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Living alone in wheelchair vs assisted living?

Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
Is there a wheelchair user who lives alone and is in a adapted property who can advise if they can cope in their property with the adaptions?

Is there anyone who lives in a assisted living property (24 hour warden controlled) who can tell me if this better for them then living in a adapted property?

just trying to weigh our the pro’s and con’s in both, so if anyone has advice it will be very helpful
Thank you.


Replies

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger

    It may be helpful if you take a look at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/care-services-equipment-and-care-homes/moving-to-a-new-home-housing-options/ and be clear if you are talking about sheltered housing or assisted living.

    While it talks about the elderly, there are similar options for those who are younger with disabilities.

    Main differences though, sheltered housing provides a warden - though, with the changes caused by UC, some housing associations are shifting to concierge services which have some variations - daycare still needs to be arranged. With assisted living, care and cost will depend on how much support you need.

    Assisted living - costs can vary a great deal, and you will need to know how you will pay for this, especially if you expect your care needs to increase. If you own your own home and can sell, you may be able to use the money to offset future costs. Renting or buying you will need to look at service charges. The same applies to sheltered housing but likely to be lower. Unless you are generally financially independent, assisted living is unlikely to be an option. An alternative if you own your home is to rent it out while your costs are lower, and sell later if you need to. As a landlord, you would have specific responsibilities. A reputable third-party agent can resolve these issues, for a cost. However, never take a big decision concerning your home without getting expert advice first.

    In all three cases, living in your own home, sheltered and assisted living the property you are in should be working for you, as each encourages independent living for as long as possible. Sheltered housing and assisted living provides a potential advantage of not becoming socially isolated, but this depends on your ability to get out, even if it is just to a communal hall or facilities. A lot depends on what is important to you and what you can afford. If the main concern is to have someone available if you suddenly need help sheltered housing may be a better option than assisted living. If you live in your own home and it works for you, there are services you can opt into which would get help to you quickly and in some cases someone who can talk to you until help arrives.

    I know this may not be what you were looking for, but hope it helps.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Rifi, I expect you are weighing everything up in anticipation of your move to the seaside, eh?

    If like me, and I think you might be....wheelchair bound (awful word) and unable to get out of it unaided, you`ll need to be able to press a button, or dial a number and help will come ASAP, yeh?

    I think wherever you live, you`ll need the place to be totally wheelchair friendly. Will you have carers still?

    I once read that care packages are transferable, but they may be changes to that rule.

    Best discuss it with whoever runs that for you...is it Direct Payments?

    They or you will probably need to speak to the local authority where you are moving to.

    It`s lovely to get all excited about  a move......until you have to think about the practicalities.

    I`m crossing everything for you xx.
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Pollyanna,
    Yes I was all ready to move near my sister in West Sussex but then my sister said she may move in a few years time, so it made me feel will I be uneasy. My mum has dementia and is down in London, so it would mean I would have to rely on my sister to bring me down to see my mum. Also I didn’t take a lot of factors into account that have now been brought to my attention since I have been looking into moving. 

    Yes like you I don’t like the words wheelchair bound, but that’s what I will be very soon. Due to nerve damage in my spine, I’m rapidly losing sensation in my legs. I live alone and although it’s all gone ahead to get the adaptions done in my flat I’m concerned that when I decline, that the flat will no longer meet my needs and I will have to move to a assisted living property, that have 24 warden control. 

    I’m only 49 and I do wondered if moving to an assisted living property would be right for me because although they would offer me the security of someone be on hand, I wonder if the environment would be right for me. 

    I have to make a decision soon as once the adaptions are done I would have to live in my property for five years.

    I don’t know what to do for the best.

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Geoark
    Thank you for your response.

    I don’t own my own home. I have a carer that comes every day and I have had a occupational therapist who has spoken to the landlord to get the adaptions done but once the work takes place I would need to stay in my property for 5 years but I’m worried that my condition will worsen to the point I can’t cope in my flat. It’s all the unknown. I live alone so it’s worrying me.

