Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

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Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:39 pm

I have no idea if this should be in economics or not but here goes..............


Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Parents are no longer downsizing after their children leave home, meaning today's families are increasingly locked out of the housing market

Forty years ago my parents moved into a smart new-build estate of four-bed family homes. With a "car port" and a fitted Hygena QA kitchen, it felt like Beverley Hills after the east London terrace we'd left behind, although really it was just a cul-de-sac in Hastings. One family even had a swimming pool, but we didn't stop to ask how they felt about the seven Collinson kids, and the numerous other children on the estate, diving in.

But now the splashing has died away. The pool is covered over and the sound of children has gone. The houses are bigger – extensions abound (some slightly less hideous than others) – but where once 20 or even 30 children roamed, now there's just one, sometimes two. Virtually every home is now occupied by retired couples in their 70s and 80s.

One of the unspoken truths of Britain's housing market is that today's families have been locked out of the family home market by their own mothers and fathers. A report from recently launched campaign group the Intergenerational Foundation exposes the stark reality of Britain's housing crisis. There are now 25m unoccupied bedrooms in British homes, and this number is rising at an alarming rate.

"Older people are living longer and staying in the family home rather than downsizing to more appropriate accommodation," says the report's co-author Matthew Griffiths.

The rise in longevity, which has been particularly impressive among men born in the 1920-1940 period, is something we should celebrate. It's not just that people are living longer, they are living healthier for longer, too. In parts of the south-east life expectancy has risen to 83.6 years for males.

But the unintended consequence of longer lives is that older people now have a stranglehold on the family home market. These houses used to be released back on to the market when their occupants passed away in their 70s, and sold to families in their 20s and early 30s. Now, thankfully, many of our parents are living into their 90s, and we do as much as possible to keep people in their own homes rather than putting them into care. But it is having a devastating impact on the release of family homes into the hands of people who really need them.

A family in their early 30s on a standard middle-income job, with one partner not earning but looking after the children, no longer stands a hope in hell of affording a four-bed new-build home in the south-east. It is no surprise that homeownership among the under-35s is falling fast, yet it is still rising for the over-65s.

So do we kick old people out of their homes? Should I be turfing my mother and father out of the house they have so lovingly cared for over all those years?

Of course not. But this is an area where a bit of "nudge economics" could help. According to Intergeneration Foundation, Americans are twice as likely to downsize when their children leave home than British people. It blames the UK's tax system for encouraging older people to stay put, and suggests reform such as an exemption from stamp duty for the over-60s when they move to a smaller property.

It is one of those simple reforms that wouldn't cost thechancellor much, but could have a greater impact than the money wasted, for example, on the affordable homes and shared-ownership initiatives which simply add fuel to the property price bubble.

Other than that, let's pave Britain over. More and more estates like the ones my family moved into on the perimeters of every town in the south-east. Or a council housebuilding programme to rival that of the 1950s and 1960s. Neither sound madly attractive, and would probably be most vocally opposed by the older generation that has done so nicely, thank you very much, from the property boom.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2011/oct/19/older-people-stranglehold-family-homes?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:56 pm

Why should they downsize? If its their home and they can afford it, why should they go through the stress of moving and maybe having to get rid of half their things that hold precious memories if they downsize? We have known for years that people are going to live longer. Its one of the things that should have been taken into account by planners etc. My Mum and Dad are in their late 80s, Dad 90 early next year. They very carefully put in a stair lift and a bath lift when they were in their early 70s so that they could have the use of all the house, because they like the room. I would not dream of considering requesting that they move. Its not just a house, its a home, one that they have taken many years and much effort to build up so that they could enjoy it. Also, if people downsize and invest the money, even with the housing market the way it is, they do not get as much return on their money as they would by keeping it in the house.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:23 pm

They should have thought about this after the great council house sell off. With the economic uncertainty and the still out of the reach of many cost of houses many people are unable to afford a home. If they had kept up the levels of housing stock there wouldnt be a need to talk about turfing old people out of their homes.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:19 pm

Nems Again wrote:They should have thought about this after the great council house sell off. With the economic uncertainty and the still out of the reach of many cost of houses many people are unable to afford a home. If they had kept up the levels of housing stock there wouldnt be a need to talk about turfing old people out of their homes.

Nail - Head - Bullseye!

