.

Nancy66 Tue 06-Aug-13 12:41:06

The one I felt the sorriest for was Gertrude - the 83 year old who took on the first floor flat.

Within the next 5 years she's going to be either housebound or desperately trying to be rehoused.

JakeBullet Tue 06-Aug-13 13:12:00

Yes that is crap Nancy much more thought and planning needs to go not allocation of places. Hard though because properties are so scarce but maybe that's why we should be allocating them more wisely.

smokinaces Tue 06-Aug-13 14:19:22

Blondes if something were to happen to me, my boys could have my tenancy in trust, so someone like my sister could move in and care for them and they'd get the tenancy when they turned 18.

I wonder if the grandfathers girls weren't sisters, but cousins?

When I was originally housed I was given a three bed house even though I had a two and one year old son. There are very few two beds here, so priority housing often gets given three beds. The two beds were those that were bought first in the right to buy.

Gertrude the 83 year old made me sad too, desperate for her own place but at her age already struggling with the steps :-(

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 06-Aug-13 14:58:25

Smokin - that's nice to know that of something did happen to you that your boys are looked after - tho assumed would go and live with their dad?

Yes the older woman was sad - guess there are not many ground floor one bed flats about - assuming anyone who is disabled /has disabled children want ground floor so they get first pick

Or make sure places with high floor flats have working lifts

smokinaces Tue 06-Aug-13 15:16:54

Not neccesarily blondes re. The going to live with their dad. I need to have a think about it all in all seriousness but he wouldn't cope with full pr and care. So it would most likely be a split thing, with my sister and mum involved but them staying primarily resident in their current house.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 06-Aug-13 15:38:44

Then I hope you have a will making your feelings known smokin

If not then please get one. Not having a will when dh died sad caused me so much hassle and we were the easiest to sort out - as in married but no kids

78bunion Tue 06-Aug-13 18:29:14

And there is nothing you can put in a will which removes the remaining parent's rights (although if the other parent says they are happy not to have the children with them that is all fine - but they can insist whatever the will or a letter of wishes might say)

smokinaces Tue 06-Aug-13 20:48:45

No, its not written down, but its not something I would insist on if that makes sense. They know my feelings, I have the shared care option and my house if they want it. If their father does feel he can have full care then that's fine, but he knows there are options if he doesn't. He is their father and able to make that decision, I can just advise. All money if I die goes to my mother and the children and that is done through legal paperwork.

williaminajetfighter Wed 07-Aug-13 06:44:58

jakebullet your points are valid but a lot of private renters have to do a LOT of work on properties; not everything is left to landlords. I just think there needs to be a realization that it's not super-easy for people in private or house owners who have to buy dumps and invest in doing them up.

Redhelen I still stand by the grandfather seeming overly entitled. Who cares if he was told he would have lifelong tenancy in the 1960s? Who assumes they are going to be housed by the govt for the rest of their lives?! Plus using that claim that 'if he wasn't looking after the children they would have to be looked after by the state' is bonkers logic. I've read this before on MN when carers say they are saving the local authorities loads of money because if they weren't caring for their relatives the LA would have to. It's just bonkers logic especially as fundamentally no one should assume the govt is there to look after one's family and relatives. I work and look after my children - should I get a voucher from the Local Authority for doing this and saving them money?? We need to put an end to this kind of super-crazy way of thinking. The govt should be a LAST DITCH support for people not a nanny state.

CoTananat Wed 07-Aug-13 07:47:54

It's not bonkers. All the long stay hospitals have closed. Now carers do that work, much more cheaply. If they did not do it the state would have to reopen the long stay institutions. It's wrong to treat carers as an economic burden, as it is wrong to treat disabled people as same. No one chooses to have a broken neck. You chose* to have your children; do you not see the difference?

*Though of course it's pragmatic and wise for us as a society to create circumstances within which that is a possible and rewarding choice, as we need children to sustain society

JakeBullet Wed 07-Aug-13 08:26:17

However William, if a child is disabled then caring for that child os a whole new ball game when compared with caring gor a child who is not disabled.

For instance parents of children NOT disabled tend to get a full nights sleep once those early years are over. I am still not getting a full nights sleep witb a 10 year old who is autistic. The issue is SO severe that it cost me my job. I left before things got worse but the bottom line is that I was making mistakes in a job which I just couldn't afford to make mistakes in.

That's just ONE difference.

I am now DS' s carer, not a decision I took lightly, on fact I agonised for 18 months trying shorter hours before I finally made the decision.

I am now in social housing. ...long story but at tbe moment I have no option. Not everyone will earn enough to use the private sector. Maybe that grandfather was one of them and needs lifelong social housing.

I am fortunate as until three years sgo I earned enough to privately rent and before thst had a mortgage. Some people will never be in that position. I doubt I will ever earn enough to be in my previous position again. Nor will I likely give up my tenancy as my son might always need to csll this house his home.

Many people work and earn for their children, sometimes though life is harder. Some disabilities are exhausting and reach into all areas of life. Fact remains that if we DON'T support carers and they go under then tbeir children WILL need care at a substantially greater cost to the tax payer.

I worked for nearly 30 years before giving up work. When I did finally make the decision I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. A year on I feel like a new person. ..I care for my son, I actively volunteer to support other families in similar situations and I will work again in the future.