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rifi7

    May I ask, does the adaptations include making your home suitable for a full time wheel chair user? Are your worries specific or general?

    If your concerns are more specific it is easier for members to reassure you, or offer advice. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Oh Rifi...and I thought things were gong well....as you did.

    Flumming fluppers! Looks like the move to the seaside is off then does it? If your sis wont be there to help you, then are you put off altogether?

    I do get why you are unsure about moving to a place that might be more suited to older people. Can your social worker find out if there are complexes where not so old disabled people live?

    Mmmm, a right 2 and 8 this decision is now for you.

    pollsxx

  • GarzaGarza Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    I live independently, with the caveat that I get help with certain things from family, personally I would like to stay in my own place until such a time that I physically cannot manage anymore, as others have said though I think it is a very individual thing and you should go with what feels best for you and suits your needs. 

    I cant see how they can force you to stay in a property if it no longer suits your needs, I know that care can be increased and a lot is done to keep people in their own homes rather than assisted living complexes or hospitals 

    Whatever happens I hope you find the best solution for you 
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Geoark,
    Thank you for your reply. If I agree to adaptions I would have to say in my property for 5 years and I am worried if I still won’t be able manage to move independently in my property and will feel unsafe. My main concerns are:
     
    If I get ill in the night or fall who would know? 

    I’m also worried about the isolation on living alone. There’s not much to do in my area and getting out and about isn’t always easy as the roads are not really accessible for wheelchair use.

    Basically I don’t want to stay in a property that I will still unsafe in and isolated.
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    pollyanna1052
    Thank you for your reply and thank you for understanding my predicament. I think I was swept away in the moment with moving to West Sussex but managing without my sister being there, is doable but means there were several things which is swaying my decision. 

    I’m know it’s probably best all round for me to stay to here in London but not sure and just would like to explore every scenario.

    Its so difficult to know what to do which is right. 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rifi7 and thank you for replying.

    I can appreciate your concerns about falling or becoming ill. While I do not live alone, I have taken a couple of falls recently, once in the street, the other getting out of the bath. As I am getting more unsteady on my feet, it is a growing concern.

    There are some products out there which can alert others. Most go to a call centre which can have expensive ongoing costs. One of the cheapest I have found is Buddi, https://www.buddi.co.uk/ It is a wrist band and can be used via smartphones. If you don't have a smartphone, there is a Buddi clip you can purchase. Ongoing costs are low, 50p per week for insurance and either £1.99 per week to connect to family and friends or £3.99 to connect to the call centre. Note: you need to be able to claim relief from the Value Added Tax under Group 12 of Schedule 8 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994. Otherwise, you need to add12% VAT. There are severe penalties for claiming this if you are not entitled to, so if you are not sure call HMRC on 0300 200 3701 to check if you are eligible.

    Buddi is the option I am going for in the next few weeks. One thing to consider the persons you nominate if you choose friends and family is they will need a smartphone as well, to use the app to see where you are, so they can call emergency services if required. There is a clip-on device if you don't have a smartphone.

    If your primary concern is falling or becoming ill at night at home, then there is a cheaper alternative at https://www.completecareshop.co.uk/personal-care/personal-alarms/family-and-friends-auto-dialling-panic-alarm-view-large you do need a phone line to use it, and it requires batteries.

    With regards to safety, would the proposed changes make your home safer and more wheelchair friendly? They should have at least discussed what works they plan to do. These type of works focus on your personal needs, now and in the future, any future accommodation is unlikely to be so geared to you personally. As they are applying the five-year residency rule, I am assuming there are significant changes, not a few simple add ons as these usually involve expensive works.

    Social isolation is a big issue, and I don't have any answers. If you can give an indication of which borough you are in, I could do some research and see what is available, or might be close. But please don't be any more specific than the borough level.

    The choice is yours, as I said in my previous post, sheltered or assisted schemes can help to reduce isolation, but there are no guarantees. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Thank you Geoark 
    Sorry to hear about your falls. I have someone coming out tomorrow from community alarm to talk about about fitting an personal alarm, but I will definitely look into buddi as well and see what works best for me.