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:33 pm

sassy1261 wrote:Why should they downsize? If its their home and they can afford it, why should they go through the stress of moving and maybe having to get rid of half their things that hold precious memories if they downsize? We have known for years that people are going to live longer. Its one of the things that should have been taken into account by planners etc. My Mum and Dad are in their late 80s, Dad 90 early next year. They very carefully put in a stair lift and a bath lift when they were in their early 70s so that they could have the use of all the house, because they like the room. I would not dream of considering requesting that they move. Its not just a house, its a home, one that they have taken many years and much effort to build up so that they could enjoy it. Also, if people downsize and invest the money, even with the housing market the way it is, they do not get as much return on their money as they would by keeping it in the house.


Could not have put it better myself Sassy.

Would like to add a comment though. The housing problem is with the lack of availability of inexpensive first time buyer's homes. Forcing an elderly couple to move from a large expensive property into houses designed for first time buyers will have a negative effect on those who want to get on to the housing ladder.


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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:41 pm

fred bloggs wrote:


Could not have put it better myself Sassy.

Very good point Fred. (Am I in another dimension, twice in one night we have agreed Suspect )

Would like to add a comment though. The housing problem is with the lack of availability of inexpensive first time buyer's homes. Forcing an elderly couple to move from a large expensive property into houses designed for first time buyers will have a negative effect on those who want to get on to the housing ladder.


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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:48 pm

I've spent a lifetime trying to improve my house/s so to acheive an ambition only to give it up as I retire would seem rather pointless.

I accept however that it might be prudent in many respects to downsize when my children no longer come home regularly. It does seem that all ones efforts to improve ones lot are thwarted by govt. The proposed mansion tax being an example. Those in mansions or so called mansions don't use anymore services than those in hovels indeed probably less and yet they propose to tax them more.
!

Why they have already paid tax on the income they used to buy it and tax in the form of stamp duty and Vat etc etc. Now we have a guilt quotient to add to it.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:50 pm

Nems Again wrote:They should have thought about this after the great council house sell off. With the economic uncertainty and the still out of the reach of many cost of houses many people are unable to afford a home. If they had kept up the levels of housing stock there wouldnt be a need to talk about turfing old people out of their homes.



I have a view diametrically opposed to you on this. To give a person a chance to own their own home was a great thing and many others think likewise. It is empowering to own something it is aspirational. To be reliant on the state is the antithesis.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:02 pm

H20 wrote:



I have a view diametrically opposed to you on this. To give a person a chance to own their own home was a great thing and many others think likewise. It is empowering to own something it is aspirational. To be reliant on the state is the antithesis.

Council homes are there for people who can't afford to buy their own homes, and there are many. They were sold off for ludicrous money, the housing stock was not replaced. All very well to say it is aspirational, but many people who bought there council houses, even at the low prices, then got into trouble because they could not afford the upkeep. For some it was a success, but at what cost to those who will never be able to afford their own. We need the low paid workers and our lives would be very difficult without them, but they need somewhere to live as well. Private renting is out of reach for many, and they want security as much as anyone else. Why should not cleaners etc know that the roof over their head is safe and that the landlord won't be putting up the rent so much they have to go. Don't tell me it doesn't happen. I have owned my own homes, but at the moment I have to rent. Our lease comes to an end in December, the landlord wanted to put the rent up by £250 a month, I managed to get him to settle at £150. I know that he is only allowed to charge an extra 5%. I also know, that all he had to do was not renew the lease, and after the year we have had, the thought of having to move was just to much, so he had us over a barrel. The only reason we can manage is because there are now three workers and my pensions, but many people don't have that, and their wages are not going up. At least in a council house they have security, a much undervalued commodity.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:20 am

sassy1261 wrote:

Nail - Head - Bullseye!
]

Er it gave many a stake in society including my Grandma who until then had paid rent all of her life. Home ownership was a great liberator and in terms of inequaulity did much to narrow the gap between the haves and have nots.



Now as to replacing the stock well that is a different matter.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:33 am

Read above, liberator for some, disaster for many.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:03 am

sassy1261 wrote:Why should they downsize? If its their home and they can afford it, why should they go through the stress of moving and maybe having to get rid of half their things that hold precious memories if they downsize? We have known for years that people are going to live longer. Its one of the things that should have been taken into account by planners etc. My Mum and Dad are in their late 80s, Dad 90 early next year. They very carefully put in a stair lift and a bath lift when they were in their early 70s so that they could have the use of all the house, because they like the room. I would not dream of considering requesting that they move. Its not just a house, its a home, one that they have taken many years and much effort to build up so that they could enjoy it. Also, if people downsize and invest the money, even with the housing market the way it is, they do not get as much return on their money as they would by keeping it in the house.