My friend whose daughter is physically disabled might never work again. She is not being idle or just expecting the state to pick up the tab. She physically cannot do thst snd care for her child. The cost to the state of full time care of her daughter would be astronomical. ....she saves the taxpayer a massive amount.

williaminajetfighter Wed 07-Aug-13 09:23:01

CoTananat and Jake I completely see what you're saying and I realize there are always going to be circumstances where the state needs to intervene and provide support. Life isn't perfect and situations arise where short and long-term support is needed.

I think what I'm fundamentally opposed to is this cradletograve notion that people go to the state for so many elements of their life, from their housing to assistance with jobs, care etc with the the local authority on speed dial. I'm not originally from the UK (but British citizen now) and find the attitude here, particularly in some communities, really bonkers in the way they view the state and their entitlement to support and involvement. I think the aim of every functioning adult is to have as limited govt involvement in their life as possible but I find my view is VERY unpopular here and considered almost rude. why?

So what I found irritating about the show was the way the man just assumed that he was going to be housed forever and the housing assn/council was going to sort out his accommodation for him and even then he was going to complain about not being satisfied. Free accommodation buddy. Complain away.

JakeBullet Wed 07-Aug-13 09:37:19

I definitely see what you mean William, the house I am in is less than 10 years old and before I was here it was occupied by a girl who wrecked it. When I moved in there was graffiti on the walls, marks on the ealls from dart boards, holes in the wall and many bags worth of rubbish in the garden.

The previous tenant was just 21 and had absolutely no appreciation for what she had been given here. She (or a boyfriend) had also hot wired the electricity meter which cost the supplier in replacing the meter etc. Police called intermittantly until their records wete updated trying to find the previous tenant and others.

I am 47, I have lived life and had private lets, mortgages and a lifetime (nearly) of work. I totally and utterly appreciate what I have here.

I will say that I have no idea what the life history of the previous tenant is....I assume given her behaviour here that it wasn't great. I suspect a difficult childhood.

williaminajetfighter Wed 07-Aug-13 09:48:22

Yikes Jake - nightmare. How do you hotwire an electricity meter? There's a skill that I need to learn!

Auntfini Wed 07-Aug-13 09:57:40

But William it isn't free accommodation. I do agree with some of what you say, the attitude of some people that they're entitled to a council house is fairly astounding, but they do pay rent!

xuntitledx Wed 07-Aug-13 10:46:41

I watched this show and like others, felt a mixture of cross and empathy!

Re. the decorating, I'm not sure why people felt entitled to this? When we bought our house, it was also in need of complete redecoration, skip hire, new fixtures and fittings and modernisation - we didn't receive any help with this and nor would we have expected to. We couldn't afford to buy a more expensive house that didn't need this amount of work doing to it so we had to make do with what we could afford and do much of the work ourselves.

I also found it quite distasteful that families were able to sit at the top of the list turning down multiple properties because it didn't quite match their idea of the perfect home. My opinion of these people was that they were taking advantage of the social housing system - they clearly weren't desperate to move or that bothered about the overcrowding if they could afford to be so picky.

I also didn't feel that the show was geared up to 'benefit bash' either - there was barely any mention of the families situation and whether they were working or not working.

williaminajetfighter Wed 07-Aug-13 11:19:04

Auntfini I know many people do pay rent and in some areas council rate is relatively similar to market rates so not cheap!

But it is free if the govt is paying for your housing benefit to pay for 100% of the rent. If someone gives you something I think that is called free.

The likelihood is that the grandfather was receiving £ to fund the rent but I'll not know for sure of course.

JakeBullet Wed 07-Aug-13 15:34:57 wiring an electricity meter.....I haven't a clue lol. But then again at 21 I doubt I knew what an electricity meter was, much less how to hot wire one. I suspect one of her boyfriends who probably learned it from his Dad before him.

Interestingly when the technician came out to fit a new meter he said it was rife sad.

I moved in here mid December 2010...the electricity company instructed me not to touch the meter when I contacted them (took me three days to realise that the meter was a key meter with no credit on it...yet I still had power). The technician couldn't get out until the first week of January so I had three weeks of free electricity.

I have no idea if they pursued the previous tenant for the losses and for tampering with the meter. What I do know is that she has had another baby.....oh joy. She is still under 25.

GameSetAndMatch Wed 07-Aug-13 18:06:22

netto. me too. its disgraceful

I do believe people on this thread mean well, but are quite possibly falling for the editing.

I turned down three properties which were all great, then refused to move for a month into one of the most sought after in town.
I demanded money to sort it out, got the HA to do jobs they should never have had to do, and was a huge, entitled PITA.

I didn't turn down any properties which were suitable, I accepted the first one, and was very excited about it.
I was offered it well over two months before I was allowed to see inside it, and when I was allowed to see inside I had to sign for it immediately, and then be responsible for the rent from the next day.
That meant I had to pay rent on two properties, and find the money to move immediately, and everything that went with it.
I refused, as there were no floorboards, no heating, and my OT advised me not to.
I spent the following month getting work done on it to move in, and did as soon as I could.

That was January 3rd.
Christmas was spent in tears, and/or ill and having to pack my stuff into bin bags.

I love my home, I am lucky to have it, but don't kid yourself that the HA's are on your side.

Next chapter-the HA woman who told me I should move immediately as I'm not, 'fully disabled'.