    They are doing extensive works to my flat to make it adaptable. The bathroom is being made into a wet room, the kitchen is completely being adapted, the doorway to rear of the property is being widened and wheelchair ramp installed outside, two doorway widened and garden gate replaced. It would be easier to move me to a more suitable property that wouldn’t need such extensive works but they just don’t have any property in my area.

    I live in area that I have family nearby and most of friends live in the area and I used to pop over to their houses but since I have lost more of my mobility and can longer go up steps it’s become impossible for me to go round their houses. Friends and family can visit but I am sick of being confined to my flat for so long it’s given me a bit of cabin fever. I live in the borough of Enfield but there really is not much in this borough.

    Yes I know there is no guarantees if I moved in assisted living or sheltered housing whether this would make a difference and I’m not sure myself. I wish I knew the answer and to be honest I didn’t think for one minute I would end up feel so isolated when I have so many people around me.


  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rifi7

    Fortunately, the only thing to get damaged from the falls was losing some of my dignity. Had an appointment with the doctor this morning to check if I had a chest infection, and found myself going to the hospital in an ambulance. The doctor checked my chest and said it was fine, but my blood pressure was very low. Having spent a few hours sitting in the waiting room got to see the doctor at the hospital who said my blood pressure was fine, but I had a chest infection, so he gave me some steroids and antibiotics. So a general waste of everyone's time.

    Most councils and housing associations don't have these type of properties. Once you move on it will be likely most of the work will be taken out and the flat will be returned to the current layout, with the possible exception of the widened door. The exception being a small number of properties that were built to be wheelchair friendly. Chances are they will not even consider offering it to someone who would benefit from the changes. The standard answer I have received when asking why is there is no demand for this type of property! 

    I have had a quick look and as you said found nothing. Will take a bit more time at the weekend and see if I can find anything. Just out of curiosity have you considered doing some local volunteering? It is not everyone's cup of tea; it is an excellent way to get out of the house, have something to do and meet new people. 


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Geoark,
    Yes it’s a bit undignified falling but everyone does it. Oh dear I do wish you better. I’m surrounded by so many people with this nasty cold that’s been going around. Fingers crossed I haven’t got it. 

    I think especially in London there is such a lack of disabled accessible property to rent or live in, that’s why they are pushing for me to go ahead and get the work done as they just don’t have any more property. As I think I mentioned in my previous text, my sister lives in West Sussex where there are plenty disabled accessible properties as it’s catered for the older generation. Also there is much more to do there for wheelchair users.

    I am fortunate that my landlord is agreeing to do the works but I was close to his father who was my original landlord but unfortunately he died 4 years ago, but before he died he had said to his wife and sons to look after me after me. They have stuck by their word.  I was told by my social worker and OT that it’s extremely rare that a landlord would agree to such extensive works, so I’m ever so grateful. I would like to think you were wrong and should the property get adapted, they keep the property as it after I leave. As you said it would benefit someone else who is disabled and they really need more adapted properties.

    Thank you for looking but I have investigated online and spoke to relevant organisations but most have had their funding cut and no longer do activities.  Yes that’s an option for me to do some volunteering. I will definitely look into that.
    Thank you so much. You’ve been so helpful !

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Rifi7, my apology as I assumed your landlord was either the council or housing association. It is very rare for a private landlord to agree to such changes. Private landlords get a lot of bad publicity, it is good to hear about decent ones.

    Hope you find a voluntary role that suits you and good luck with whatever decision you make about where to live.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi Rifi, isn't Geoark kind...really trying to help you.

    And what a great landlord you have...that is a boon.

    If you like the area you live in then have the works done...BUT..if you know W. Sussex would be a more pleasant place to live, have another think about it. Big decision I know.

    Polls xxx
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Pollyanna 
    Geoark has been so kind and so very helpful. I’m very fortunate to come across such lovely people that are so willing to help. 

    Yes my landlord is pretty special. 

    They have estimated that the work will take place in 6 weeks time so I’m going to see my sister in West Sussex at the end of February for a break away and hopefully I have more of an idea what I want to do.