At last I am in full agreement with you.cheers cheers cheers Just in time for Christmas.

To spend a lifetime scrimping and scraping to buy your home only to be forced to give it up is unforgiveable.



I must have missed this when I replied earlier.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:54 am

H20 wrote:



I have a view diametrically opposed to you on this. To give a person a chance to own their own home was a great thing and many others think likewise. It is empowering to own something it is aspirational. To be reliant on the state is the antithesis.

Sorry I sgtill think the council house sell off was the biggest confidence trick pulled on the British people. Maggie was canny, she knew if you were on strike the 'corpy' would wait for their rent, the bank would want its mortgage paid in full on time.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:56 am

i also think if you ow your home and can afford it then you should be free to stay in it, what I dont agree with is 3 bed social housing being occupied by one person or a couple. Not when there is so much need for housing.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:57 pm

Agree with both posts Nems.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:24 pm

It might be a stupid question but is the rent for a Council/Social Housing property based on what it might attract on the 'open market' or on the number of tenants ?


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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:46 pm

Angel wrote:It might be a stupid question but is the rent for a Council/Social Housing property based on what it might attract on the 'open market' or on the number of tenants ?


Neither Angel, Council/Social housing is based on an affordable rent for people on lower and middle income (think I am right).

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:02 pm

sassy1261 wrote:

Neither Angel, Council/Social housing is based on an affordable rent for people on lower and middle income (think I am right).


So someone that is earning a considerable salary shouldn't be living in one ? How is that system even workable, especially as over years a persons income can change quite substantially.

Maybe, and I don't want to give the wrong impression here, but if rents were to rise in relation to market rents, someone occupying a house with more bedrooms than they need, would find it more advantageous to move to a smaller and more affordable property releasing larger properties for families that can't afford to rent privately.


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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:18 pm

Angel wrote:


So someone that is earning a considerable salary shouldn't be living in one ? How is that system even workable, especially as over years a persons income can change quite substantially.

Maybe, and I don't want to give the wrong impression here, but if rents were to rise in relation to market rents, someone occupying a house with more bedrooms than they need, would find it more advantageous to move to a smaller and more affordable property releasing larger properties for families that can't afford to rent privately.


Take your point, but the whole reason for social housing is for people that cannot afford normal rents. It worked fine until a huge amount of stock was lost with the sell off under Thatcher, as people died, the houses came back into stock. With so many buying them, it stopped happening. For people who live in them for years, as social housing, if they want to move, thats fine, but I don't think they should be made to, because its their home, with just as many memories as it would have if they owned it. Before the sell off, their was no problem, and communities were much tighter because they had lived their for a long time, with less trouble.

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Post by Guest on Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:12 pm

sassy1261 wrote:

Take your point, but the whole reason for social housing is for people that cannot afford normal rents. It worked fine until a huge amount of stock was lost with the sell off under Thatcher, as people died, the houses came back into stock. With so many buying them, it stopped happening. For people who live in them for years, as social housing, if they want to move, thats fine, but I don't think they should be made to, because its their home, with just as many memories as it would have if they owned it. Before the sell off, their was no problem, and communities were much tighter because they had lived their for a long time, with less trouble.


I'm not suggesting that they are forced to move either, but if housing needs and rents are based on a persons ability to pay, then when they can, they should. Applying every five years or so to keep their houses shouldn't be a problem to those that have continuing need. As with any benefit, it should be subject to review.

It certainly isn't fair on people that can't afford private rents to wait for years until a property becomes available. Especially if we have a Peer that receives £100,000 a year in expenses whilst living in social housing. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 23, 2011 7:30 pm

Angel wrote:


I'm not suggesting that they are forced to move either, but if housing needs and rents are based on a persons ability to pay, then when they can, they should. Applying every five years or so to keep their houses shouldn't be a problem to those that have continuing need. As with any benefit, it should be subject to review.

It certainly isn't fair on people that can't afford private rents to wait for years until a property becomes available. Especially if we have a Peer that receives £100,000 a year in expenses whilst living in social housing. Evil or Very Mad

On the other hand, lots of the upper class have social housing at minimum rent, they are called Grace and Favour.