RedHelenB Thu 08-Aug-13 15:51:10

As you say William, you don't understand the concept of affordable social housing which the Grandad signed up for. presumably he got the bigger house because he was a priority case as his flat was about to be demolished! Good luck to him, it 's hard bringing up 2 kids at his age & i for one am glad he got that house!

Sleepyhoglet Thu 08-Aug-13 21:10:09

Ooh getting racist!

BettyandDon Thu 08-Aug-13 21:12:44

Terrible the young family don't want anyone to give them anything...except a house. Quite.

Sleepyhoglet Thu 08-Aug-13 21:16:03

Then you're going to end up with nowhere to live.

Not my fault is it?


WetAugust Thu 08-Aug-13 21:30:28

Can't see why the single chap with the serious heart condition is affected by the 'bedroom tax'. If he's so disabled that he cannot work then he'll no doubt be exempt from the rule?

Problem with this programme is it's too easy to get your judgey pants on. If you do people will tell you that all the cases featured are 'exceptional' when it's becoming increasing apparent that there is a sector of the community that simply will not (not cannot) take responsibility for themselves.

WetAugust Thu 08-Aug-13 21:53:57

FFS! Bringing that chap in to tell him there were 4 people in front of him was fucking cruel - as well as a waste of his time and the housing association person's time dealing with it.

This system needs a flaming good shake up angry

difficultpickle Thu 08-Aug-13 21:57:56

I don't understand how the bidding processs works. Surely you should only be able to bid for properties that are the right size? If the lady with the two children was able to bid for 3 bedrooom then surely she should be entitled to it? confused

williaminajetfighter Thu 08-Aug-13 22:11:53

Yikes. That was depressing television.

Is there some kind of legal requirement in Manchester to have hideous looking big floral wallpaper?! wink

Emz8369 Thu 08-Aug-13 22:12:54

the woman at the beginning of the programme made me hmm saying foreign people shouldnt get the houses yet the two kids sat beside her on the settee are clearly mixed race

williaminajetfighter Thu 08-Aug-13 22:13:26

Oh and Ashe and Milly who will clearly be together forever and are the future stars of tomorrow were given a lifelong tenancy. Wtf?! I thought all tenancies were 5 yrs max.

Jubelteen Thu 08-Aug-13 22:20:39

We heard it from the horses mouth at the end of the programme, the system is crazy and staff are doing their best to work with the rules. I felt so sorry for the poor bloke who didn't get the bungalow he thought he'd been offered, and the lady whose children were not quite old enough for a 3 bed house. The new Dad Ashley should be able to look for work and get on with decorating at weekends like everyone else has to, his earlier excuse was that he couldn't look for work until he knew where he was living.

williaminajetfighter Thu 08-Aug-13 22:26:17

Emz, I don't think the woman on the sofa was, um, the head of her local Mensa chapter. Bloody depressing seeing the underbelly of the underclass and total no hopers. Sorry but she just seemed dense with her 'blah blah disgraceful...'

PearlyWhites Thu 08-Aug-13 23:08:21

Disabled people are still subject to bedroom tax.
Yes in most areas social housing tenancies are quite rightly for life.

I thought the HO said Ashe and Milly were getting a provisional tenancy.

Nancy66 Fri 09-Aug-13 08:46:40

Isn't the fact that council houses are offered for life part of the problem?

Surely that's what's led to the ludicrous situation of having people in London earning over £100k occupying council properties.

I think the tenants should be reassessed every five years or so and if their circumstances have changed then it's time to move in.

A roof over your head at a heavily subsidised price is a privilege and shouldn't be a lifelong one.

78bunion Fri 09-Aug-13 09:11:37

The very bright girl with the 4 year old and her non working husband would probably find it easier to cope with their private rent if the husband perhaps tried to find some work to tide them over if he can and perhaps she, a student - could try for work too bar work, cleaning although I know even in Manchester jobs are hard to find. If he collects his girl from school every day may be he could do evening babysitting for people or she could?

soverylucky Fri 09-Aug-13 09:24:51

I wondered if he could do some of the voluntary work that was mentioned that could help you move up a band. Don't know if that was a possibility for that family?

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 10:39:28

Tbh Nancy I agree with you here, I do think family homes need to be given with perhaps twenty year tenancies and then reassessed to see if that size of property is still required.

I am in a two bedroom 10 years time DS might have moved out or might not. It would be fair at that point for the HA to reassess my tenancy to see if I still required a two bedroom house. My son is autistic, he might always need to call this house his home, but he might not.

Subsidised rent? I am less agreeable there, if the house owned by the HA or council is fully paid for then anything on top is profit to be used in order to build further housing. Rather than social rents being subsidised I suspect that private rents are inflated.....people getting what they can for a house/flat/whatever. This is why we see huge rents in parts of London which are purely profit don't see this in social housing.

I will acknowledge that initial building of houses gets some subsidies. But once the property is paid for it is no longer subsidised. My house is 10 years old.....probably not paid for itself yet. Either I pay the rent or HB does......only if HB is paying the rent can the Govt be said to be paying for it now. My HA is a non profit making one.....if they were profit making then we would be seeing rents of £800+ a month for a two bedroom house. As we would be seeing a far higher level of homelessness.

