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To take a bigger council house than we need?

(1000 Posts)
isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:11:02

Have namechanged for this as it's pretty obvious who I am if you know me...

We currently have a two bedroom house (3 children) and we can fir just about but it's a squeeze. We are "entitled" (cringe) to a 3 bed house but it's likely to be 4-5 yrs by the time we would be offered one so placed our details on the Housing Association's "mutual exchange" site. We have also said we are happy to take a 2 bedroom house with separate dining room to use as the 3rd bedroom.

Have been contact by someone via our housing association's "mutual exchange" list. They have a large 4 bed house with a dining room and massive garden and they want to downsize (older couple all kids left home) and would like our house.

Given that is is bigger than we actually need . Part of me thinks it should go to a family with 5/6 kids but part of me thinks this couple are looking for a mutual exchange to downsize to a 2 bed house, what's the chance of them fining such a large family in a 2 bed house that they want.

It would be fabulous for us of course, lots of space for everyone, kids could have their own bedrooms and a nice big garden to play and we wouldn't have to move again when we have more children (planning another 1 or 2 in next 5 years perhaps).

Would we be unreasonable to accept it?

crikeybill Tue 15-Jan-13 10:36:41

Take it I would.

Just remember to pay it forward and give it up to a family in need when YOUR children leave.
That way social housing is working as it should.

Sigh...we've got 5 of us in a 2 bed if anyone fancies swapping sad

WeAreEternal Tue 15-Jan-13 10:37:53

Take it, it sounds perfect for you.

HeathRobinson Tue 15-Jan-13 10:39:33

I can't see that it's too big for your family as it is. 3 kids with their own bedroom and you and dp with yours. Nothing wrong with that, imo.

Also, it also suits the couple you're going to exchange with.


overmydeadbody Tue 15-Jan-13 10:41:45

Go for it! Of course you should.

It's a swap, they want a smaller house, you want a bigger house, averyone benefits!!!

Go for it! smile

NorthernLurker Tue 15-Jan-13 10:42:56

It isn't bigger than you need. It's a house that is adequate for your family and for the children you would like to have and can support. Take it and thank your lucky stars grin

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:45:03

Sometimes I think it would be so marvellous to live in social housing.

A separate bedroom for every child, a massive garden, and the opportunity to plan for extra children even though you have three already.

It's a good idea some of us are working hard in a recession to subsidise your housing association.

PureQuintessence Tue 15-Jan-13 10:45:46

You have three kids, and plan another two in the next few years.

Blimey. I wish I were you.

But, I guess, if I qualified for a council/HA house, and did not really have to worry about paying market rate rent/mortgage, then I too could afford 5 kids.

Lucky you. Go for it, you are after all planning to be a family with 5 kids.

shesariver Tue 15-Jan-13 10:45:57

Dancemom why the assumption they claim HB, not everyone whol lives in council/ha houses do you know. Further post by Op has shown they pay full rent so under occupancying rules wont apply. I dont get this either though and must be missing something to - a couple with 3 children and a 4 bedroom house - how is there a spare room? confused

JakeBullet Tue 15-Jan-13 10:46:19

DSM, dont know if anyone has answered you. HA provide social housing in the same way that coubcils do. They are self funding (as far as I know) and their rents are higher than council housing.
Usually you have to be nominated to them but not always. I am in a 2 bed HA house and got it as DS is autistic. I pay £400 a month for this but can remember being in your position and paying huge amounts more in the private sector. sad .

crikeybill Tue 15-Jan-13 10:46:49

How do you even get on a housing list if you are both working ?

Genuine question BTW.

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:47:41

It's a good idea some of us are working hard in a recession to subsidise your housing association

Both my partner and I work and we don't claim ANY benefits at all. So what's your point? Or just a bit envy

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 15-Jan-13 10:48:07

Jealous much, 16052013?
Anyone can go on the list you know.
Why didn't you? You might have one by now

IfNotNowThenWhen Tue 15-Jan-13 10:49:01

You don't need to be unemployed to go on the housing list!
Anyone can go on the list where i live. I am entitled to a 2 bed place. I won't get one as the list is too long, and we have no special needs, but I am on there!

WorraLiberty Tue 15-Jan-13 10:49:13

I think the poster's point was that you live in subsidised housing OP...not that you claim benefits.

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:50:23

Hosuing associations are NOT self-funding.

They are partially self-funded, but the capital costs to buy the land and build the houses come from taxes and, especially, council taxes.

The plan is for the rent to amortise the capital costs. I can't see that plan working, can you? It requires joined up thinking in successive governments, and for people to limit their expectations so they don't take up subsidised housing for longer than they need it.

My sympathies are all with private sector rental tenants, I'm afraid. HA should be a stopgap, not a way of life.

crikeybill Tue 15-Jan-13 10:50:36

Omg I privately rent as we can't afford a mortgage and I could weep at the amount of rent we pay.
£1200 for a 2 bed !!!!

Its never even occurred to me to try and get on a housing list. How does it work ?? I can't imagine we would be eligible ??

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:50:54

Crikey -I was eligible for social housing when I was younger and became a single parent and homeless both very suddenly due to some unfortunate (shit) circumstances (I worked then too, part time as my child was a baby still). I kept the tenancy as I went along, as they allow you to, and moved on from there when I met my now partner. Now we both work we are still allowed to keep or home and we do feel very lucky to have a home at such low rent.

shesariver Tue 15-Jan-13 10:51:42

pure why wouldnt you qualify for a council/HA house? You might have to wait a long time depending on the waiting lists of course. Why dont you put your name down now? But the tone of your posts dont suggest that by making the market rent comment, and I guess it wont be long before this thread descents into bashing council tenants who dont "deserve" their "cheap" housing rather than the fact private lets generally have inflated and overpriced rents in the first place. But I apologise if I have picked you up wrong, just seen it so much on mumsnet.

crikeybill Tue 15-Jan-13 10:51:59

Omg I privately rent as we can't afford a mortgage and I could weep at the amount of rent we pay.
£1200 for a 2 bed !!!!

Its never even occurred to me to try and get on a housing list. How does it work ?? I can't imagine we would be eligible ??

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:52:06

I am jealous. I'd love to have had the kind of life choices the OP has.

You know when people working full time are jealous of the life choices and housing choices available to those subsidised by the public sector that benefits and public subsidies (which is what housing associations are) have gone too far.

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:53:51

Private rents are high because the capital costs of buying land and building property are high.

If property developers had the luxury of taxpayers' money to subsidise their capital costs, rents for the private sector would come down very quickly because supply would increase dramatically.

MoodyDidIt Tue 15-Jan-13 10:53:52


read the Ops posts. the OP is NOT subsidised she pays full rent hmm

isthisunreasonable Tue 15-Jan-13 10:54:11

But 16052013 - We are working full time too, my past circumstances means I was offered (much needed) help in the form of a social housing tenancy and I have kept my tenancy since. Are you saying you think we should give it up and rent privately? But what if someone on social housing and NOT working moves into my house (god forbid) wouldn't that be even worse in your eyes?

JakeBullet Tue 15-Jan-13 10:55:07

I must confess to knowing buggar all about HA.

But my DS is autistic and this place IS "a way of life" for us. It helps me to know that he will always have a place he can call home. Especially as he may well face difficulties in the future.

The system upsets people so criticise the system and not those who are within it.......however fortunate you might think them.

16052013 Tue 15-Jan-13 10:56:40

"Now we both work we are still allowed to keep our home."

So you're preventing someone who is now in as bad a place as you were then from being housed?

HA accommodation should only ever be temporary. When your circumstances improve, you don't need subsidies from the taxpayer.

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