PDA

View Full Version : Council Houses


eticket
4th Aug 2010, 00:31
The PM is wondering if Council Housing should be allocated on the basis of Family Unit size, along with a short-term tenancy agreement of say five years.

So if a family unit goes up in number, ie more kids born, then they may get a property with more bedrooms. But if at the end of the five years the family unit has shrunk, (kids move out / go to University / get seized by Social Services etc.), then they can be moved into a smaller property. This would free up the larger property for another family to move into.

Currently once the kids leave you can stay in a bigger property for life. (I may be wrong here.)

(Current tenants would be excluded from the new system.)

Is this a runner? Or will families just keep on breeding and then adopting?

Gentleman Jim
4th Aug 2010, 03:05
Or prevent their kids from entering higher education.!

Whilst the idea is nice, the implementation and continued management would be too difficult to effectively supervise. We need to stop any initiatives that give people the slightest inclination of having more children than they would do, were it not for the initiative..

sitigeltfel
4th Aug 2010, 05:58
When you see council estates with nearly new Mercedes sitting in the driveways, something is wrong.

tony draper
4th Aug 2010, 08:37
Why? why the obsession in this country with owning the roof over your head, what's wrong with renting.?:confused:

Saintsman
4th Aug 2010, 08:48
Nowt wrong with renting, but if you buy your own place, one day it'll be paid for and you will no longer have to pay 'rent'.

Plus, in a lot of cases, monthly mortgage payments are similar to what you would pay to rent privately.

Evening Star
4th Aug 2010, 08:50
Why? why the obsession in this country with owning the roof over your head, what's wrong with renting.?:confused:

Must admit beginning to ask myself that question. Colleague here at the Ivory Tower lives quite comfortably in the Byker Wall with no worries while I am paying a fortune on a mortgage for goodness knows how long. Add in the questionable future issues of house prices and inheritance tax, plus most of Europe seems to do social housing much more efficiently, it does give pause for thought.

N707ZS
4th Aug 2010, 08:59
Do we class 10 Downing Street as a Council house then?

tony draper
4th Aug 2010, 08:59
The biggest problem with council houses was Maggie sold most of them all off at knock down prices,ergo there are none left
:uhoh:

Blacksheep
4th Aug 2010, 08:59
When Dad left the Navy we were allocated a brand new council house. He already owned the two-up/two-down slum that we shared with Gran and Uncle Lewis but in 1953 council houses were homes for heroes and military/naval regulars had priority in the queue as they left the service. It was so new the pavements had not yet been laid. I recall the wonder of being able to get hot water straight out of a tap, going to the kazi without going outside, having my own bedroom, Mam cooking on a gas oven, the electrically powered washing machine. Amazing stuff! My parents used the opportunity to save up and modernise the old house and then we moved back, giving up the council house. We later moved up to a bigger Victorian terrace, three bedrooms and a garret! When Dad went into Alzheimers care and Mam was taken ill, the house was sold to pay for their care.

So, tony is spot on - what is the British obsession with owning the roof over your head? Is it simply so we can afford proper care during our final years? That council house was certainly far better than anything Mam and Dad lived in subsequently.

max_cont
4th Aug 2010, 09:02
Add in the questionable future issues of house prices and inheritance tax, plus most of Europe seems to do social housing much more efficiently, it does give pause for thought.

Only if youíre cerebrally challenged.

My current mortgage is about half of what my rental cost would be for my present property. Why would I want to hand the money to someone else? :ugh:

gingernut
4th Aug 2010, 09:42
Where I think the policy may fall down, is the fact that the "council house" is actually more than the sum of the bricks and mortar....it's someones home, with all that entails-being part of the local community, the place where that person may have spent the past 50 yrs bringing up his or her family etc.

It may seem a little daft, even selfish, to see an elderly chap living in a 3 bedroomed house, when a family of five is scratching around for decent social housing, but making people move probably 'aint fair.

Evening Star
4th Aug 2010, 09:53
Not cerebelly challenged ... a bit soft maybe.:rolleyes:

Likewise, my mortgage is currently well below an equivalent rent. That said, I live in mortal fear of interest rate changes and do not have to cast my mind back too far when it was the other way round (although then, paradoxically, I was not in negative equity!). Then once I finish paying, which will be about when I retire, I will be able to sell it to pay for my means tested retirement care. Has it ever really been mine?