In fact my thought regarding housing is that it is every persons right to have a roof over their head. In the same way that we offer education and health care. We don't consider people to be receiving "subsidised care" in the NHS or "subsidised education" if they send their children to a State school. Why the issue over housing? Perhaps because there is unequal access to it which means we need rent caps in place or far more in the way of social housing. Maybe then we wouldn't need to pay Tax credits....who knows.

DarceyBissell Fri 09-Aug-13 11:32:40

When I was given my 3-bed house 13 years ago it was just me and DS and I got £150 decorating vouchers. When DS left home I offered to vacate house in exchange for a 2-bed and was told I could only have a 1 bed. So I stayed put in 3-bed house with huge garden in nice village and can stay here for life.
In our borough children of same sex have a to have a room each if over 7 years old. So there are lots of houses under-occupied. Madness.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 11:47:15

It's changing though Darcey, children if the A&E sex have to share now up until age 16 I believe. You could possibly swap to a two bed, most areas will allow you one bedroom in excess of your needs.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 11:48:02

"Of the same sex"... not sure where A&E came from confused

williaminajetfighter Fri 09-Aug-13 13:06:05

Jakebullet do you really believe that it is every person's RIGHT to have a roof over their head because the extension of that is that the government therefore has an obligation to house everyone. Is that really practical? Holy Moly. I think FOOD should be a right. Looking forward to the govt providing that for me too!

Secondly most landlords make a return of about 3-7% which is hardly substantial for the risk they are taking. This is their return after paying their whole mortgage. Do people really think that the council 'charges' for housing is any reflection of the costs of the build or the administration of the HA?

There are people like the braniacs on last night's show, Ashe & Milly, who are now in the system and will probably believe for the rest of their lives that their housing and social needs are meant to be looked after by the govt. They will probably never understand what the real cost of housing is. Their daughter will probably be caught in the same cycle of poverty and so it goes on....

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 13:16:33

I think everyone needs access and should have a "right" to shelter william yes. I admit I haven't worded it very well though.

Fact is that those who can afford to use private health care and private education do so already. It should be the same with social housing so it is there but those who can afford NOT to use it would choose to use the private sector freely and willingly. That will only happen with a look at rents though....and I am not clever enough to know how we do that.

All I DO know though is that relatives in Europe rent privately, it is no issue to them and their tenancies are secure in the same way that social housing is. Nobody chooses social housing if they can afford not to in their country and even on everyday kind of jobs they earn enough to pay rent and a very expensive country. Nor do they need housing top ups in the form of benefits because they earn a wage which meets everyday living costs.

I don't know how we do that though.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 13:26:58

I agree btw about the fact that most LL don't make huge profit in the rent...I certainly didn't when I was a LL but fact is that if I had been able to afford to keep the property I would have made huge profit eventually. And if my tenants paid their rent via housing benefit then all the mortgage would have been paid with Govt money.
Sadly I could not afford to keep the property (long story) and I had to sell but the flats I lived in now sell for three times what I paid for mine. Nearly all being bought by BTL landlords.

EeTraceyluv Fri 09-Aug-13 13:41:34

I have just watched and am very probably being dense, but, how could David live with his ex wife and yet his flat still be 'his'. I understand that he was 'staying' there as her guest but common sense should surely prevail and he will never go back there, so why not re let it????

dirtyface Fri 09-Aug-13 14:57:37

In fact my thought regarding housing is that it is every persons right to have a roof over their head. In the same way that we offer education and health care. We don't consider people to be receiving "subsidised care" in the NHS or "subsidised education" if they send their children to a State school. Why the issue over housing? Perhaps because there is unequal access to it which means we need rent caps in place or far more in the way of social housing. Maybe then we wouldn't need to pay Tax credits....who knows.*

this ^^

<applauds jakebullet>

alemci Fri 09-Aug-13 15:54:45

watching this now. the teenagers come across as irresponsible. and the boys mother as a dim wit..

would rather the young couple with lily were housed. at least they were trying to get on with her studying but man needs to be more pro acticve. maybe him working would affect her grant.

felt sorry for alan having to go to a box room. could he not fet a lodger. probably not legal but do you think people do this.

williaminajetfighter Fri 09-Aug-13 16:00:33

dirtyface the difference is that EVERYONE has access to free healthcare and free education. Not the same with housing where only one sector of the population is given subsidized housing and there are lists of need - while most of the population are completely excluded and will never have access. If you want to make a direct parallel with healthcare then we would have a scenario where the entire population would be given the option of state housing with only some of us deciding we want more and go private. Unless you're thinking we should be living in 100% state owned housing.

I think I just watch these shows in shock as I'm not used to the idea that the govt provides housing for people. I'm originally from a country that has almost NO social housing and where there is a clear ideology that housing is something that people sort out for themselves. As adults. The idea that your local authority is that involved in your life and acting as your tenant is just very anathema to the way i was raised which is why I'm always bug-eyed about people's assumptions about state housing, assumptions that others consider to be quite normal. Like Ashe's mum who thought that it was 'disgraceful' that the state wasn't going to house them immediately. The thought just wouldn't have even crossed my mind! Pot and kettle me thinks.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 16:13:02

In Switzerland where my cousins live nobody chooses social housing if they can afford not to. But they all earn enough t pay the private rents which are high. One cousin being a millionaire has his own home, e rest rent and then buy when they are older if they can afford to.

