The Family Of Six In A One-Bedroom Flat Due To Inaccessible Social Housing


The housing market in the UK is far from good and even more so in respect of Social housing for many reasons

1. social housing stock has, over many hyears been reduced through the ‘right to buy’ scheme where social housing tennents were given the right to buy on a much lower price than the current market value dependent on how long the family have resided in the property, but Local Authorities, (LAs) were not allowed to use the resulting income from the sale of the property to buld replacement stocks

2. UK social housing stock is generally old, so not as acceptable to conditions of today, especially with regards to accessiblity and other aspects in regards to disabilities, but also many others such as use of energy and suitability of current climates

3. lack of available funding at LAs due to, at least 10 years of austerity cuts to Government grants to LAs, plus increased costs related to COVID, in a very changing market. This is not only reflecting on social housing, but many other LA resourses such as, education, social care and many others

4. too long timescales toprovide required adjustments and alterations and adaptations

5. state of repair of much social housing as repairs have not been done, effectively, sufficiently and within required timescales, leading t many social housing properties to be in a poor state causing many areas relating to causes of very poor health of tennents residing in them

When a family needs improved and more suitable accomodation is it required immediately and not in a year or years time as to do so puts more stress, and inconvenience on alrady very stressful and inconvenienced families so adding much more to problems within their lives.

This was not satisfactory years ago and even more so now, but this Government and may previous Governments have and are being shown to behave like the ‘3 wise monkeys‘, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’.

This is a major crisis, in addition to all the other major crisises within the UK and should never have been allowed to occur, but mismanagement or, in reality, no management by UK Governments for more years than there should have been, out of sight, out of mind, except for those of the population who are directly concerned, but Governments who are not and never will be concerned.

Same Difference

A family of six have been living in a one-bedroom flat because the social housing they were assigned was inaccessible to their disabled child.

Seven-year-old Joel Verala uses a wheelchair and is fed by a tube due to quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

The house has three bedrooms but the family have been told the adaptations he needs could take a year.

Croydon Council said it had always informed the family the work would take “some months to complete”.

Joel’s mum, Souskay Verala, describes her son as a “happy boy” on the BBC Access All podcast.

“He likes stories read to him, he loves his siblings playing around him, as well as walks outside,” she says.

The family – Souskay, her husband and three children – were excited to be offered the three-bedroom council property in March having lived in a small flat for the previous six years.

But, though the…

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When will our politics start to address young disabled people? | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


Youth were enthused by last week’s general election, but having a disability means you feel even more excluded than other young people do. We need to be part of the conversation

Source: When will our politics start to address young disabled people? | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian

Tories force all councils to become private landlords in white paper


The ONLY new houses that councils will ever build from now on will be private rented properties at full private rent levels.   That is what the Tories housing white paper released 8 February says a…

Source: Tories force all councils to become private landlords in white paper

Universal credit flaws pushing claimants towards debt and eviction : Guardian.


When launching a new or revision of benefit it is usual practice to do this, initially, via a pilot where any problems can be noticed and sorted before an enlarged rollout. It is my understanding that such a pilot was under took for Universal Credit and with the degree of current problems should not been subject to the larger rollout until the problems had been sorted. To reduce the intendant rollout should never have been considered, let alone allowed to occur. To many if not all of the claimants the benefits they receive are their only sources of income and they should not be expected to exist on no income for any period of time, let alone 6 weeks.

This is gross incompetence on behalf DWP and to say they are working with local authorities to provide extra support at a time when the Government is drastically cutting local authority funding is adding insult to injury. DWP have for some many years proved they and their processes are ‘not fit for purpose’.

Councils have money in reserves


Local council spending

Although Local Councils believe they are run like business, in that each department has a budget, this is as far as it goes.  For as long as I can remember, councils have been unable to plan for the long term.  Just look at what some do, patch roads instead of resurfacing. This is a short term measure, as a patch will not last as long as a complete resurface, but is of course cheaper on costs in the short term. In Social Housing many councils will only do emergency repairs as and when required, when a full repair of required areas would be more cost effective over the longer term, but each individual emergency repair is cheaper. But how many emergency repairs are required over the long term and then totally are most expensive than the full repair.

Also in Sheffield there are a number of council run attractions, such as health centres, libraries, etc. Most people attending these attractions spend a good part of the day there, but do the council have any outlets for refreshments, in that they have to some extent a captive cliental. Just look at privately run outlets from DIY centres, garden nurseries and garden centres to large departmental stores and shopping centres, all have at least one refreshment outlet.

But to add to council expenses previous governments have increased staffing costs.

Local councillors were not paid expenses until 1970, by Edward Heath. But they did not gain access to Local Government Pensions until 2003, a luxury made possible by Tony Blair.  This is a perk which the current government are looking to stop.

Re paying expenses, surely this was good, as it enabled all eligible UK citizens to stand, not only the rich. To then offer pensions as well was totally overboard, but that is in keeping with Labour policies.

As to keeping reserves, where possible this should be encouraged, as it provides a safety net for lean times.  Are these lean times and should therefore some of the reserves be brought into the current spending calculation. If so, then only the part of the reserves not already earmarked for other projects could be used.

But remember when reserves have been exhausted, there are no more, should times become even leaner.