    Its a huge decision. There would be little chance I would find a landlord in London whose prepared to do what he is going to do with his property. My decision changes daily but my friends have said just go to Sussex and try it, even if it’s only for a short break.


  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, that`s a good idea...as is seeing it in the gloomy winter months!
    Good luck xxx
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    There isn't  enough disabled friendly housing stock in the country, despite an increasing older population and despite the fact even an athlete today may be unable to walk tomorrow.
     Whatever shall we do?

    Not make new planning  rules to stop a single non accessible plan being approved. 
    Nor enforcing the existing law that landlords cannot refuse disability related alterations.
    Certainly not leaving the adaptation in an adapted dwelling, not even if it is council owned.....Why not? 
    Because "there is no demand for accessible housing".   

    Geoark it is enough to make people scream!
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    How can the council say there’s no demand. Ridiculous! I have been living in my flat for over 12 years. When I moved to the flat I was on the waiting list for an accessible property but they couldn’t find me a property in the area I lived in all my life. I found the flat I’m currently in, myself and I was very lucky to meet an amazing landlord who wanted to help. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know where I would be without his kindness. They should give landlords like him an incentive to keep their properties disable accessible that way there might be more properties for disable people.

    I was looking into assisted living but I’m 49 years old so they say I’m to young to qualify as it’s minimum age of 55 - 60 years old. It’s madness as most old people have better mobility than me. It should be what suits the person not age related! The council want to waste money doing the adaptions in my flat, when eventually I will end up in a assisted living property. Makes no logical sense.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    It is crazy Rifl, I know someone of 80+, who has just had a through the floor lift put in her own house. She didn't have to contribute to the £25k cost, as she has less than 6k in savings.

    We have no savings at all, yet I`m forced to pay £230 a month for care, because I chose a decent care agency!

    If I`d let the council give me care from a brokerage of 20 different agencies and had any old Tom, **** or Harry come I could have had a discount...not free mind!
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Oh Pollyanna,
    Me too. I will also soon have to pay the shortfall because I want to chose my own decent care agency. I have a PA but when she’s on holiday the council send a agency to cover her time off.  The council send my details of the job out to agencies and the agencies then bid to take the job. Then council only get bids from low grade agencies because the council pay very little.  So far I have had two agencies sent out to me from the council. The first agency’s carer’s were not turning up and I was left without a carer on many occasions. The second one sent a carer who was intoxicated. When I complained to this particular agency they just sent another lady who didn’t speak English, so I found myself constantly repeating myself. Your right, they don’t give us a care and yes they just want to send anybody. It makes me worry about elderly people who are vulnerable and don’t have family. It’s shocking. We are lucky we have our facilities about us.
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Pollyanna
    Did you manage to get your respite sorted out? I know you were having trouble with your funding with that?
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @newborn

    While I agree with you that this is madness and the sentiments behind your comments, I believe the problem is the way we view housing. Housing has become less about providing an essential requirement and more of a product. In a society where products have become throwaways, this is perhaps not the right place to be.

    Coupled with successive governments more interested in subsidising wealth creation than supporting the poor and less able in society, little surprises me, though it does make me angry.

    We talk about council housing but of course due to Labour policy many councils transferred either its housing stock or control of its housing stock to other organisations. Conservative policies have further reduced the housing stock, cut council funding. The introduction of a statutory reduction in social rent by 1% each year also reducing the income they have while at the same time evictions for rent arrears have continued to rise.

    The conservative view I can at least understand, though disagree with, as they see it as a last choice in housing when no alternatives are available. But Labour managed to do the most significant damage to the quantity of council housing stock.

    These changes give councils an issue when it comes to reletting its voids. Empty properties represent a further loss of income, plus adaptations can represent higher repair costs in the future. How then do you go about letting such properties while minimising loss of income?  For example, my home could be adapted at some point to meet our needs, but will never suit wheelchair users. Primarily because of the steps to get out. We have had people refuse lets on the estate because it is just within the congestion zone and would add additional costs. 

