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The latest experience if of a 22 year old couple with a young baby seeking a house, but there is non available. Left Wing journalists and organisations such as Shelter, no matter how well intended, need to understand and assimilate the information before rushing into print and allocating blame!
The average landlord owns just one house (not a flat) which has been let out for around five years. Five years ago the 22 year old couple may not have been a couple and were 17 years old. Below the age of signing a tenancy. Houses are considered Family Accommodation and that is the normal situation.
What appears to be the thinking is that the Private Sector Landlord (PSL) should evict his existing tenant, who is not in default, to make way for a young couple with a child who may or may not be on Housing Benefit (HB).
That does not sound very fair on the established tenant! We are not talking of Homelessness and Rough Sleepers who tend to be aimed at Single Person Accommodation.
The couple do not qualify as vulnerable prior to the baby being born. Hence there is no specific help from the State. It is the Baby that is Vulnerable not the parents.
If the Vitriol is aimed at the PSL then it is targeted at houses. It must surely be obvious that the issue is the under-supply of houses not the allocation of houses. PLSs cannot be expected to evict a perfectly good tenant in order to accommodate, possibly, a more-needy tenant!
The only answer, only answer, only answer is to build more houses. We now have the worst housing crisis since the war.
So what does our 22 year old couple do and that is something Shelter needs to be constructive in addressing and stop kicking PLSs and making rather silly and grossly inappropriate comments about Rachmanism?
In 1995 the average lady was 19 years old when she had her first baby. Now it is 31 years. In 1995 you went to the local council, said you were pregnant and were given the keys to a three bedroomed house. Those days have long gone!
Unless Shelter can be positive and constructive in its comments about Housing Supply then the next Housing Minister needs to consider removing funding for Shelter and see whether the funding, to avoid homelessness, is better spent elsewhere.
It has broken down to a rather simple situation. Single Person Accommodation is provided by Housing Warehouses, but Family Accommodation is provided by PSLs.
It is my view that in an ideal situation a couple of 22 years with a new born baby should live in a two-bed mid terraced house, with a lawn for the baby to play on. However, that is the ideal situation. The reality is somewhat different.
Shelter need to spend its energies on pushing the Housing Minister to massively improve the supply of houses being built.
I wonder who the next Housing Minister will be? A poisoned chalice nobody wants!
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