Meanwhile, I look at social housing in Germany and Denmark, which just seems to work, plus the way social housing in the UK has undergone a transformation during the last few years, and have to honestly ask myself if this buying a house idea is just smoke and mirrors. Who really profits? Look at how much interest the mortgage company will earn over 25 years. To pick up TD's theme, the banks must have loved Maggie's push for home ownership ... so much more profitable then all those council houses. Just where did it lead and leave us?

jimtherev
4th Aug 2010, 09:59
Oddly enough, I was doing some research on behalf of one of my old ducks last night - she rents out a 4-bed house in NW London, for which the market rent is ~ £400 per week. Looking at the borough rental average prices (admittedly this includes all public housing types) the figure for Brent housing is £86.* Even if you double this figure 'cos of the scarcity of 4-bed council housing now, there is a biiig difference between private and social housing costs.

*This is near the top of the table - the very highest is Wandsworth @ £106 per week. These figures were for 2007/8, the latest available.

tony draper
4th Aug 2010, 10:17
It would help out housing stock a lot if we dropped out of the lunacy that is the UN Convention on Refugees and the idiotic EU rules on Asylum Seekers or at least ignored them like the rest of the continentals do.
:rolleyes:

max_cont
4th Aug 2010, 11:01
ES
I suppose it all comes down to how sensible you were when you purchased your property. Iíve never been close to negative equity. My total costs will be far less than the value of my houseÖeven with a savage drop of 50% in property prices.

As for retirement, I guess Iím one of those boring types who made adequate plans early in life. Updates were made in line with rule changes. Iím a firm believer in helping you and yours. You certainly canít rely on the State or human kindness in the twilight years.

Take a look at how we treat our senior citizens after a lifetime of work and taxes. Only a fool would trust a politicianís election promise. Itís every man/women for themselves, as itís always been.

Dan Gerous
4th Aug 2010, 13:12
It's all very well saying that once you start earning a certain amount of money, you can buy your own home. However nobody can guarantee job security for the decades needed to repay a mortgage. Still, if the evil Thatcher bitch hadn't sold of all the council houses in the first place.

max_cont
4th Aug 2010, 13:59
DG

Nothing in life is certain. If you are waiting for cast iron guaranteesí youíre going to be waiting a long time.

You can however take a calculated risk. You can make contingency plans, itís not rocket science. It does mean you have to be a little bit disciplined with money management and property expectation. Sometimes it does go wrong no doubt, but more often than not it works.

Millions of homeowners in the UK took the risk and are not being repossessed despite a recession.

tony draper
4th Aug 2010, 14:11
The last couple of decades house buying seemed more about joining some kind of financial club "Getting on the Ladder" than about a roof over your head.
:uhoh:

max_cont
4th Aug 2010, 14:34
That may be true Tony, but the bottom line is that we all have to put a roof over our heads or live on the street.

Why rent the roof for more than the cost of buying?

Twenty five years of paying more in rent than mortgage repaymentsí has got to be a very poor second choice.

MagnusP
4th Aug 2010, 14:37
At the moment, I'm comfortable. Paying 0.74% above base rate for a mortgage that's about 15% of my house's value is splendid. However, I remember interest rates at 15%, when I had to take a second job pulling pints in order to pay the mortgage. That didn't include things like repairs. I'm just about to spring £14k on a new roof - that wouldn't happen if I rented.

My Mum, bless her, refuses to buy her rented flat. She has peace of mind that, if there are issues with plumbing, 'trickery, fabric repairs etc., she just picks up the 'phone and it's dealt with.

YMMV.

Edited to add: MaxCont, it's not just the mortgage; it's the repairs, upkeep, new kitchens, replaced central heating, replaced double glazing that are included in the rent, but not in the mortgage payments, that make people decide to stay with renting. They have a point.

Evening Star
4th Aug 2010, 15:04
MC, it is not about sensible or anything like that, because the idea of certainty that underpinned buying a house for my parent's generation no longer applies. We no longer marry in our 20's and then settle down with a steady job that will take us to retirement. As much as I planned my financial commitments well in my 20's and 30's, I was one of those who married late and the plans all changed. In the same way, I am almost unique in having had the same employer for 19 years, although there is no way I can be sure of that for the next however many years. Buying a house is a good idea, although we can forget it being the panacea of an idea that has been peddled to us since the 1930's.