    Another aspect often overlooked is these are general needs stock. In short originally not intended to house those with special needs. This classification in itself can create issues, as often little thought or no thought has gone into how the homes can be suitable for those with specific needs. 

    None of these is insurmountable but will add to the pressure on housing staff and stock management. One example I can give to illustrate this, we have some properties that were designated older people dwellings. Increasingly it became difficult to let these properties, and eventually, the council removed this designation. This change meant that suddenly we were getting young single people being allocated homes among older people, ranging from 60 to 100+ in age. The sudden changes in allocations resulted in complaints about anti-social behaviour. A lot of these were more to do with different living styles rather than bad behaviour. One complaint investigated involved a young person playing their music loudly. As we have staff on-site, the manager went straight over. The young person was not playing music, but a neighbour had their doors and windows wide open, and the tenant had their tv on full volume. This behaviour was not an issue with their neighbours. 

    Far more frustrating for me is knowing there are significant projects to build new homes, and we continue to overlook the needs of wheelchair users and others. Some may even win design awards, which usually translate to higher costs years later when those designs may look good but are impracticable. In one case, the need for a mobile platform to change the foyer ceiling lights! Not in the home of course, but adds to the costs significantly  Or where the external parts require complicated scaffolding arrangement to access work which needs doing.

    There are laws regarding 'reasonable adjustments', but these tend to be centred more towards what I would call minor adjustments and can vary from one landlord to another. 

    Sorry for the long post, as I said I do not disagree with you, but life is rarely as simple as it should be. Being an inclusive society should not mean those needing adjustments having to always battle for them.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Rifi7 said:
    Pollyanna
    Did you manage to get your respite sorted out? I know you were having trouble with your funding with that?

    Hi Rifl, the answer is a very dismal one.


    I did go to look at a newly built nursing home. Never seen such opulence in a home! Wall décor, lighting, furniture and floorings were of a very high spec...but so of course is the cost to stay there...I was quoted £850 - £1,015 a week! My `allowance` is £750, hence I would have too pay the difference myself.


    No can do...not with already paying £230 a month for regular care. Social worker advised me to look for cheaper and try to negotiate the price down!


    Watch this space...I aint beaten yet!
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Pollyanna 
    I feel your pain. I think I suggested Revitalise to you before and I think they are roughly the same amount. I do feel sorry for people who don’t have anyone and get put in dismal homes. My mums had dementia and when she first got this heart wrenching condition, we went to look at care homes. Some places I saw, I wouldn’t put my dog in let alone a loved one. Thankfully my mum is a fantastic place and very well looked after. I suppose we should be thankful we’ve got our faculties about us and can make our choices...... kind of!
  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Good for you Pollyanna. Have you tried contacted Age UK? They sent me a link on with fact sheet on how to complain to your local council. It’s a very interesting read.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    I have looked at Revitalise....very expensive...about £2,500 a week...because of my needs.


  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Pollyanna,
    Oh no. Sorry! Let me know how you get on. 
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Rifi7 said:
    Good for you Pollyanna. Have you tried contacted Age UK? They sent me a link on with fact sheet on how to complain to your local council. It’s a very interesting read.

    Hi, I`m worn out with angst against the council. I dont have the fight just now, so I`m letting it go.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    Geoark thanks What an interesting  informative post.  I don't agree there should be any such thing as council housing,  at least for the general population.   (Possibly there should be a corrective programme  of building just to fill the gap in fully accessible  housing  stock.)

    The day housing benefit began, so did the justification for subsidised housing.  The fact that there is security of tenure for life, unlike the ignored majority of renters, adds insult to injury.

    Private tenants, unlike smug secure council tenants, cannot risk antisocial behaviour,  asking for reasonable repair, let alone reasonable  adjustments.  They, unlike council  tenants, won't  have teams of council employees  running to deal with  their problems. They, unlike council tenants, pay full price of whatever the landlord chooses to charge,  and worst of all, they, unlike safe-for-life council tenants,  can be evicted with short notice without fault, for instance if the landlord wants to try switching to air b&b lets.

