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To ask if you are under-occupying social housing that you consider downsizing?

(367 Posts)
IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:28:32

If you are in a property with space you no longer need for whatever reason please consider asking to transfer to a smaller property. There are so many families waiting for three or four bedroom housing and hardly any available.
Staying in your four bedroom house after all of your children have left home is depriving another family of the opportunity that you were given.

granny24 Mon 04-Jun-18 12:30:19

There are no smaller places for people to downsize to.

rainingcatsanddog Mon 04-Jun-18 12:31:20

Never been in social housing but do people get help with removal costs?

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:32:52

I don't know about nationally but in my area most available properties are one bed flats.
You could still ask or go on the transfer list?

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:34:23

Don't know rainingcatsanddog

Flooffloof Mon 04-Jun-18 12:34:43

Generally councils do not build one bed places. There are more options if they build bigger homes. A single person can occupy a three bed, but larger families can't occupy a one bed.
So there are fewer smaller places to downsize into.

Ginosaji Mon 04-Jun-18 12:34:44

@granny24 not enough no, but i think what the op means is people who no longer need the bigger houses as children have left could let the housing assassin know they are willing to downsize and then any families needing a bigger property because their family has grown could do a swap

Frequency Mon 04-Jun-18 12:35:08

I think I'll stay here thanks. I've only just moved in and already paid out thousands to make it habitable, not to mention the cost of actually moving, which no, people don't get help with. Plus, there is no shortage of family homes in my area.

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:37:34

Flooffloof certainly here single people or couples would not be eligible to bid on three bed properties.

Atthebottomofthesea Mon 04-Jun-18 12:38:04

It is a big issue in my area and there are smaller properties available.

Lots of people do want to move and will acknowledge that their house is too big others flatly refuse to move for various reasons. It is mainly the older population and often are exempt from bedroom tax so no incentive to move out.

MartagonLilies Mon 04-Jun-18 12:38:40

Frequency Why are you even in social housing, if you have thousands of pounds to pay out into a property that not even yours permanently?

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:38:44

Frequency are you on your own in a big property then? Your area sounds lucky.

pigmcpigface Mon 04-Jun-18 12:40:39

A council house is a home, just like any other. If you are serious, you should extend your request to people who are underoccupying all types of housing.

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:42:57

pigmcpigface I am serious and surely social housing is different because it's for the very needy who have very few other options.

mcqueencar Mon 04-Jun-18 12:44:34

I agree it’s a issue in the private sector too, they just don’t seem to even build houses where I live it’s all apartments.

Frequency Mon 04-Jun-18 12:45:44

No, I have two children, both girls and a three bed house. In the eyes of the government we are under occupied.

Why am I in the property?

1) I wanted security and cannot afford to save for a mortgage
2) I didn't pay thousands, I paid a few hundred quid I saved for years. My family paid a lot more than me
3) Do you propose I lived here with two kids and no flooring? That's where the money went. Councils don't provide flooring, you have to pay for it yourself. Even with the cheapest of cheap, that's going to run close to a grand, if not more, when you need to do the entire house. The rest of the money went on curtains, light fittings etc, I suppose we could have made do with newspaper in the windows and candles but would you really expect someone to live like that?
4) It is mine permanently, that was the whole point of me moving me here, security. I will rent it until I die or can afford to buy it, depending what happens first.

Dinosauratemydaffodils Mon 04-Jun-18 12:49:52

Never been in social housing but do people get help with removal costs?

The local authority I worked for before ds (in housing and housing related fields) offered a £1000 per bedroom given up as a flat fee. We had very few takers and to be honest, I can't blame them. Move from a lovely 3/4 bed house in a nice area of the city with a garden to a flat especially given that 19% of our housing stock was in multistoreys and that's also where most of our 1 bedrooms were.

pigmcpigface Mon 04-Jun-18 12:50:16

I think the "very needy" need a stable home more than those who are generally doing OK. The whole point of council house tenure is that it's a stable, long term housing solution for someone who needs the help.

Perhaps it would be better to call for the government to build MORE social housing that is suitable for larger families?

Feathersofabird Mon 04-Jun-18 12:51:24

I wouldn't move.

I'm in a 4 bed but I own it. Very soon I'll be using 2 bedrooms max but don't intend to move so I don't see why people in social housing should.

lastnightidreamtofpotatoes Mon 04-Jun-18 12:51:57

IME people who have SH waited a long time for it and will tie themselves in knots not to leave what they consider to be their home, unless it is for a bigger property. In our street there are several SH left (most have been bought) and all of them majorly under occupied. Elderly couple with no kids at home, single mother who lost custody of kids etc. These are 4 bed properties. They openly admit that they want to keep the house on so know how to work the system. The elderly couple proudly told me that on paper one of her dc and 2 dgc live with them. That way after they die the tenancy can be passed onto them (she is a house owner)

lastnightidreamtofpotatoes Mon 04-Jun-18 12:53:49

Feathers when you own your home you can do what you like. Those in SH are tenants, you can't do what you like as it isn't your home.

Housemover18 Mon 04-Jun-18 12:54:22

I own a 3-bed split level flat, quite large, which is an ex-council property and the council are still the freeholders. I am selling and spotted a notice on the council website saying that they are looking to increase their social housing stock and would consider buying back ex-council properties but when I contacted them I was told (very nicely) that they have an excess of larger properties and need one or two bed places so I guess it really depends where in the country you are (I’m in an outer London-borough/the south east)

IckyBex Mon 04-Jun-18 12:54:47

frequency in your circumstances I personally would not consider you as under occupying. Furthermore I totally agree with you on security.
It's what I would like for my children and myself.
pigmcpigface absolutely I agree that the government or housing associations should be building not only more three bed and up houses but more housing generally.

PhilODox Mon 04-Jun-18 12:55:44

Staying in your four bedroom house after all of your children have left home is depriving another family of the opportunity that you were given

Is this honestly happening anywhere, now that there's the "spare room" tax? hmm

Not that I know of any 4-bed social housing anywhere near me!

katmarie Mon 04-Jun-18 12:56:15

It's not just about moving to a smaller place though, for my parents to move out of their property they would have to take a high rise flat on the other side of town, away from their friends and neighbours, some of whom they've known for 40 years, they also have close family nearby, who provide them with support. Neither of them drive, and as they are in their seventies getting over to visit their old friends and neighbors would be very hard, so effectively they would be abandoning the support network they have at the time in their lives when they need it most, not to mention the difficulty living in a high rise might impose on a pair of pensioners. In addition moving to a flat would be impossible for their dog, so he would have to be rehomed too, which would be awful for them and the dog. They would move to a smaller place, if there was one within their community, but there isn't.

I do sympathize with people who need a bigger family home, there are a lot of people under occupying houses, but there isn't a simple solution.

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