Actually, I choose the 1930's deliberately, because last year I supervised a very well researched dissertation on whether 1930's housing is life expired. I kept a copy (that I have open in front of me now), as it is sobering reading, not just because of the number of 1930's houses with category 1 hazards, but because of the unanimity amongst all interested bodies, public and private, of increasing arrears of maintenance amongst all the UK housing stock, the quoted headline figure that every house in the UK needs an average of £8736 worth in repairs (ahh, must fix my doorbell ...). He then sub-divided the results by sector and the worst performing sector was, by far, owner-occupiers, with a problem so severe that he concluded that, "... all the negative contributing factors may eventually take their [sic] toll before the problem [of addressing maintenance arrears] is resolved". In other words, we may all be paying for a roof over our head, yet the next potential time-bomb after pensions could be those deteriorating roofs. In the long run, it might be that my colleague in Byker Wall might be the cleverer amongst us.

(And then, MC, we look to the politicians for a solution. In that I totally agree with you, we are doomed ... :sad:)

max_cont
4th Aug 2010, 16:12
ES
Statistics like yours might make me smile, as you said, carefully selected.
However my modern property has nothing wrong with it. But then that sort of statistic is boring.

Mag P

Gas central heating cost a few grand 19 years ago. But the cost saving from ECO 7 storage rads has far exceeded that over the years.

Double glazing came with a ten year guarantee. Never a momentís problem. The front door replaced FOC under guarantee.

New kitchen ten years ago still going strong, no damage.

New bathroom replaced FOC third party insurance claim.

The odd lick of paint every few years costs just a few quid along with a once over up on the roof. All of this an owner can do for very little.

Nope looking back over the invoices for the property since I bought it twenty years agoí Iíve spent around £30,000. But then I believe in preventative maintenance and I can do brickwork, plumbing and electrical. Family members are in the trade to give help or advice so itís all safe and sound.

So if I subtract all my outgoings so far including mortgage and endowment Iím still in the black to the tune of a few hundred thousandÖall because I decided to buy a house when my landlord sold the place I was renting.

Iím happy people rent.
As a landlord, I see first hand how much tenants pay for a three bed house in the SE. However if a tenant likes to kid themselves that I pay anything for the property that is not recouped from rent good on them. The truth can sometimes be inconvenient.

Lon More
4th Aug 2010, 16:40
Mum and Dad bought their first house in 1960 for 2000 pounds having previously lived in "tied" accommodation. At one time they were paying more than 10% interest IIRC. In later life Mum had to live in a care home and her capital (i.e. the house) had to be used up before the promised care from the cradle to the grave chipped in.

I think the problem in the UK is the idea that investment in property has been seen as a sure-fire method to print money. In 2002 I bought a house in Hawkinge, Kent, for 130.000 which, having decided I will not return permanently to the UK, is now on the market for just over 200,000, with very little interest except one offer of 150,000. This whilst identical properties sold for 280,000 at the top of the market.

Prices in Europe are far more predictable (and sensible), much housing is owned by "housing corporations", very little, if any, by the councils, and the negative cachet of "council housing" does not apply. In many areas it is difficult to distinguish between the two types of dwelling

sitigeltfel
4th Aug 2010, 18:49
Still, if the evil Thatcher bitch hadn't sold of all the council houses in the first place.

There were scores of Labour councils secretly praising her as they simply couldn't afford to maintain the housing stock on their books.

Gertrude the Wombat
4th Aug 2010, 20:22
what's wrong with renting
Nothing at all.

But social housing rents are around half market rents, with the taxpayer paying the difference. And the other problem is a little old lady living in a three bedroomed semi for decades on her own whilst a family is crammed into a one bedroom upstairs flat.

I have no objection to a safety net to provide help for people who are through no fault of their own unable to house themselves in what our society regards as decent conditions.

However consider the following scenario:

Bloke is long term sick and can't work. Wife has one small baby and is pregnant and not working. Nothing wrong with that so far, can happen to anyone.

They get lucky and get a council house.

Fast foward twenty-odd years. The bloke got better, and now goes out to work. The children have grown, so the wife now goes out to work. The kids both still live at home, and both go out to work. OK, so these are not high powered jobs, they're only making an average of £25k each.

For a total household income of £100k. And they're entitled to stay in that council house for life, with us paying half the rent.

I stress that these are decent honest hardworking people who have done, and are doing, nothing wrong. But does it make sense for the system to be like that?

al446
4th Aug 2010, 20:48
There were scores of Labour councils secretly praising her as they simply couldn't afford to maintain the housing stock on their books.

Sources please.

