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council housing query

(16 Posts)
Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:27:00

I'm comparing the council housing situation in UK with that in France with colleagues over lunch.

To be given council housing in the UK you have to meet certain criteria including income. What then happens if your financial situation improves? Would the council find out? Are you expected to leave council housing? If so, how is in enforced.

AnarchyAunt Tue 16-Sep-08 12:29:18

I don't think you do have to meet any income criteria actually (but am prepared to be wrong on this).

I think that any person resident in the UK is eligible to go on the waiting list, but those in the most need will get housed first.

expatinscotland Tue 16-Sep-08 12:30:21

'To be given council housing in the UK you have to meet certain criteria including income.'

Only housing benefit is income/means-based. Allocation of property isn't, however, it's just that there is so little council housing in the UK that most of the time, you have to be homeless or next to it to get housed at all, and this would probably mean your income is very low and that is why you are not renting privately or been able to buy a home of your own.

Hence, if you are allocated a council property (and keep in mind that many council's properties are now owned and run by a housing association rather than the council), they don't toss you out if your financial situation improves.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:31:15

So seeing as there are never enough council homes, on a practical level income becomes an criteria for being housed.

TheArmadillo Tue 16-Sep-08 12:32:40

you don't have to meet any criteria to go on the list. However if you are not a priority need and you have the funds to pay for your own housung yyou will be at the bottom of the list and may be waiting for decades.

You won't be moved if your financial situation changes. You may be moved if e.g. children leave home etc.

edam Tue 16-Sep-08 12:33:16

As far as I know, you weren't made to leave council housing if your income went up - it was all done on housing need, as Anarchy says, and you could keep your house as long as you liked.

BUT councils are beginning to mutter about changing the rules, I think to reassess housing need - so if your children have grown up and you don't need a three bed house any more, you may have to move. Local newspaper had a story about a couple who had been caring for his elderly mother being chucked out - but I think that's because the mother was the tenant and she'd died. Google the local government association if you want to find out more. Or Shelter or something.

AnarchyAunt Tue 16-Sep-08 12:33:42

Yes on a practical level it does, which is fair I think.

But the system for council/social housing in the UK is a blardy joke, and not a very funny one.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:33:51

If children leave home, would you be moved to smaller council accomodation?

Overmydeadbody Tue 16-Sep-08 12:34:10

You pretty much have to be homeless to be allocated a house, so if you're earning enough to rent privately you won't ever get into the situation where you're allocated a house will you?

I will be homeless in two weeks. Only then will I have enough poinyts to be in with a chance of actually being offered a housing association house <fingers corssed>

expatinscotland Tue 16-Sep-08 12:34:49

yes, on a practical level.

also because the little housing stock there is left (remember that council housing stock has been vastly diminished by right to buy, so much so that in many areas, new tenants no longer have right to buy or HA's have put moratoriums on right to buy) is often enough in undesirable areas where most wouldn't chose to live if they had the means not to.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:35:56

I don't have a local council, I am in France. I looked on the UK govt web site but there was no info about if your income increases. Will try Shelter, thanks.

expatinscotland Tue 16-Sep-08 12:36:54

'If children leave home, would you be moved to smaller council accomodation? '

no. the tenancy is assured. the only time you'll be moved on is if you chose to, or you were living with someone and not a joint tenant and he/she (the tenant) moves, gets evicted or dies (and even then, in some cases, a person who has been living there over a certain amount of time may be entitled to take over the tenancy).

Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:38:42

OMDB sorry to hear that.

I was more thinking about someone who suddenly started earning lots. I don't know, someone who had children early on and then went back to study and got a high paid job.

The undesirable area argument makes sense. People would leave voluntarily.

expatinscotland Tue 16-Sep-08 12:39:49

in the situation you just described, the person could continue living in his/her council property as long as he/she wished, regardless of income levels increasing.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 16-Sep-08 12:45:10

Thanks for all the answers everyone.

Some of the council housing in France is horrible but in the small towns round here it is quite nice. My colleagues were explaining to me why a number of reasonably well off people who do not qualify for housing benefit are still in council housing and I was wondering if the same situation could occur in the UK. And now I know it can.

fiodyl Tue 16-Sep-08 16:12:20

You don't currently have to leave your council house if your income increses, but I think it is a possibility that some kind of rules along those lines will come in soon, unless the current housing situation in this country improves.

Our income is now far more than when we first got this council house and we could now rent privately instead(although it would be tight and if DP lost his job we would be f*ked) but we are cchoosing to stay here a bit longer and take advantage of the low rent to save up a deposit to buy.

We won't be buying our council house though as it is not the kind of place anyone would choose to live. RTB has caused sink estates like this to exist, and I think it definatley needs to be reviewed.

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