Social housing budget: Your stories
- 19 October 2010
- From the section UK Politics
The social housing budget in England is to be cut by more than half, the BBC understands.
Council houses "for life" will also end for new tenants, with their entitlement assessed at regular intervals.
People living in social housing and those who rent privately have been sharing their opinions on the changes.
Dave Bayliss, Birmingham
We live in a two-bed council house in Birmingham and have lived in council housing for over 20 years.
I work full-time as a supervisor at a food company and pay £350 a month in rent for our house. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more rent if the service from the council improved.
When we moved into our house there was no central heating and there were nine windows, many of which were rotten. The council replaced two of these but we did the rest at our own expense.
Again, I don't mind doing this in order to have a nice house to live in, but I do think that good tenants like myself and my wife should be rewarded with some security for the fact that we keep up our house in a very good state.
I look around our area and there are people unemployed in the street who don't look after their properties. These are the people that should have secure tenancies taken away from them.
I'm worried about how these changes might affect us. I've worked all my life and brought up two kids. I don't know how I'd manage if we had to rent privately.
Ann Fielding, Brighton
I am a single mother, I work full-time and having a council property means that I now have a stable home, no landlord will ask me to move when they decide they want to sell up or raise the rent.
We were homeless for nearly five months and stability is very important to me.
I do not claim any benefits, I work and I do pay rent and bills on my council house.
I have rented in the private sector but the rents are so high in comparison to my wage that I found I only had about £40 per week to spare, which just wasn't enough to keep me and my son.
As to the "council housing for life," well why not? I will never be able to buy a house to pass down to my son. Why can't I have this option if he needs it when I am gone?
He will of course pay the rent and bills which means he will also not need to ask for government handouts.
If he is doing well for himself then the house can go back to the local government and someone else can hopefully benefit from the house like I did.
Alice McDevitt, London
I live in an area which is a mix of social and private housing.
As a low-income charity worker I struggle to pay my private rent in London, and I find it upsetting to see people in my area following their chosen careers whilst they are being supported by the low rent of social housing.
I realise that many of the people in my area may not be on a high income, but neither am I.
I made the decision about which job to do and I don't expect the government to support my lifestyle. It makes me disappointed when I see other people being subsidised.
Houses shouldn't be automatically passed on to family members. They should be given to those who really need it. The disabled, elderly people, families with young children.
Of course I understand that secure tenancy is nice for people, but in this day and age, no-one even has a job for life.
A five-year review process for council housing sounds perfectly fair to me.
Norman Osland, Hertfordshire
My partner and I live in Hertfordshire in a housing association house.
We both work and therefore we pay rent, but renting in the private sector would cost at least £200 a month more and we simply cannot afford it.
There is no question of us getting a mortgage as we are both in our 40s.
With private renting there is also no guarantee that you will be able to stay in your property. There is no security.
This is going to be bad news for the younger generation needing social housing.
I do agree that housing rights shouldn't be passed onto children, but otherwise I think this system works perfectly well as it is.
The changes being proposed by the government will force a lot of people into expensive private housing. If people then become unemployed, this will simply cost the state more money.