Council house no longer a home for life

A COUNCIL house may no longer mean a home for life, under new rules.

Consultation has started on a policy that would force tenants to move to smaller properties if their circumstances change.

The Fixed Term and Flexible Tenancy policy is being introduced as part of the Governments Localism Act and shake-up of the welfare system.

Colchester Council have began shaping the finer details of the scheme and are urging tenants and landlords to help.

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11:45am Sat 29 Dec 12

Say It As It Is OK? says...

This is a difficult one!

We are aware of a lady who has lived in the same council house for 35 years, she is now on her own in a large detached 4 bedroomed house and is adamant she won't move. Her her rent is covered by benefit payments and the council (Bradford) have made numerous offers to her to relocate, at their expense, even for her to move to a smaller house on the same street, but she is refusing to budge!

On the one hand working families with children on low incomes need homes and "social" housing provides an affordable alternative to private renting. On the other hand many existing tenants have bought up their families in these homes and although the children have now left home many want to stay living in the area.

Surely the answer is to review rents according to needs so those wanting to stay where they are, but no longer need the extra rooms, have a choice of paying a higher 'market rent' to stay or they downsize to a property that fits their current housing needs.

Of course if people are forced to move and downsize then any accommodation offered should be in the same area, if that is where the tenant wants to be.
This is a difficult one! We are aware of a lady who has lived in the same council house for 35 years, she is now on her own in a large detached 4 bedroomed house and is adamant she won't move. Her her rent is covered by benefit payments and the council (Bradford) have made numerous offers to her to relocate, at their expense, even for her to move to a smaller house on the same street, but she is refusing to budge! On the one hand working families with children on low incomes need homes and "social" housing provides an affordable alternative to private renting. On the other hand many existing tenants have bought up their families in these homes and although the children have now left home many want to stay living in the area. Surely the answer is to review rents according to needs so those wanting to stay where they are, but no longer need the extra rooms, have a choice of paying a higher 'market rent' to stay or they downsize to a property that fits their current housing needs. Of course if people are forced to move and downsize then any accommodation offered should be in the same area, if that is where the tenant wants to be. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

11:42pm Sat 29 Dec 12

The Educated says...

Commandeer homes as potential same-sex house-shares; with the original Tenant remaining.
Commandeer homes as potential same-sex house-shares; with the original Tenant remaining. The Educated
  • Score: 0

12:41am Sun 30 Dec 12

Boris says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
This is a difficult one!

We are aware of a lady who has lived in the same council house for 35 years, she is now on her own in a large detached 4 bedroomed house and is adamant she won't move. Her her rent is covered by benefit payments and the council (Bradford) have made numerous offers to her to relocate, at their expense, even for her to move to a smaller house on the same street, but she is refusing to budge!

On the one hand working families with children on low incomes need homes and "social" housing provides an affordable alternative to private renting. On the other hand many existing tenants have bought up their families in these homes and although the children have now left home many want to stay living in the area.

Surely the answer is to review rents according to needs so those wanting to stay where they are, but no longer need the extra rooms, have a choice of paying a higher 'market rent' to stay or they downsize to a property that fits their current housing needs.