G-CPTN
4th Aug 2010, 22:46
She has peace of mind that, if there are issues with plumbing, 'trickery, fabric repairs etc., she just picks up the 'phone and it's dealt with.
One thing that (private) tenants don't have nowadays is security of tenure.
Most can be asked to leave if the landlord decides he wants to raise the rent (didn't happen in the old days). Once upon a time the rent was fixed and the tenant couldn't be evicted (by reasonable means).

overfly
5th Aug 2010, 02:02
446
there's really no need to shout

critter592
5th Aug 2010, 02:05
G-CPTN,

Very true.

For example:

My parents had rented the property where I am currently sat typing this since it was built in 1953-ish. After my Mother passed away in 1998, I was asked by the Council if I wished to remain in the property. I continued the tenancy for a few months, before proceeding with a Right To Buy application.
My mortgage is now paid (thanks to a 60% discount).

Fast-forward to 2009. The housing formerly administered by the Council is now under a properties management agency.
An elderly chap (and his son), who have lived there for as long as I can remember are evicted after the wife passed away.

Metro man
5th Aug 2010, 02:25
Singapore has got social housing right. 86% of the population live in government housing. Most of them own or are buying it. Government subsidies provided for first time buyers. You can only own one at a time. Once your income exceeds a certain level you can't buy a new flat with a subsidy but still can have a second hand one bought from a private owner.

Some subsidized rental properties provided for those on low incomes.

The idea is you own your own home and look after it. It's then an asset for your retirement.

Higher income earners tend to live in private house with better facilities, but everyone has a roof over their head.

HDB InfoWEB : Homepage (http://www.hdb.gov.sg)

Ancient Observer
5th Aug 2010, 12:01
Metro man,

Yup, and there's a big "AND" at the end of what you say. Singapore builds enough housing for its population - the permanent ones and those passing through.

The UK builds less than half what its permanent population needs, and if immigration continues as it did under labour, then 1/3 of the households needing accom just won't have it by 2020.

Gertrude the Wombat
5th Aug 2010, 17:33
The UK builds less than half what its permanent population needs
Perhaps Singapore takes a different attitude to the nimbys.

Krystal n chips
5th Aug 2010, 18:34
" Whilst the idea is nice, the implementation and continued management would be too difficult to effectively supervise. We need to stop any initiatives that give people the slightest inclination of having more children than they would do, were it not for the initiative"

Hmmm ? nice of you to suggest social engineering to be imposed on people who reside in council houses......are you intending to start at the bottom of the social strata..from your perception, not mine..and work your way up once the experiment has proved a success..or are you thinking of applying for Chinese nationality and feel this proposal would support your application ? :rolleyes:

Metro man
5th Aug 2010, 23:26
Hmmm ? nice of you to suggest social engineering to be imposed on people who reside in council houses.

You want these people to breed ?:eek:

http://sandalsandsocks.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451d00d69e20111689fad19970c-800wi


http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40604000/jpg/_40604564_chavs203ok_bbc.jpg

http://lolfed.com/wp-content/uploads/burberry-chavs.jpg

Offer each council estate female under fifty, 20 000 pounds to undergo permanent steralization. Double the amount if she's childless.

A worth while investment in Britains future. The cost will be recouped many times over in reduced welfare payments and reduced crime.

The gene pool will improve, taxes will be lowered, prison population reduced, crime and drug use will nose dive. The streets will be safe at night again, any of the older pruners remember those days ?

Sirikit
6th Aug 2010, 19:02
Metro man


You want these people to breed ?http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif

Offer each council estate female under fifty, 20 000 pounds to undergo permanent steralization. Double the amount if she's childless.

A worth while investment in Britains future. The cost will be recouped many times over in reduced welfare payments and reduced crime.

The gene pool will improve, taxes will be lowered, prison population reduced, crime and drug use will nose dive. The streets will be safe at night again, any of the older pruners remember those days ?


Just one little thing bugs me in your social experiment. Whatever happens to the men/future fathers who impregnated these women? Do they get away without undergoing any surgery?:confused:

Seldomfitforpurpose
7th Aug 2010, 01:24
Metro man



Just one little thing bugs me in your social experiment. Whatever happens to the men/future fathers who impregnated these women? Do they get away without undergoing any surgery?:confused:

Surely if the girls took the money then there is no issue, or did I miss something :confused:

Krystal n chips
7th Aug 2010, 10:51
Well, that didn't take long now did it.

