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This week in Housing…

This is not news about my housing. That is, as ever, going nowhere and stuck in this ditch.

The cabinet re-shuffle has caused quite a stir it seems. I have to be honest, politics are not my strong point. And writing about them is an even weaker skill of mine so apologies but…

What has been going on in the world of Housing? It all seems to be about affordable housing and relaxing planning permissions but the subject of Social housing is not getting much of a voice these days. Maybe it’s not a ‘sexy’ problem?

There was talk of branding Social Housing as “Tax-payer funded housing”

I cannot find one thing good to say about this idea. In my eyes it will simply fuel the “we pay for you lazy yobs” flames and cause an even greater stigma attached to those in Social Housing. I grew up in Council Homes. For the most part it never bothered me. I never saw it as a problem – it was our home. But it seems to me the attitude towards them has been changing. There is a stigma attached to them. You live in a council house? You must be poor. You’re probably a benefit scrounge or a single mother who got pregnant to get that house of yours. I bet you live on some scummy estate and your kids run around outside all night swearing and terrorizing old ladies. Yep. That’s me. If it’s easier to believe that about me then take the time to learn the truth then go ahead. I have no energy left to correct your sweeping generalisations. I’m far too busy tuning my huge flat screen TV and planning how to spend my huge benefit windfall.

I don’t get the Tax-payer funded branding idea. So much of what All people use on a daily basis is Tax Payer funded. Why should that need pointing out? And we all know what happens with these government re-branding schemes. They throw huge amounts of money at them and hardly anyone takes any notice. The money would be better spent on actual housing but that’s a crazy idea probably.

There’s been new ministers appointed and old ministers being dragged through the mud. Mark Prisk will have a baptism by fire. The state of housing has never been so bad. I’d hate to see his in-tray. It will be interesting to see what his plans are though.

There’s been a report on child poverty in the UK. Horrible reading. I read the report. I read it with a heavy heart thinking “those poor children”. And then the realisation that my children were classed as children of poverty was one of the most painful feelings I’ve ever had. My children have no stable home. Money is a huge issue just now. We are in the same position as many of those families and the guilt is crippling. My plans to pull us from this are on hold until the housing situation is resolved. University is a dream for next year because I can’t do it now. I have no idea where we will live or where to look for childcare options and emotionally I couldn’t cope with the study.

There’s been talk of Letting agents ripping off tenants. Well, that’s hardly news is it? I’ve been lucky in the fact that my Agency has only charged the extortionate rates once when we moved in 3 years ago. Many other families face much higher costs. It has been a worry whilst I’ve been looking for private rented housing. The cost of the admin fee, the credit check etc was a huge chunk added to the months deposit and month up front. And then seeing what I’d have to pay for renewing tenancies just made most houses out of our range. Especially when you considered I would have to top up the rent as LHA rates would leave me very short. It all added up to a nightmare.

There’s been more news. Mostly related to house buying and the like. But the sun is shining. The children are full of energy and I’m feeling nostalgic for my little corner of this beautiful city. A walk beckons to make the most of being here. Who knows how long we’ve got and where we will end up?

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