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Council House Envy - it's a real thing

(278 Posts)
LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 23-Aug-14 22:16:33

To be fair, I thought I'd only seen it on MN. I've now experienced it in three different scenarios and it's depressing.

Never mind all the misconceptions about "free housing", "subsidised rents" and all that. People who live in council houses seem to be the envy of the rental community with an automatic black mark against them because of the way they might have secured their tenancy.

Trills Sat 23-Aug-14 22:23:50

Of course it is a real thing.

Two families with identical current circumstances can have one be much better off than the other if one family rents a council house and the other rents privately.

So why would the worse off family not be envious of the family that is better off?

BetterTogether75 Sat 23-Aug-14 22:24:42

I grew up in a council house and also rented privately for 10 years. The many people who want a council property are presumably on a list/bidding and doing something about it. Then there are lots of other people who understandably would like adequate security of tenure, but don't want to live in social housing, either because of snobbery or because they also want greater mobility. I don't think it's really 'envy', just a nasty attitude.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 23-Aug-14 22:27:59

Better - good point about snobbery. It's odd that the snobbery exists alongside the "envy".

pointythings Sat 23-Aug-14 22:29:00

One of my friends lives in a council house and the time she's had to wait for it, the shit she's had to put up with in her life, all the utterly bad luck she and her DP and her kids have had - you wouldn't believe it. When I heard she got her council house, I fucking cheered. No envy here. People don't get council houses unless they bloody well need them.

Missunreasonable Sat 23-Aug-14 22:31:10

There is also home owner envy. In fact there is envy amount all sorts of things.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 23-Aug-14 22:31:15

Pointy I waited 10 years for mine.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 23-Aug-14 22:33:38

I think what I mean is that I had read about it on MN and other places but hadn't had any personal experience until now. I read "only on MN" quite often.

VisitTheInfidelWithExplanatory Sat 23-Aug-14 22:38:19

Why wouldn't you want the security of council housing though? If I had a council house I certainly wouldn't have bought a house when I did. It's much better than being in private rental too.

FloatIsRechargedNow Sat 23-Aug-14 22:46:45

Yes -it's a real thing and for good reason. Even though I went through piles of shit before I got my first council place I still consider myself lucky to have my housing association/council place. I privately rented for years and it's overpriced crap for most people - 12 years ago I was paying £150pcm more for an ex-council privately-owned flat than I do now for my little house with loads more security of tenure and freedom from scrutiny. I remember more than once having to come up with 6 months rent plus deposit in order to secure a rental property. If anyone (with children) is privately renting they have nothing but my sympathy and if they envy me they have every justification to do so.

SisterMoonshine Sat 23-Aug-14 22:47:03

Maybe it wouldn't be such a problem if there were enough to go round.
I think most council tenants appreciate how lucky they are.

WooWooOwl Sat 23-Aug-14 22:51:32

Of course it's a real thing, and there's a reason for that.

It's understandable that people feel jealous of having to pay a lot more than someone else for the same basic thing, except with less security.

If there was enough council housing for everyone that wanted it then there wouldn't be a problem, but there isn't. Some people have no hope of ever being granted that desirable thing by their government.

beautyfades Sat 23-Aug-14 22:54:48

I would love a council house! Used to think I was sad for thinking that but after reading on here seems I'm not the only one.

PenisesAreNotPink Sat 23-Aug-14 22:55:39

I'm envious of council tenants. Only an idiot wouldn't be where I live.

The point is they should build many more and charge a fair rent instead of the horrible insecurity of private rental not to mention the cost of them - completely out of proportion to 'worth'.

I'm a complete numpty not putting my name down 20 years ago. My lovely SIL has a better place than me for £245 a month. My mortgage is £2000. The chances of me paying it off before retirement is nil, it's a massive drain.

I've made very poor choices, all my fault.

LimBeeHoon Sat 23-Aug-14 22:56:39

I used to have council house envy, it all looks so easy from an outsiders point of view...
That was until I split up with my then DP, when my ds was 16 months old. Within 2 months, my landlord gave us notice on our beautiful house. I wasn't working, I had nothing. I was in the council office in tears. Cried on a cab worker. Had to move into temporary accommodation, with a drug dealer and a heroin addict who regularly had ambulances called out for him. I had to take the first property that was available for me, and even that took 5 months. I am so grateful that my son and I finally have somewhere we can call home, but it took a lot of heartache to get where we are now.

beautyfades Sat 23-Aug-14 23:00:16

I gave a lovely two up two down years ago to move into a private rental with a garden, biggest mistake of my life. Now stuck in very expensive property with no security very bad move.

writtenguarantee Sat 23-Aug-14 23:05:35

it's obvious what to envy. If private housing had some reasonable sense of security for it's tenants, you wouldn't have this lottery system.

FloatIsRechargedNow Sat 23-Aug-14 23:07:15

Sister - I'm not wanting to be antagonistic, but I honestly think that a large number of council/HA tenants don't realize how lucky they are. I think these are the ones who have been long-term tenants and don't realize how expensive and difficult private-renting is now or the ones that were young enough when they first got housing help from the council that they don't know any differently. Then there are the less affluent areas where council housing is easier to come by but few opportunities for work and private rentals are cheaper with LLs more open to poorer tenants who might need to claim HB.

Of course we need more HA properties, unfortunately here in the SE (at least in my district) all new-build affordable rentals are priced at 80% of market rents - over inflated market rents too and hardly affordable for the low-paid as well as being as tiny as legally possible. At least there's the security of tenure.

LimBeeHoon Sat 23-Aug-14 23:07:40

The lottery of who has the shittiest situation and therefore needs help the most?

LimBeeHoon Sat 23-Aug-14 23:09:22

Oh and by the way, mine is HA, 80% market rent and fucking tiny. As are most these days.

redshifter Sat 23-Aug-14 23:11:31

Of course people will be envious.
I look at my two sisters who live in the same street. Both have the same income, in fact they work together doing the same job. One has no children still living with her but house a lovely 3 bed council house with very big gardens, rent =£120 per week. The other has 2 DC, lives in a 2 bed ex council flat, rent =£260 per week with no secure tenancy. Guess which one can afford a car, 3 holidays a year, nights out etc. And which one can afford none of these things? On the same wage.
If one of them is envious, I wouldn't blame her.

writtenguarantee Sat 23-Aug-14 23:12:07

The lottery of who has the shittiest situation and therefore needs help the most?

the lottery of who gets secure tenancy and who doesn't. Tenure laws are very much on the side of landlords here.

BBQSteak Sat 23-Aug-14 23:13:25

of course its a rl thing, just people are more honest on here and in rl keep strong opinions on topics like this to themselves for fear of offending

FloatIsRechargedNow Sat 23-Aug-14 23:16:37

It does go to show how things have changed though doesn't it - the whispers behind hands about the 'council house people' are now accompanied by - "the lucky bastards"!

LimBeeHoon Sat 23-Aug-14 23:21:01

written whether it is right or wrong, councils and HAs provide properties for the people that require them the most, and fortunately (or unfortunately for the bashers), these properties come with a secure tenancy, which is a blessing for those that cannot afford deposits etc or to move quickly, or those that have no income to act as collateral. So the 'lottery' is purely based on circumstance, mainly, how financially fucked you are. Landlords will rarely accept a tenant with no income etc, so I don't think the issue with secure tenancy is to do with social/council housing, but more to do with the laws for landlords.

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