The sycophantic minions enbracing the dictats from the upper echelons with commendable zeal......multiple orgasms all round in Central Office no doubt....:rolleyes:

Council advises tenants who have one bedroom too many to move now | Society | The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/aug/06/council-house-tenants-kensington-chelsea)

Expect more of the same however, not just housing, but in every respect of our social fabric as the ideology is imposed across the UK population as a whole in the near future....exclusion clauses, as always, being applicable.

green granite
7th Aug 2010, 10:56
The local housing association were offering tenants £2000 to move to smaller houses where appropriate.

Mr Chips
7th Aug 2010, 18:36
I currently work within the social housing sector, and it astonishes me how many tenants have an attitude of deserving everything - they get a house for life, low rent, all repairs and improvements carried out for them. Many of the tenants will treat the property with no respect, and instantly make complaints if the slightest thing isn't to their satisfaction. The abuse that you get from many tenants has to be heard to be believed..and they all seem to have solicitors and a hotline to their local MP/press/Housing Association Chief Executive. oh, and if in doubt, scream "human rights"

Gertrude the Wombat
7th Aug 2010, 18:48
and they all seem to have solicitors and a hotline to their local MP/press/Housing Association Chief Executive
Doesn't always work though. As a councillor I do occasionally get contacted by council tenants with unreasonable demands: I simply tell then they're being unreasonable.

There aren't enough of them, actually, to vote me out of my seat :) - most of the council tenants I come across aren't that unreasonable.

Andy_S
7th Aug 2010, 18:50
It may seem a little daft, even selfish, to see an elderly chap living in a 3 bedroomed house, when a family of five is scratching around for decent social housing, but making people move probably 'aint fair.

A silly question, but does a single occupant of a decent sized council house pay a rent based on the property, or on the individual?

Still, if the evil Thatcher bitch hadn't sold of all the council houses in the first place.

What are you suggesting - that the occupants were thrown out and the houses sold to her rich supporters? For gawds sake, they were sold to the people who lived in them!! That's what I love about the political left; it's somehow "evil" to allow people to break free of the state and better themselves.

LGS6753
7th Aug 2010, 21:27
Once again the evil of socialism stalks the land. Taxpayers (and that's everyone who earns money or buys a chocolate bar) have to contribute to the rent for those who are not prepared to look after themselves.
If people don't want to buy, they can rent privately. If they can't afford the monthly rental, they can apply for means-tested benefits which alter as their situation alters.
Why should the rest of us provide cradle-to-grave housing for the feckless?

Keef
7th Aug 2010, 22:18
Anyone know the right answer?

I bought my house, because I thought I should. If I turn senile (quiet in the back row!) it will have to be sold to pay for my keep.

If I'd gone for a council house, I'd have had all that extra cash to spend on other stuff, and then wouldn't have to sell the thing I'd spent all my money on.

Ancient Observer
7th Aug 2010, 22:27
Rules and their consequences

A tale of two people........

My uncle, when asked by the Local Authority whether or not he wanted to keep his (large) 3 bed flat said that he did, (kids had moved on, but second partner liked the space) and told the Council to Foxtrot Oscar. They did, and never asked again.

My aunt - (a sister of the uncle) - expressed willingness to move. She was then buggared about by the Council for years, and twice lived in places that she did not want to live in. The Council clearly regarded her as a soft touch.

Consequence of the rules, and the Council's behaviour - clear learning by all to tell the Council to Foxtrot Oscar.

Gertrude the Wombat
7th Aug 2010, 23:38
A silly question, but does a single occupant of a decent sized council house pay a rent based on the property, or on the individual?

They receive a subsidy based on the property, being essentially around half the rent. So a single person living in a three bedroom council house receives a larger subsidy, paid for by your taxes and mine, than the same person living in a one bedroom council flat.

Gertrude the Wombat
7th Aug 2010, 23:43
Anyone know the right answer?

That is a vey easy question. The answer is "no".

I bought my house, because I thought I should. If I turn senile (quiet in the back row!) it will have to be sold to pay for my keep.

If I'd gone for a council house, I'd have had all that extra cash to spend on other stuff, and then wouldn't have to sell the thing I'd spent all my money on.
On the other hand suppose you don't turn senile (I believe the odds are in your favour). You now have essentially zero housing cost (I assume you've long since paid off the mortgage) whereas poor sods who got seduced into the council housing world have to pay hundreds of pounds a month in rent until the day they die. And have nothing to leave their children because, as you say, they spent all their cash on other stuff.

Sirikit
10th Aug 2010, 17:01
BBC News - Councils in England offered new homes bonus (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10910048)

Seldomfitforwhatever....

A brain?:E:O:}