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to think that elderly people living alone in 3/4 bed council houses should not have a choice about whether they want to stay there?

(667 Posts)
BlessYouToo Fri 18-Nov-11 22:24:02

In fact, they should be moved into one bedroom accommodation as soon as the kids leave home (this should have happened years ago of course). Having a 'spare' bedroom in case the grandchildren come to stay should not be an option when they are in state owned properties.

I have today been to view a council property with a friend of mine who has been homeless for 3 years (in temp accommodation) after finally getting to the top of the bidding queue! She was called to see a 4 bedroom house and it was absolutely rank, the smell made me want to heave. Plaster was hanging off the wall and the whole place was damp as the previous tenant either, did not or could not, heat and ventilate it properly Apparently the house was in a much worse than the state we saw it in today but the council had done some remedial work on it to make it safe so it was a bit better. The garden was also just a sea of brambles.

We were told that an elderly person had been living there and had just been moved into a nursing home. T

I was shocked that the council could rent out a property in this state. I would have expected that they would have made sure the property was up to a decent, clean standard before renting it out as any other landlord would have to do (all my friend will get is a paint allowance if she is eligible) but I am even more shocked that this elderly tenant was allowed to let the property get into this condition. Why do councils not carry out inspections to ensure their properties don't get into this state? Obviously the house was too much for the previous tenant to cope with and surely they would have been better off with a smaller property that they could keep clean?

We were told that many of the properties coming available after elderly tenants have either died, or gone into alternative accommodation, are left in a similar state. How many families with young children are left crammed into tiny flats while elderly people are living in houses much too large for their needs, letting them decay around them? I find it unbelievable that this has been happening.

I feel gutted for my friend as she has been desperate to get a stable home for her DCs and will now be going into a total shithole without even carpets on the floor, just cement. It's a bloody disgrace! AIBU?

cheesesarnie Fri 18-Nov-11 22:28:40

yabu.if its been their family home for the last 40 years,you still think they should be turfed out!?

the maintenance thing is different but yabu to assume its only elderly that leave houses in bad states!

weve been on the council list for years and never got anywhere,its just tough really.youre friend is lucky to have a roof over her head.

TiarasTimeOutsAndTantrums Fri 18-Nov-11 22:30:27

My flat was an old lady's. It's damp and mouldy but im just grateful to have somewhere to start sorting my life out from.

What you seem to be saying is once your children grow up you must give up a home you've made your own and give it to someone with kids as they are more deserving?

scaryteacher Fri 18-Nov-11 22:31:31

I am not a Council tenant, but I would not at under 50 want to be moved into one bed accommodation when ds goes to uni. Sure, offer them a smaller property but going from a 4 bed to a 1 bed is very draconian, especially if you have a 4 bedroom house worth of stuff.

itsallgoneabitMrBloom Fri 18-Nov-11 22:34:37

Its their home ... it just happens to be a council house. YABU

reallytired Fri 18-Nov-11 22:34:40

The governant is trying to move council and house association tenants over to fixed leases to make it easier to move people on. I think five year leases would be a good idea. It would also be good to move people on who can financially afford to buy/ rent their own property. There have been a lot of protest on this as people understandly want security of tenure.

I think your friend should stop moaning about the house being a shithole. At least she has social housing. She needs to be a little bit more thankful for what she has got.

I also think the governant should get rid of the right to buy. Prehaps council housing stock could be increased by buying repossed properties. It would be a way to stop families being made homeless. It would also increase social housing stock again.

Sevenfold Fri 18-Nov-11 22:35:31

why not just shoot old people.
good god yabu

CointreauVersial Fri 18-Nov-11 22:37:31

I agree with you, OP.

It may not be possible to force people to downsize but there should be concerted efforts to persuade them. After all, a smaller property is easier to heat, clean and maintain if you are alone, so it is often a win-win.

