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Council housing - move tenants subject to decreasing family size?

350 replies

whatever17 · 29/05/2011 00:47

Do you think that tenants in social housing should be moved after their family's have grown?

For instance, a family gets a 3 bed house then the kids grow up and leave. Should the parents be forced into a 1 bed property? SHould they have to leave their family home after 40 years?

If so, surely no one would have any pride in the property. If they feel they have "a home for life" they will beautify the garden and keep everything respectable.

Should the solution be that there is enough social housing for everyone in need?

OP posts:
whatever17 · 29/05/2011 03:52

Frog - I have a gross neighbour too. Her kids keep telling mine to go home and fuck the dog. Poor dog! Anyway, I love my council house and have genuinely spent thousands on it. Possibly £3k on the garden, which was a right mess, and £3k on the inside - it was genuinely covered in shit. And this is because I assumed it was my home for life. I waited 9 years for this place and me and my family feel it is our home.

OP posts:
TheFrogs · 29/05/2011 04:11

I wrote a huge post then which prompty exploded into space! I do want to move due to my neighbour mostly. I love this house as do my kids even though it really is too small, it's all they've ever known. but i'm so tired of having little shites hanging over my back fence spitting at us, swearing at us and trashing my garden...we never get any peace at all. But to decorate the whole thing with cheap magnolia before I go? No money or energy...

whatever17 · 29/05/2011 04:19

Frog - why would you - just go on a homeswapper website and I am sure someone will love your home.

OP posts:
whatever17 · 29/05/2011 04:23

Frog - I think one adds to the value of the council's property by being a good tenant and looking after the property

OP posts:
TheFrogs · 29/05/2011 04:27

It's daft really because I dont actually think my neighbour is a bad person at all (we were on great terms for years although never close), possibly she would have much more respect for the feelings of an older person and keep her kids in check. That's where it would make more sense for someone else to downsize to my house..I do get the logic of it.

I'd still be taking the garden tap though Grin

Haecceity · 29/05/2011 06:27

I think that it is a sensible idea. I think that you should not incur any costs in moving, of course, and the home that you move to should be of equal standard in terms of decoration and they shouldn't move you from a house in a nice area to a flat on a sinkhole estate! That sort of thing.

But the idea of moving someone from a house where they've 2 or 3 spare bedrooms, while a family is crammed into a room in a hostel or b&b is a good one!

Building enough social housing is a better one, mind!

But then, I find the whole attachment to buildings baffling. I don't understand the need to live where you've always lived, because of 'memories'. You still have the memories no matter where you live. I don't understand the logic of needing to live in the house to benefit from memories of your life.

But - I do respect that other people do feel that way and that makes it hard for them and for that reason it is very important that such a policy is well thought out and is implemented sensitively. I don't understand WHY they feel that, but I understand that they DO feel that.

Personally, I don't care where I live. My life still happened. I am in social housing. If my kids leave home and they put me in a flat, fair enough.

ilovedora27 · 29/05/2011 07:25

I think they should move yes. I have a mortgaged flat my kids will grow up in and it will always have less space than houses. If I have to sell an move to a bedsit/1 bed when we retire I will so that we have a bit of extra cash for our retirement.

Just cause you have always lived there doesnt mean you always should. People are lucky if they live in a real house in the first place imo.

millie30 · 29/05/2011 07:53

I have mixed feelings on this issue. I live in a 2 bedroom HA house and have a secure tenancy. It's just me and my DS and I feel very secure with the fact that we have a roof over our head and affordable rent. I don't want any more children so this house is perfect for us long term. I am currently spending a lot of money and effort decorating, and have had to have carpets laid etc and I would feel very distressed if I was suddenly told that I was no longer allowed to live here.

However, previously I was in a refuge, and lots of larger families than mine were being forced to stay there long term, or sent to hostels and cramped temporary accomodation because there was a lack of 3 bedroom or bigger social housing. At the same time I have a relative in her 40s whose children have left home and who lives alone in a very large 3 bed council house on her own with a massive garden that she ignores, and she is quite a high earner. It does strike me as a shame that a big family home is now being squandered on her when there are many in such great need.

Similarly, I think it's ridiculous that Susan Boyle, so I read, who has now got a large new house, is also planning to buy her old council house just so she can keep the memories. I really don't think it should be acceptable for a millionaire to buy their old home for sentimental reasons, when there are families in need who would give anything for the security of such a home.

tyler80 · 29/05/2011 08:04

There are a hell of a lot of people in this country who don't even get longer than 6 months security of tenure in a private rental.

I imagine people who struggle to understand the argument that it's unfair to move someone from their home after 30 years occupation and who can blame them.

SunshineisSorry · 29/05/2011 08:14

My mother has lived in her council house for over 50 years, had she been paying a mortgage on it, she would have paid it ten times over im sure. My parents both always worked and not received benefits - apart from pension and disability benefits now. Her garden is lovely and it has taken years of hard work, she never calls the council in for maintainance issues and gets them sorted herself. Why should she be forced to give up the house that has been her home for the past 50 years?