    Council tenants are given a large house as a reward for having lots of children,  then the security of tenure means  even if their partner soon moves out with all the children,  or the children  soon grow up and leave, the tenant stays put for life.   They can make a profit or even a business from lodgers, but the tiny token payment the councils may ask will be greeted with screams of horror at the 'bedroom tax'.

    Meanwhile,  someone who  may well be in  private rental  might  have a  disability  related  essential  need for a carer or sibling to  get a sleep,  or  for  a  dialysis  machine,  but be  refused  and dismissed. 

    Council tenants get their secure-for- life artificially low rent home as a reward for being on low income with no savings at one brief period out of their entire lifetime.  They can get a high income, an inheritance,  a wealthy partner and a major lottery win soon afterwards,  but their housing is still subsidised by fellow rate and tax payers who may themselves be desperately poor as well as enduring intolerable and insecure living conditions. 

    Worldwide,  there is an absence of accessible dwellings.  Millions  are  unnecessarily imprisoned and dependent. Even the most fit and strong occupants are only T.A.B.S., temporarily able bodied,  and all may reasonably anticipate times when through accident they cannot manage access. All may reasonably anticipate times when they need to get a disabled visitor into their home. Allowing  a single inaccessible building to  be  given planning approval is perverse.
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    A lot there to ingest Geoark. My mind wont let me take it all in at the mo.i may come back to it.

    But can I put my own experience to the housing issue? I`m not a renter but bought a house with my husband, way back in 1972....I know...eons ago!

    We had 2 daughters, brought them up to be responsible adults who contribute to the world in many ways. Our 4 grandchildren are all looking to be the same.

    So, after 48 years of marriage, we should have paid our mortgage off by now...but through becoming chronically disabled 22 years ago, our income was drastically reduced and all our savings went on adapting the house and buying all manner of aids to help me.

    For 8 years my care was free, but I`ve had to start paying £230 a month towards it. If and when we do manage to pay the mortgage off, we`ll have to contribute much more and if I end up in a care home, I`ll have to sell the house (should I survive hubby) and pay for all my care.

    So why did we buy a house, work hard and be responsible? My daughters will get no inheritance and our retirement is shackled.

    It peeves me, it really does!

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, @newborn sorry for the delay in replying, just saw your post.

    "The day housing benefit began, so did the justification for subsidised housing."

    So since 1948. It was as far as I can ascertain has always included private and social renters.

    A little unsure what you mean by 'subsidised', but from the context of your text, I assume you mean the housing benefit. While there has been a rise in housing benefit, the majority of it has gone to private owners, not councils. Due to government policy since April 2016, social rents have fallen by 1% per year, reducing the cost of housing benefit to social tenants further. Add the change in policy that councils can disclose their housing duties by using private renting means taxpayers are increasingly subsidising private renting.

    "Private tenants, unlike smug secure council tenants, cannot risk antisocial behaviour,"

    Interesting concept, it is only social tenants who are antisocial. Sadly not true.

    "They, unlike council tenants, pay the full price of whatever the landlord chooses to charge,"

    Unlike private landlords, councils cannot set their rents how they want to; they have a set formula set by the government. Councils are long term landlords with buildings which built decades ago. Plus they are not so motivated by profit so are not bound so much by local housing markets.

    "Council tenants get their secure-for- life artificially low rent home as a reward for being on low income with no savings at one brief period out of their entire lifetime."

    Please see above regarding the 'artificially low rent'. The government introduced five year fixed tenancies; this was tried in Australia and proved to add more expense in administration and would move very few tenants on.  Councils and housing associations that did introduce these type of tenancies are now starting to convert them to secure tenancies for the same reasons. 

    "They can get a high income, an inheritance,  a wealthy partner and a major lottery win soon afterwards,  but their housing is still subsidised by fellow rate and tax payers who may themselves be desperately poor as well as enduring intolerable and insecure living conditions."