I guess I am wondering what the difference is....why we have such issues when they don't cause problems in other countries. None of my cousins need top ups to pay their rent and while they ALL work, some have jobs which in this country would require the worker to need top ups in housing benefit......they don't need it.

JakeBullet Fri 09-Aug-13 16:38:38

I must admit that I never expected to need state housing. I grew up in a council house, my parents bought that house (thereby benefitting from the huge discount) and I went off to train as nurse (while living in the much lamented nurses homes...loved it).

However, after that I privately rented, then I bought somewhere, got married, bought somewhere else as my husband lived 250 miles away, was a landlord (tenant did not pay rent cc eventually sold flat at a loss), marriage broke down, I privately rented again.

It was only when my DS began to have more and more difficulties that I found myself in need of social housing. I couldn't continue working, my landlord was selling up and I literally had nowhere to go. I was housed as an emergency on the local sink estate....horrific due to ONE neighbour...everyone else was lovely. I eventually got re-housed in my current property which I love. It took until I was 45 until I got in the position of needing the State to help me. I am grateful beyond measure that it was there for me to house me.

I didn't ask for help to decorate this place....nor was it offered. All has been done out of my own money....I was working initially.

Social housing is important.
Housing is important....everyone needs a roof over their head, it is a basic human need. Everyone should make an effort to sort this out for themselves though, many people can but some cannot and never will be able to.

I doubt I will ever buy a place again....not in a position, too old etc. while my son is in need of a home though I won't give up my secure tenancy for an unsecured son is autistic, sameness is important to him.

We need to look at tenancies and make sure people can securely rent. It is all too easy to end up in a situation where you need to move every couple of years with all the costs this entails. Not great if you are on a limited income.

cafenoir Fri 09-Aug-13 20:27:45

I never thought I'd need social housing either but after my financially abusive ex, left me with bugger all, it was social housing or living indefinitely with my 80 year old Dad. I was on the waiting list for 2 years before I was offered anything.

I'm really grateful that there is such a thing as social housing but the system is really flawed. On my estate it's a matter of luck regarding the state of the place when you move in. Some people get offered a place with ancient storage heaters, very poor/no decoration, vile kitchens and other people might end up in a place that has been totally overhauled and is absolutely gorgeous. All pay a very similar rent.

My flat was sort of in between, in that it was passable, but has the ancient and crap storage heaters, so I pay a fortune for inadequate heat, am freezing most of the year, and would be in what would be described as 'fuel poverty'. I think there should be a minimum standard that a place has to be in before it is re-let. Private landlords wouldn't let a place like the young couple with the newborn took in last night's episode. Just because you aren't in a great position, doesn't mean you should have to accept totally shit/damp/inadequate housing.

The thing we absolutely need is affordable commercial rental property like they have in many European countries.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 09-Aug-13 20:37:01

"the woman at the beginning of the programme made me hmm saying foreign people shouldnt get the houses yet the two kids sat beside her on the settee are clearly mixed race"

what the actual fuck does being mixed race have to do with foreigners?

please tell me that was a brain fart and you do now realise how stupid that makes you look?

SillyTilly123 Fri 09-Aug-13 21:54:46

We were really lucky to get this house in 2001. There was just dp and I (not pg) and were offered a 3 bed house. In a street opposite a pretty bad estate, but we kept ourselves to ourselves and were not bothered. A few years after they emptied the estate over the road and demolished it, so apart from a few noisy neighbours its pretty good here now.

However when we moved in the house was a right state. No carpets, gaudy wallpaper (think anniglipter painted bright orange on top, blood red on bottom, dark blue ceiling and all plug/light sockets bright yellow shock ) The kitchen floor was cracked and uneven (took 4 years to have that replaced) The bathroom suite didnt match (white bath and toilet but baby pink sink?)

I despair at our dds' futures. We're never going to be able to buy, we live in the "poor" north in a nmw job, topped up by tax credits and hb. Either my dds are never going to move out or they are going to struggle so bad to pay private-with no help from us as we have no savings. I really hope the mps have a brainwave in the next few years on how to solve the housing crisis so the next generation dont suffer like the people on that program have to. It must feel so soul destroying and desolate (I think thats the word I mean-minds gone blank)

SillyTilly123 Fri 09-Aug-13 22:06:30

Forgot to mention, that while it is a 3 bed, the rooms are pretty small. dd1s room is about 8ft by 8ft (just longer than a bed both ways) Our "master" bedroom in just wider than the lenght of a bed and just under double the length. Hardly any room to move once you add drawers and a wardrobe. I cant even get a wardrobe in dd1s room because of the window and radiator, so she has to have a cabin bed.

EeTraceyluv Fri 09-Aug-13 23:10:17

We were also incredibly lucky- we got our house in 2000, a week before ds was born! Before that I had been in a small two bed council flat with dd1, having had to move away from living very near my violent ex. I then met my dh and we were together in the flat for two years when I got pregnant with ds. In those days, you just waited until you got to the top of the list and then got offered pretty much what you asked for where you asked for it. Looking back, I cannot believe how easy it was. The house was built in 1945 and had been occupied by the same person since then, so the council did an awful lot of work on it, replacing the polystyrene (!) ceilings and ancient kitchen cupboards, but it had already had double gazing and central heating put in. It is a solid, large, 'typical' I guess, council house of that era and we bought it 8 years ago. The road is half council and half private and now, only three of those are still council. Do I feel bad about buying it? I don't. Anyone in this position who had that opportunity would do the same Watching this series though, it saddens me that the 79 - 92 government is consistently blamed for the 'right to buy' when labour reneged on their promises to replace stock

JakeBullet Sat 10-Aug-13 15:14:57

OMG.......just watching the programme...the woman who has turned down NINE properties!!!

