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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:
NHScutback · 30/05/2011 08:41

smokinaces talks complete sense. The only thing that stops the council estate I grew up on turning into a 'sink estate' is the existing diversity in the residents that live there. Some houses are owned (RTB), some council, good mix of elderly residents, working tenants, young families. There are more non working people there now than when I was young and more problems with deprivation and antisocial behaviours but it is balanced by the existing diversity. We remove this at our peril.

activate · 30/05/2011 09:41

I have read the thread - I do not agree with any of the arguments against moving tenants when under-occupying.

The point about social housing is according to need - if you don't need the space then someone else absolutely will

Council tenants benefit from social housing in terms of rents and maintenance and the allocation has to be a where needs are greatest.

tomhardyismydh · 30/05/2011 09:46

absolutly right right thehumancatapault your needs are far higher and therefore you should be priority thus an older single occupant in a larger house should move.

not all prioratised needs are larger families claiming benifits who have no desire to work.

Lunabelly · 30/05/2011 09:50

I firmly believe that the previous government could have put a stop to ridiculous housing costs long before it reached such a critical point. The flat next to our old flat was about £350, NOTHING had been done to it, (as it was still a slightly dangerous shitheap), but as each tenant flees, the next ones get hit with a rent increase, now it's £650 a month? For a shithole?

When we were in our rented flat, we were totally trapped. Having grown up in a series of coucil houses, I certainly didn't want to go back. But we had no choice because of spiralling housing costs, and also rather underhand practices by letting agents, such as illegal fees, an odd type of letting 'gazumping' and the like. Plus the utter insecurity of it all. Then our town was fooked further by the college becoming a 'University' and thus a horde of buy-to-letters descending on the place like fecking locusts in order to rip off house students.

We are a working household, but whereas 10 years ago our wage would have bought us a 3-bed flat, now it won't even rent us a one-bed.
Since once an official saw our conditions (not just overcrowding) we were housed within 6 weeks, just how bad do you think it was???

We didn't deliberately 'pump' out two extra children. One was already there (we just didn't know it) when we started on our mission to buy and realised we were fucked, and DC4 was made when we were mending our marriage after DH's affair. I was suicidal at the double betrayal so really wasn't thinking straight. No form of contraception is 100%, and as I get SPD and numerous other problems when pregnant, deliberately knocking out more babies to get points would never have entered my head.

As you know, life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. And whilst I support a woman's right to choose, abortion is NOT something I myself would choose, especially just to make town planners feel better about their crap decisions.

So yes, I believe that there should have been better regulation in the private sector. There are many greedy and lazy bastards getting away with murder out there, and charging through the nose for it. There would not be so many on social housing waiting lists if the government had put people before profit, which, silly me, was what I thought Labour were about Confused

THAT is what we should be getting our collective pants in a twist about. Not at people who manage to get housed by the council and after going through hell to get there, not wanting to go through it again.

Lunabelly · 30/05/2011 09:59

TheHumanCatapult, you should have priority. I may have misread, but if you are in private housing, have you contacted the private housing department of your local council? They achieved more for us in five days than we achieved in five years.
Also, do you have 'In Touch' floating support or family mosaic in your area. (Or something similar?) They will assign you a caseworker who will kick arse for you...

If the council moves under occupiers to other, smaller HA homes fair dos, but to turf people out would be not cricket. Plus as I said in a previous post, the way the housing market is going, I honestly don't see how any of my DCs will be able to afford to leave home. I actually fear for them.

smokinaces · 30/05/2011 10:23

THAT is what we should be getting our collective pants in a twist about. Not at people who manage to get housed by the council and after going through hell to get there, not wanting to go through it again.

Spot on. The housing/wage/private rental in the last 10-15years has gone mental.

thehumancatapult - Agree that you should have priority too. I dont quite understand why you dont?

Of course not everyone has a sense of entitlement, or has 6 kids by 6 fathers on benefits, or no job etc etc. I know that. I am a council tenant and have never been in that position. I was generalising about this area and current need and demand. From speaking to other people on here, every town/city is very different with their council housing stock/allocations/waiting lists.

It depends where you are going to draw that line I guess. A single person in a 3 bed house, ok. 1 adult 2 same sex children in a 3 bed house? Slightly harder. Do you say you will move everyone underoccupied by 2 rooms or just 1 room?

Round here there are a fair few 3 bed houses that come on the allocations - about 5 a fortnight if not more. 2 beds are very few and far between - lucky if there is 2 a month.

TheHumanCatapult · 30/05/2011 10:35


They are fully aware but since I ahve a roof over my head .i am not a priorty mind they also have a shortage of 4 beds to let alone anything adapted

and they will not carry out adaptions on private properties either not without a very long fights and has been classed as suitable becuase i can get in to the bathroom ( not in convential way though ) .

Oh and im not saying kick them out regardless not that hard nosed .They need to be offered something that is suitable to .And yes do think the cost of renting has gone through the roof .Am hoping my landlord does not put my rent up any time soon

TheHumanCatapult · 30/05/2011 10:38

hmm i would say 1 adult 2 dc same sex if your already in a 3 bed no point in making you move

Lunabelly · 30/05/2011 10:49

TheHumanCatapult - Wasn't saying that you are saying kick them out :)

Please please please, if you haven't done so already, get a professional body in your corner - there seems to be a 'floating support' in every area. They really really do help.
Also, I do not know the nature of your disability, but I presume you have contacted any connected organisations?
It's truly amazing how HAs pull their socks up when they get certain organisations on their cases. Also, please please get your local councillor to come round and see how you have to live. It's also amazing what an angry and astonished council member can get done :o

TheHumanCatapult · 30/05/2011 10:52

im a paraplegic so nothing from the waist down .Have got sci in teh corner helping .