The social housing issue comes from the ridiculous situation with the housing market being out of control. We own our own house and struggle with our mortgage and its not that big. A friend of mine is looking at a house that is pretty much falling down for a QUARTER OF A MILLION POUNDS! is it any wonder that ordinary working people, can't afford to buy their own house and rent is ridiculously expensive due to greedy landlords. I blame phil and kirsty for the whole sorry situation personally. I think rather than creating ghettos of social housing the government should be looking at conrolling the housing market, in terms of sales and rentals. Again, its a situation with the fat cats creaming off the poor wee mice.

My PIL live in a council property too, they have three bedrooms - my FIL is dying and my MIL plans to downsize when he goes. I think that actually, this is sensible but my mother doesn't want to do this and why should she exactly?

CoteDAzur · 29/05/2011 08:17

"government should be looking at conrolling the housing market, in terms of sales and rentals"

What do you mean? Government should abolish market economy and set prices of goods and services?

TheHumanCatapult · 29/05/2011 08:22

Things are only going to get worse with the Hb caps .coming in .Mine is going to drop a lot and yet theres not a lot to rent at the rate around here.

I rent a 4 bedroom bungalow ds ha smoblity issues also I am in a wheelchair .I pay £100 a month towards next feb I am expected to pay £200 a month.

We are on council list as we need a 4 bed ( I asked if could take a 3 and then they adapt but they will not alloow this ) that can be adapted but there are no 4 beds likely to come available for quite some time .This is despite that I do not have a bathroom thats useable from wheelchair ( I will have to crawl in ) .

Something needs to be done a slike I said there will be alot of people unable to afford where they live and moving area is not always a viable option ,schools ,work,family support etc

SunshineisSorry · 29/05/2011 08:22

Thats a good idea Cote - shall we start a campaign group ;)

TheHumanCatapult · 29/05/2011 08:24

oh and my rent is not skyhigh for the area it is £1200 a month , and is actually quite cheap for the area and we all know there is lots of landlords willing to take on Hb single parents

Reality · 29/05/2011 08:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CoteDAzur · 29/05/2011 08:24

"I do think keeping the garden nice and putting curtains rather than nailing blankets up and investing in the community comes from having a "home for life"."

No. All that comes from the wish to live better.

People rent and put time & effort into improving their homes and have no certainty that this is their "home for life".

Council houses are given to people in need. If that need no longer exists or changes to a lesser need, then it is very reasonable that the housing should also change.

CoteDAzur · 29/05/2011 08:26

No sunshine, we really shouldn't.

Reality · 29/05/2011 08:28

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunshineisSorry · 29/05/2011 08:29

No? ah well, i thought i had a new ally for my "everything is rosey" party Wink You are right though, i hadn't thought that one through had i Grin

SunshineisSorry · 29/05/2011 08:31

Humancatapult - £1200 is cheap???? where do you live, knightsbridge?

Yukana · 29/05/2011 08:32

I'm not really sure, on one hand I agree that if the council has the power to take away your house at any time instead of a lifelong lease, that people would be scared to or put off the idea of doing it up and making it look nice/treating it properly. But on the other hand, there is such a shortage of houses and families in need could be waiting months or more than likely years for a property for them and their children.

I think if councils got their act together and listened to the private sector of landlords and tenants, things would be a whole lot easier. If all mortgage companies accepted housing benefit, it would make everything easier.

We're (me, DP, and our soon to be newborn little girl) are one of those families in need of a house. We currently live in just one room, which has all of our belongings. We've rung over 60 houses and all of them don't accept housing benefit.

plebshire · 29/05/2011 08:35

It appears the foreign aid vs social welfare argument has died down but i'd just like to point out that the UK budget for foreign aid is a lot smaller than people think - £5.2bn in 2008/9 compared to £135.7bn on the Department of Work and Pensions, out of a total of £620.7bn. here.

I, personally, feel that the aid budget is important. Of course, social welfare is important too - there's no point working towards elliminating world poverty while causing poverty to rise within the UK. But, I don't think this is an either/or argument, as the money spent on foreign aid is, relatively speaking, so low.

meditrina · 29/05/2011 08:40

Do you agree that councils/HAs should be obliged to find BIGGER accommodation for a couple who started off in a one-bed flat when they go on to have two or three children?

Stock needs to be managed according to need - both increase and decrease.

TheHumanCatapult · 29/05/2011 08:43

Humancatapult - £1200 is cheap???? where do you live, knightsbridge?

that is £1200 a month not a week .And no I live in East Hertfordshire .but being close to London and the airport drives prices up and there is a lot of competion for rentals so one sthat take Hb are few and far between .And you look at rentals in the SE area £1200 a month for 4 bedrooms is good going even in some very dodgey areas

Moving is not really a option I need a bungalow oh and adapted to ,.Here ds3 is at a good sn school and is making progress ..I have my mum 5 mile sup the road for support and help .Ds2 is in middle of gcse .

CoteDAzur · 29/05/2011 08:45

Yukana - It is not "your house", though.

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