In my town she would only be offered two and the removed from the list :O

Am shocked that she has been able to do this.

JakeBullet Sat 10-Aug-13 15:23:28

...and now another one who HA turned down NINE properties. Am gobsmacked.......definitely does not happen in my area. No way would someone be able to refuse that number of properties.

dirtyface Sat 10-Aug-13 22:51:40

william i just believe that everyone should have the right to decent, affordable housing. whether its private, council or buying.

sadly at the moment social housing is scarce, private rents and mortgages are vastly out of proportion to average wages

it isn't fair.

NadiaWadia Tue 13-Aug-13 05:32:22

lack of rent controls in the private sector is probably a major cause of the problems we have in this country, forcing lower income people onto overcrowded social housing waiting lists. The rise of the buy to let sector is also forcing up house prices, meaning those who previously could have afforded to buy a basic starter home cannot as they are competing against landlords who find it easier and quicker to get the funding to buy.

The rich get richer, and the poor are getting poorer (bedroom tax, etc). Thanks to the Tories and their banker mates.

Davros Tue 13-Aug-13 10:27:07

And this is also a problem
What happened about Abu Hamsa's wife in her 6 bedroom council house in Hammersmith & Fulham, although most/all of her children had left and she couldn't be made to move out? I wonder if she is still there?

alemci Tue 13-Aug-13 16:48:34

seems to be different rules for them davros. also will she ever have to work like everyone else or maybe she does

RedHelenB Thu 15-Aug-13 22:27:56

Felt so sadwatching it tonight - surely hb could go straight to the council so that the vulnerable don't lose their tenancies.

Jux Thu 15-Aug-13 22:52:28

I agree with Nadia. We need to get private rentals under control, and stop pussy footing around with buy to lets. Holiday homes force local people to share with parents well into their thirties. The whole thing's a mess.

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 22:55:19

is anyone watching tonight?

was that woman in the blue top having a dig when she said that it wasn't over and that woman would probably be back complaining she didn't like the house they'd found her? the woman who fled her home from DV after being attacked by her ex partner.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 15-Aug-13 23:17:23

dp and i watched tonight - think was last one

felt very sorry for the lady with 2 kids who had been attacked by partner - glad she was found somewhere tho not sure its fair to turn down a b&b

obv having kids in a b&b isnt great but better then nothing, tho she had her mums place to stay in so not homeless- but obv her partner knew where her mum lived

the cerebral palsy bloke was tough to watch, his dad couldnt cope any more and kicked him out but tbh if the poor sod couldnt even cross the road by his self, then how the hell can he look after his self hmm

and sad when saw the studio flat and said he didnt want to live there alone - glad he was found a place with onsite carers

rent is weird, the studio flat i think was £200+ a week, and the 3 bed flat for abused woman and kids was less money - how the hell does that work?

lady who owes £14k in back rent - wtf, why do the council help people like this who take the piss, and are pissed, pouring cider/beer into a plastic bottle and swigging down the street/park - she wont ever pay her rent each week

hb should be paid straight to landlords not to tenants-sure more landlords would accept hb people if this happened

ImNotBloody14 Thu 15-Aug-13 23:21:49

I am in NI and we have (as long as I've had experience with HB so 8 years) the option to either receive HB to our own account or go straight to LL. I actually didn't realise this wasn't the same in England and wales! it would solve a lot of rental arrear problems.

yes I was really upset for the young fella that didn't want to live on his own- glad he got somewhere he was happier.

Wingedharpy Fri 16-Aug-13 03:16:31

I missed bits of this programme tonight so apologies if it was explained but :
why did the young man with cerebral palsy not have a wheelchair?
Watching his Dad carrying him about on his back was painful to see.

ImNotBloody14 - I didn't think blue top Supervisor woman was having a dig at the DV client but she was making the point to the Housing worker not to get too excited and think the case was finished as the client hadn't seen the accommodation at that point and maybe would turn down what was offered in which case it would be back to square 1.
Lovely to see DV client at the end though - delighted with her home and looking so much happier.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Aug-13 06:49:57

And the bloke who they thought owned a house with ex wife and basically accused him of fraud - why didn't they check property deeds/land registry before talking to him?

I wondered why cp bloke didn't had a wheelchair or walking frame on wheels etc

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 16-Aug-13 10:27:51

Last nights episode was heartbreaking!

Alex's dad should have been given more support so he hasn't ended up in that desperate situation! I really hope he and Alex are getting the support they both need.