No i know it was just that people tend to think that people want council houses just becuas ethey have a large family and that sense o entitlement people seem to think everyone has .If i could get adaptions done I would much prefer staying here .councilor has been round rest of place is ok is 4 bed bungalow so perfect

lesley33 · 30/05/2011 10:52

Where my parents live almost all the housing stock is 3 bedrooms. There simply isn't enough 1 bedroom places for single people and couples to live in. And most of what there is is in small blocks with no lifts which isn't suitable for many elderly people. The ones on the ground floor already tend to have elderly people living in them.

So my parents and others like them, have a cut in housing benefit because they are under occupying with no real alternatives.

There has been a tremendous growth in single and couple households and in many areas the housing stock does not reflect this.

Lunabelly · 30/05/2011 11:01

TheHumanCatapult - when my nan had a car crash, I believe it was the social services came round and fitted raised toilet seats, support bars and the like, and also for my uncle, they fitted a walk-in bath.

I so wish I could wave a wand. Nobody in power seems to fecking think.

There was loads of adapted housing in my area, and more studio flats / one-beds than you could shake a stick at. If you all vote for me, I'll sort this insanity Angry

cannydoit · 30/05/2011 11:15

i am torn about this subject, if someone has lived somewhere for years its their home. but social housing is for people in need and it seems silly to have someone in a 3 bed house for when their kids visit and someone else in a one bed flat with 3 kids. someone on here said luckily she was able to buy a house. so what was she doing in social housing??? its suppose to be a stop gap for people in need until they move onwards and upwards i understand this can take years, but if you are in social housing and can afford to buy a house but dont because it cheaper to stay were you are it kind of defeats the purpose and leads to over crowding in houses that cant cope. so actually i am not torn. if there is one person or a couple in a three bed house the should have to move, social housing belongs to the government for the benefit of people in need, they had the benefit of a 3 bed house for their family while they were growing up. why should some other family not have that same luxury?

smokinaces · 30/05/2011 11:21

But the question is, where would you put that line?

Is a couple in a 2 bed house ok? No? So what about 1 adult, 2 same sex children in a 3 bed? Do you make people move when they are 1 room underoccupied or 2 or more? Technically my neighbour and I should both move as we are both single parents with 2 same sex children who could share and we are both in 3 bed houses.

There are incentives to downsize by the council - £500 per room. But you have to be going from a 3 bed to a 1 bed for instance. You cant get £500 for going from a 3 to a 2 bed.

I dont see a vast problem with being in social housing and then buying a property - at the end of the day you are then giving that council house back, but going into mortgaged not private rentals. The whole right to buy council houses is another issue.

Bottleofbeer · 30/05/2011 11:25

Curiousmama, yes, thankyou. We finally moved out of there six years ago :)

Usual, yes, private landlords do need to be made accoutable for renting out shit houses. I have no idea how the situation stands now because this house is fine but at the time there was pretty much NO comeback for landlords who do rent out such houses. In fact it worked in their favour for it to be condemned as uninhabitable because once that happened they were eligible for huge grants from the government to sort their properties out. Pretty much added up to an incentive to not bother carrying out neccesary repairs.

Tortington · 30/05/2011 11:25

there will be an aids and adaptations budget catapult, you could go on the council website and look up aids and adaptations. some will be done through social services

Bottleofbeer · 30/05/2011 11:27

Oh and WRT the housing benefit thing - you can only claim that if your income is below X amount. This isn't true for council housing and IMO it should be.

Tortington · 30/05/2011 11:27

sorry just read you are in private rented - in that case i don't know

smokinaces · 30/05/2011 11:28

I dont understand Bottleofbeer?

I live in Council Housing and can only claim a certain amount of housing benefit as I work. My neighbour cant claim anything as she works full time and earns too much.

I dont understand what you mean?

Serenitysutton · 30/05/2011 11:28

I think it's great when you see a council tenant buy A property- good for them. Rtbs are rare now-the discount is crap- about 25k.

Something else I think it's worth mentioning is that council housing "belongs to the tax payer" but MoST social housing is housing association- these are private companies who fufill a Market need for low cost homes. They own the property, as a corporation. Nothing to do with the tax payer

tyler80 · 30/05/2011 11:28

I think the problem is that TheHumanCatapult is in a privately rented house.

I know there is help around to adapt private houses, but if you are a homeowner there is the security that your landlord isn't going to give you notice as soon as the adaptations have been made.

Serenitysutton · 30/05/2011 11:30

Not everyone in council housing is entitled to HB- millions don't get it?

There is lots of money floating around for aids and adaptations. Definately try that.

Tortington · 30/05/2011 11:32

most HA's status are charities limited by guarentee. regulated by the homes and communities agency. Most have tenants on the board and involved throughout the structure of the organisation. Any profit made goes back into improving housing or building more.

Bottleofbeer · 30/05/2011 11:34

Okay fine! you've all convinced me that it's actually immoral to live in a house which has more rooms than you need. So lets move out all the people who own their own large homes too. After all it's about the morality of taking up space that someone else needs right?

That's a silly comparison. They own it. A renter doesn't, a renter through the council is renting social housing. They should be a stop gap until the situation changes to the point they either no longer need the amount of pace or they can afford to rent privately or buy.

Serenitysutton · 30/05/2011 11:37

Most don't have tenants on the board actually, unless they are a tenant management organisation. They might have one who has other skills (ie accountant) Mine has a couple of leaseholders. But yes, they are non profit making and regulated.

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