MsHighwater Fri 18-Nov-11 22:37:37

Imagine that the elderly person was your grandmother, put out of her home and see how that seems to you then. Also, what if the person is capable of remaining relatively independent at home but only if they have space for someone to stay over from time to time to support them? How do you do that in a one bedroom home?

The length of housing waiting lists is almost all to do with social housing being sold off and not replaced and next to nothing to do with elderly people having the audacity to want to stay in their own homes.

echt Fri 18-Nov-11 22:39:31

OP - you speak of families with children crammed into into tiny flats. There's case for saying they shouldn't have more children than their accommodation can support comfortably.

Cuts both ways, you know. YABU.

nailak Fri 18-Nov-11 22:39:31

BTW the house is probably in that state as the landlord refused to do maintenance that they would do in any other property. And many council houses are let without carpets, it is not abnormal.

ColdToast Fri 18-Nov-11 22:39:52

Even if the house had been in perfect condition, your friend still wouldn't have had any carpets. It's usually policy to take them out and leave the house as an empty shell for the next person.

Not all flats are suitable for the elderly. Many require ground-floor homes so where will these all come from?

southeastastra Fri 18-Nov-11 22:40:11

wouldn't be an unreasonable suggestion if we take care of our elders

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 18-Nov-11 22:40:37

There are two different issues here.

Councils should maintain their estates properly. YANBU to be concerned about this.

People have the right to stay in a home they are paying money for. YABVVVVU reasonable to want to turf them out. And why on earth shouldn't they have the room for their family to visit?

hmc Fri 18-Nov-11 22:41:00

I can't agree with you op - the shortage of housing shouldn't involve targeting the elderly and vulnerable and pitting poor against poor

ninah Fri 18-Nov-11 22:41:11

I'd rather get mad at tax exiles tbh
yabu - don't target elderly council tenants, use your eyes

jasper Fri 18-Nov-11 22:41:21

don't be so utterly bloody ridiculous.
Do you know any elderly people?
They're human , just like you and me.

jasper Fri 18-Nov-11 22:41:47

actually they are more human

ninah Fri 18-Nov-11 22:42:35

(and brain, natch)

gaelicsheep Fri 18-Nov-11 22:42:36

Hmm, I actually find myself sympathising with the OP. Private tenants know they never have sufficient security to consider their rented home their own. I'm not sure with the council housing shortages that council tenants are really able to have that luxury either. Council houses exist to house people who would otherwise be homeless. Sadly it's so hard to get one that many people end up bankrupting themselves renting privately, or are indeed homeless. The houses need to be allocated according to need unfortunately, and that means that the size of the house should be appropriate to the size of the household.

Totally agree that right to buy should be abolished - it was a disastrous policy from the word go.

griphook Fri 18-Nov-11 22:42:44

The poor man probably couldn't afford to heat the house to get rid of the damp because gas is so expensive, he might have had to choose between heat or eat.

the poor person was probably lonely with a family that can't visit him because they are working lots of over time to feed a family, or are scared of losing their job

He's probably had his day centre closed down.

And he's probably very scared of going into a home because of the treatment that some people receive, and you want him to give up the place he calls home.

But everybody who needs a home should be able to get one and there shouldn't be years of a waiting list

Maybe the answer is to build more council houses instead

hmc Fri 18-Nov-11 22:43:08

I was with you there jasper until you said they are more human - what do you mean?

threefeethighandrising Fri 18-Nov-11 22:43:15


OldLadyKnowsNothing Fri 18-Nov-11 22:43:55

What about my mum? She's in her mid 70's, still fit and healthy, still living in a four bed detached house, well-maintained. Ah, but she owns it, so no-one will make her move.

Signet2012 Fri 18-Nov-11 22:44:20

Why just old people?!

My dad and step mum have a three bedroomed council house and only they live there. I do think it would be fairer for them to go into a two bedroom as three bedroomed houses where I am are like gold dust. IF there is a problem with housing. However I think much more needs to be done first before turfing people out!

But they arent old. They are 50.

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