I couldn't believe how selfish the landlords were not taking £2000 to house Naomi really hope she rebuilds her life.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 11:07:53

"And the bloke who they thought owned a house with ex wife and basically accused him of fraud - why didn't they check property deeds/land registry before talking to him?"

yes!! that annoyed me too. she reeled off the whole "it is against the law to attempt to obtain blah blah blah" in such a horrible tone and then when she found out it was a mistake she said "i'm sorry if you feel you've been accused in the wrong"

erm, no dear! you apologise for accusing him in the wrong- he wouldn't feel wrongly accused if you hadn't done it. I hate when people say "i'm sorry if you feel.." it's not an apology.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 11:10:46

I agree about the LL- how could it have cost £2500 to make his already available house ready to let to her? he would be getting rent from it aswell. I can understand if it was £2500 upfront that meant her rent was paid for 4/5 months and he had that assurance but £2500 just because she was coming through the council office! pure greed.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 16-Aug-13 11:21:27

I was really shocked by it when posters on mn have said how ll's take advantage of councils when people need emergency housing I thought they were exaggerating but I'm really saddend to see its the truth

jchocchip Fri 16-Aug-13 11:24:15

I saw this. Thought it made some interesting points. Cp dad seemed to be making a cry for help felt they should have a social worker batting for them for supported housing/ support workers.

janesnowdon1 Fri 16-Aug-13 11:26:04

I think we don't know enough backstory to make a judgement in most of the cases and are manipulated by the editing. For example - I felt desperately sorry for the alcoholic lady but then the editors left the information about her owing £14k arrears until the end. Why was her rent not taken at source?I still feel though as a human being she and her partner should be given support and be able to live together.

Also the guy who may have owned aproperty with his ex. They refereed to his ex as his wife - if they were not divorced then he did in effect have a claim on her property (this happened my friend - she got 6 months emergency HB help until she could get an order to sell the house which was in her husbands name). Also usually if rent is being paid on a flat continually (from whatever source)it is rare for the HA to check on the tenancy and he could have got it transferred to his name after the split - it did not add up.

I was also shocked at the lack of support the man with cerebal palsy seemed to be receiving - felt there was real poverty there.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 11:35:46

"I still feel though as a human being she and her partner should be given support and be able to live together. "

yes I also wondered why they wouldn't treat them as a joint case? surely it would mean having only to find one BnB room or hostel room, freeing up another?

unless it was to do with their alcohol dependency and maybe the council have a policy of not housing alcoholics together? which is undertstandable tbh.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 16-Aug-13 12:20:39

I'm still slightly confused as to why in the previous episode they were demolishing social housing for private builds when there is such a shortage of sh.

I'm also slightly confused as to why the problem is worse in tower hamlets than the rest of London.

I know I probably being a bit thick.

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 12:36:47

I think we must be quite lucky where I am as in the past two years there have been 2 or 3 developments of new council houses built in my town. not massive estates but 20/25 houses each time which is all a help. there are plans for more aswell.

I also cant understand why they would demolish SH to build private homes.

creighton Fri 16-Aug-13 13:43:50

they knock down old social housing because
-it has reached the end of its useful life
-the council needs more property of different sizes, i.e. family sized property rather than studios or 1 bed flats
-they build homes that people will want

the private property element is because councils do not have the funding to build new council estates even if they are needed. the government does not easily give money to build so local authorities have to work with private developers to build flats that will be sold at a profit which will cover the cost of building new social housing.

it will also give mixed communities so that you don't get 'ghettoes' of the poor, disabled, unemployed, marginalised. a mixed estate will have a range of people who are 'invested' in the area.

the situation in tower hamlets is fraught because the borough is poor, despite being next to the 'city'. however, practically every london borough has huge lists of people with the same problems that need to be dealt with.

the housing manager, after years of experience, is probably a bit cynical when people come in for help as they often get snotty about the kind of accommodation they are offered after they have said that they are 'desperate'. people sometimes have homes elsewhere when they fetch up in tears at the housing office, so her apparent lack of empathy is understandable.

you need to work in housing to understand the lies that fall effortlessly from some people's mouths. the manager has to ensure that the right people get help, not the chancers.

Wannabestepfordwife Fri 16-Aug-13 15:04:19

Thank you for the explanation creighton it makes a lot more sense to me now!

I thought the staff were on the whole brilliant Antonia seemed to genuinely care about Naomi's situation and the man dealing with Lisa went above and beyond.

One thing I will never understand though is why la's were encouraged to invest in foreign banks rather than invest in social housing which would have been a safer investment IMO.

EeTraceyluv Fri 16-Aug-13 16:45:36

yes I also wondered why they wouldn't treat them as a joint case? surely it would mean having only to find one BnB room or hostel room, freeing up another?

There could have been many reasons - he may not have had a strong enough local connection for permanent housing, could have anti social/alcohol/etc issues which meant they couldn't be together.
It was awful that she owed so much back rent but anyone with half a brain could see she needed proper intervention - not just 'get yourself some help' She clearly couldn't just do that!

ImNotBloody14 Fri 16-Aug-13 17:17:00

yes I agree EeTraceyluv she needed more help than that- but then we don't know how much has already been offered or what other agencies she is involved with. she could be refusing the help offered.