    This is where I am confused by your use of 'subsidised'. In the discussion of subsidies via housing benefit, they would no longer be entitled to housing benefits, and therefor not subsidised by taxpayers. If you are saying that public money is used to subsidise the homes they are not. Rents are ringfenced and in return for full control of their rents councils had to agree that their rent income would meet their housing spending.

    Your solution seems to be to put everyone in the same boat, a fast track to the type of housing that created the need for mass council housing in the first place; on this, we will have to agree to disagree.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, @pollyanna1052

    I am sorry to hear how things have turned out for you. If my post came across as unsympathetic to others or you personally that was not my intention, and apologise if I did so.

    I can certainly understand your point of view and frustration.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Hi Geoark,
    Its really interesting to see different points of view in regards to the housing issue. Everyone has their own opinions based on their own experiences and knowledge. It’s a healthy dialogue on the forum and I have gained different perspective by reading them. It’s very hard to think impartially when your living with your own circumstances, so for me to take a step back and reflect on my own future the decisions I have to make it’s not so black and white.
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, @Rifi7

    On housing, I may disagree with someone but will rarely say I think they are wrong. As I said, I believe the best option is a mixture of social and private renting and homeownership. I do have some strong opinions on some of the variants, particularly where homeownership is concerned.  For example, subsidising Buy to Rent and  Shared Ownership, but they do have their place.

    I hope you find the right solution for you.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • Rifi7Rifi7 Member Posts: 188 Pioneering
    Yes I do hope so as well. Thank you!
  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,007 Disability Gamechanger
    Geoark said:
    Hi, @pollyanna1052

    I am sorry to hear how things have turned out for you. If my post came across as unsympathetic to others or you personally that was not my intention, and apologise if I did so.

    I can certainly understand your point of view and frustration.

    It`s ok Geo...no offence taken at all. Thanks.x
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 683 Pioneering
    Pollyanna indeed, why does anyone do the decent thing,  work hard, scrimp and save? When you bought a roof over your head, it was before the days of help to buy, so you saved the deposit and paid the mortgage. 

    Now, you will be punished for your thrifty lifestyle.  The 90 year olds in the Bournemouth bus shelter were being punished for theirs. They couldn't  persuade  a private  landlord  to rent to them, because  being retired  counts as being on benefits,  in the agent's  tick list, and landlords naturally don't want feckless tenants, which is not what benefits claimants invariably  are, but experience tells landlords it's a risk. Even buy to rent mortgage providers often specifically forbid letting to benefit claimants.

    The Bournemouth  couple were street homeless  when  their  previous landlord wanted to sell. The council,  correctly in law,  told them to clear off, because  they still had some savings,  so they count as non-existent as far as council housing  legislation  is concerned.   The rules  were drawn up by uninformed  civil servants,  who  could not imagine  the existence  of anyone who cannot stroll into any extate agent and emerge with keys to a private rental,  or with an approved mortgage  agreement.

    Of course, on top of the fact their homelessness was deemed non-existent by the council,  they would have had no income above the basic u.k. state pension,  the worst in the world, well below what the state itself declares is the minimum to sustain life.. No pension credit,  and not a penny of housing benefit for  them, and, as we know,  no help with care costs, no 'free' place in a care home, (indeed they would have had to pay inflated charges,  to cross subsidise their fellow residents who had taken care to be penniless).   All because they had failed their  duty to the state by still clinging on to the remnants of their life savings

    Having a home, or having enough savings to replace your wheelchair or pay for your funeral,  or in any way living within  your means, are all Very Bad Crimes. Being feckless,  spendthrift, and living beyond your means, in debt, are Good Things, which must be rewarded by taking  away from the taxpayers purse, to help the  squanderers to spend spend spend.

    Subsidised housing is just that. Subsidised.  Often the rents are a small  fraction of  the worth, creating the lucrative incentive for unofficial subletting.  A recent  case was a man with a string of properties and a string of council  tenancies, producing  a fortune.  The subsidy goes to the bricks and mortar of a council house, regardless of the needs or finances of the occupants with a tenancy for life. Jimmy Savile kept a council house, so he was spared the trouble of renting at full market price.    
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