Of course if people are forced to move and downsize then any accommodation offered should be in the same area, if that is where the tenant wants to be.
Say It, you say that this lady's rent is covered by benefit payments. Does the law allows her benefit to be reduced to the standard level for a single person? If her family can help her to cover the balance, then she should be allowed to stay. If they can't, then she should move to a smaller place in the same area.
To this lady's credit, at least she did not buy her property at a deep discount, as many tenants did. Therefore, one day, her house will become available for a large family.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: This is a difficult one! We are aware of a lady who has lived in the same council house for 35 years, she is now on her own in a large detached 4 bedroomed house and is adamant she won't move. Her her rent is covered by benefit payments and the council (Bradford) have made numerous offers to her to relocate, at their expense, even for her to move to a smaller house on the same street, but she is refusing to budge! On the one hand working families with children on low incomes need homes and "social" housing provides an affordable alternative to private renting. On the other hand many existing tenants have bought up their families in these homes and although the children have now left home many want to stay living in the area. Surely the answer is to review rents according to needs so those wanting to stay where they are, but no longer need the extra rooms, have a choice of paying a higher 'market rent' to stay or they downsize to a property that fits their current housing needs. Of course if people are forced to move and downsize then any accommodation offered should be in the same area, if that is where the tenant wants to be.[/p][/quote]Say It, you say that this lady's rent is covered by benefit payments. Does the law allows her benefit to be reduced to the standard level for a single person? If her family can help her to cover the balance, then she should be allowed to stay. If they can't, then she should move to a smaller place in the same area. To this lady's credit, at least she did not buy her property at a deep discount, as many tenants did. Therefore, one day, her house will become available for a large family. Boris
  • Score: 0

8:43am Sun 30 Dec 12

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Boris, I understand she pays around 60% of her rent from her pension with the rest, plus council taxes, paid through the benefit system. You talk about her not buying the property but I was talking to my brother in Law only last night and the family are proposing just that. They want to buy the house from the council in her name using the tenant discount rate so she can stay where she is without the council pestering her to move.

Personally, although I'm not an expert, I think this could be a difficult one because, as she is on benefits, lots of questions will be asked as to who actually funded the purchase!

Happy new year
Boris, I understand she pays around 60% of her rent from her pension with the rest, plus council taxes, paid through the benefit system. You talk about her not buying the property but I was talking to my brother in Law only last night and the family are proposing just that. They want to buy the house from the council in her name using the tenant discount rate so she can stay where she is without the council pestering her to move. Personally, although I'm not an expert, I think this could be a difficult one because, as she is on benefits, lots of questions will be asked as to who actually funded the purchase! Happy new year Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Sun 30 Dec 12

Boris says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
Boris, I understand she pays around 60% of her rent from her pension with the rest, plus council taxes, paid through the benefit system. You talk about her not buying the property but I was talking to my brother in Law only last night and the family are proposing just that. They want to buy the house from the council in her name using the tenant discount rate so she can stay where she is without the council pestering her to move.

Personally, although I'm not an expert, I think this could be a difficult one because, as she is on benefits, lots of questions will be asked as to who actually funded the purchase!

Happy new year
Thanks, Say It. I hope somebody on the council reads these exchanges, for it seems absolutely wrong that the family, who stand to inherit the house, should buy the house on the cheap in that way, depriving the council of yet another house which in the long term could be used by a family. I hope they are able to prevent this from happening, but the law may not allow them to.
Actually, this looks like yet another case of the "law of unintended consequences" producing not an increase, but a reduction in the amount of social housing available. If this lady was not being pressured to move out, maybe the family would not be proposing this move.
A happy New Year to you too, Say It As It Is, and to all the usual contributors.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: Boris, I understand she pays around 60% of her rent from her pension with the rest, plus council taxes, paid through the benefit system. You talk about her not buying the property but I was talking to my brother in Law only last night and the family are proposing just that. They want to buy the house from the council in her name using the tenant discount rate so she can stay where she is without the council pestering her to move. Personally, although I'm not an expert, I think this could be a difficult one because, as she is on benefits, lots of questions will be asked as to who actually funded the purchase! Happy new year[/p][/quote]Thanks, Say It. I hope somebody on the council reads these exchanges, for it seems absolutely wrong that the family, who stand to inherit the house, should buy the house on the cheap in that way, depriving the council of yet another house which in the long term could be used by a family. I hope they are able to prevent this from happening, but the law may not allow them to. Actually, this looks like yet another case of the "law of unintended consequences" producing not an increase, but a reduction in the amount of social housing available. If this lady was not being pressured to move out, maybe the family would not be proposing this move. A happy New Year to you too, Say It As It Is, and to all the usual contributors. Boris
  • Score: 0

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