EeTraceyluv Fri 16-Aug-13 18:37:20


creighton Fri 16-Aug-13 21:57:03

I don't think you can easily turn a profit on social housing whereas you can with bank investments. a house once built ought to stand for 50 years. you can buy and sell bank shares/investments in a year or less if you wanted to.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 16-Aug-13 22:00:08

It seems to me that more studio flats/one bedroom flats are needed to be built

Then can downsize those who need it and then leaving 2/3 Bed room houses / flats for those with children still at home

jchocchip Sat 17-Aug-13 05:18:09

Someone is making a lot of money out of housing benefit and it is not the local authorities. And the las just have the duty to accommodate without the means to build council housing. I blame margaret thatcher and the right to buy which decimated council housing. And the miras engineered boom that put thousands in -ve equity. And laid the foundation for the extreme housing situation we have today...

creighton Sat 17-Aug-13 09:58:44

they will not build studios anymore. private developers might build them for sale but they are not seen as acceptable social housing any more.

Wannabestepfordwife Sat 17-Aug-13 10:37:48

I don't think thatcher can be soley to blame she hasn't been in power for over 20 years so successive governments have had time to try to rectify the problem

jchocchip Sat 17-Aug-13 14:23:14

Not solely to blame but laid the foundation for the problems in the private and rental markets. Councils were not allowed to use rtb receipts to build replacement houses. Housing pool reduced and then outsourced to housing associations. Problem is worse in London but policy of dispersal by ukba will lead to similar problems across country...

Groovee Mon 19-Aug-13 08:36:56

Watching the mum who had her ex partner make her leave her home because she woke up with his hands round her neck. I was so pleased to see she was settled and that she cried with happiness despite the place being in a state.

I felt for the woman with 14K of arrears. She needed help to understand how to pay her bills and someone to support her.

Felt for the man with Cerebal Palsy who could barely walk. But glad they found him somewhere with live in support.

It made me appreciate what I have.

StephenFrySaidSo Mon 19-Aug-13 10:27:13

i agree groovee. I have to catch myself on sometimes when I moan about what the LL hasn't done in this house and how i'm paying a fortune in rent but he's not living up to his responsibilities but shows like this bring it home just how lucky I am to have a nice warm home with enough space for us all.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 19-Aug-13 14:28:25

How can a studio flat not be acceptable housing?

Have several friends who live in studio flats and pay a fortune to do so for a small kitchen - shower and toilet - plus either a bed - sofa bed or a bed on stilts with sofa underneath

NadiaWadia Tue 20-Aug-13 04:54:23

I felt very sorry for all the people looking for housing in this episode. There were no entitled people this week like parking space woman from the first episode!

The rules seem to be very harsh, although I do understand they are unable to house everyone who needs it. I felt very sorry for the woman with the newborn baby whose accommodation was infested with mice, and the landlord refused to sort it. The housing officers basically told her she would have to put up with it. That senior female officer was a bit of a bitch really -saying 'if everyone who sees one mouse is classed as homeless, we would have a queue around the block'. It was a lot more than one mouse, you could see from photos she had taken, and it must have been horrible for her to have to take her baby home to that. The same officer was also very unpleasant to the man she wrongly accused of owning a property, as another poster has said.

A lot of the housing officers seemed to have a bad attitude. I appreciate their job might be a bit stressful, but surely not as stressful as having nowhere to live. If I had that job, I would be apologetic, saying 'I'm very sorry, but the rules say you are not eligible for housing' or explaining briefly how many people were on the waiting lists, but they seemed to take delight in telling people they had very little chance. They spoke to them with no respect whatsoever.

You would at least have thought they would have tried to seem professional and sympathetic knowing they were being filmed.

creighton Tue 20-Aug-13 21:42:44

all housing in London now has to be built to mayor of London standards which requires enough space for one bed flats to be built, not studios. 2 people might live comfortably in a 1 bed flat but not so well in a studio. housing stock built in the past 'is what it is' but a lot of it obviously would not be built now. it is good for people to be able to separate out their sleeping and living space.

the housing manager is not a bitch. she has had years of bloody liars, whingers, greedy ungrateful sods 'demanding' housing that they don't qualify for. that is why she is cynical and has to deal strictly with people.

if you had that job you would be 'apologetic' for 3 months then you would be fed up. they did not take pleasure in saying that people would be on the waiting list for a long time.

they spoke to the applicants with enough 'respect'. they were professional, they did not need to act up for the cameras.

housing officers now are expected to
-find/magic up housing for people
-help them get jobs and training
-sort out people's financial problems
-liaise with social services
-carry out child protection duties
-give advice on every known subject
-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
-wipe tenants backsides for them
-watch some tenants spend their lives sitting down while the housing officers work all day and then have to attend evening meetings

all housing officers start off 'sympathetic' until they encounter the realities of life.

StephenFrySaidSo Tue 20-Aug-13 21:56:16

"housing officers now are expected to
-find/magic up housing for people
-help them get jobs and training
-sort out people's financial problems
-liaise with social services
-carry out child protection duties
-give advice on every known subject
-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
-wipe tenants backsides for them
-watch some tenants spend their lives sitting down while the housing officers work all day and then have to attend evening meetings"

bollocks. but I can tell from your attitude you are coming from a biased position with a very apparent chip on your shoulder.

williaminajetfighter Tue 20-Aug-13 22:19:51

Being a housing officer sounds a tough job. I honestly didn't think that the housing officers were treating the people they saw poorly but I imagine they have to be quite tough to deal with the flack they must get.

They are meant to be non-partisan professionals, not parental figures. creighton may be speaking from experience?

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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 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!

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

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 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

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!

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 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 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 17:08:45

'OTT rant' obviously

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.

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 Fri 23-Aug-13 15:34:58

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

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.

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