Revealed: Grace-and-favour homes of MoD's top brass cost us £4.7million
By Ian Drury

Last updated at 1:02 AM on 20th December 2011


Military chiefs’ grace-and-favour homes cost taxpayers £4.7million last year, it emerged last night.
Defence minister Andrew Robathan said the sum covered 26 ‘official service residences’, complete with servants, paid utility bills and the cost of entertaining.

He said some of the homes were listed buildings and protected by law. He added: ‘They are often expensive to maintain whether they are occupied or not.’

Cuts: But those on the front line are safe as officials say the Ministry of Defence has become so 'top heavy'
The vast bill emerged as a leaked paper revealed plans to cull hundreds of senior military officers because the Ministry of Defence is too ‘top heavy’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2075989/Revealed-Grace-favour-homes-MoDs-brass-cost-4-7million.html#ixzz1hO5P6v9e


University fat cats enjoy '£50m grace and favour luxury'
By Colin Fernandez

Last updated at 12:10 AM on 4th April 2011

University vice-chancellors were last night at the centre of renewed allegations that on top of lavish salaries they benefit from perks including palatial grace-and-favour homes and extravagant expenses.

Research shows how many college heads are riding a taxpayer-funded gravy train at a time when higher education has seen its funding slashed and students in England are being forced to pay up to £9,000 a year in tuition fees.

And since many of the posts are part-time, vice-chancellors can also boost their salaries by taking lucrative positions at other companies.

Gravy train: With the rise in fees making it even harder to go to Universities such as Oxford, revelations about VC's pay won't go down well
An investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches found that out of 100 leading British universities, around half of vice-chancellors have been given a free property as part of their salary package.
Properties worth some £50million are estimated to be available to the academics.

At Bath University vice-chancellor Glynis Breakwell – who last year earned £342,000 – lives in one of the city’s most prestigious Georgian crescents.

A spokesman for the university said ‘it wanted to establish an official residence to promote its role in civic society’.


More...'Most of us WANT to work past 65': Astonishing claim by IDS as he unveils overhaul which could push retirement age beyond 70

Another with an imposing grace-and-favour mansion is Professor Brian Cantor from the University of York, an institution facing a £1.48million cut in its state funding.

Part-time position: Baroness Blackstone rakes in £235,000 as the vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich
Professor Cantor earns £255,000 a year and also raked in £135,000 in expenses for the three years from 2006 and 2009 for a range of overseas trips to Hong Kong, China, the U.S., South Korea, Japan, India and New Zealand.

In the past academic year alone Professor Cantor claimed £10,000 for journeys in a chauffeur-driven car, including one two-mile trip between the vice-chancellor’s house and the university’s Heslington East campus, for which he claimed £70.

Another claim was for a return trip from York to Heathrow Airport, at a cost of £634.50.
The Dispatches team is also set to reveal, in the Cashing In On Degrees documentary to be screened tonight, that Professor Cantor rents out a four-bedroom chalet near Mont Blanc.

He charges £1,100 a week in rent and the main point of contact is his secretary at the university.
Professor Cantor told the programme he thought ‘it is entirely appropriate and unexceptional to use the university office as the contact point for emergencies’. The programme will also reveal how many vice-chancellors were found to be moonlighting in other jobs.

Nancy Rothwell, vice-chancellor at Manchester University, enjoys a £92,000-a-year position with drugs firm AstraZeneca on top of her £322,000 university post.

And Peter Gregson at Queen’s University Belfast is lucky enough to have a £55,000 job at Rolls Royce as well as his £252,000-a-year academic position.

Meanwhile, some vice-chancellors have their membership fees of private clubs paid from the public purse.

Professor Chris Jenks from Brunel University in Uxbridge, West London, is a member of the capital’s Chelsea Arts Club and the Atheneum in Pall Mall. Brunel University said as no free accommodation is provided for the vice-chancellor the university pays his club subscriptions so they can be used for official entertaining purposes.

The Mail revealed salaries of the VC's
Last month the Daily Mail revealed the former head of Gloucestershire University, Patricia Broadfoot, was the highest earning vice-chancellor in the UK last year.

She earned £494,000, £71,000 more than the second-highest earner – Oxford University’s vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton.

Professor Broadfoot’s staggering salary came as her university struggled with debts of more than £3million.
THE £235,000-A-YEAR PART-TIMERAS THE vice-chancellor of the University of Greenwich, Baroness Tessa Blackstone picks up £235,000 a year.
But incredibly the post is just a part-time one for the 68-year-old.
The Labour peer, who is a former higher education minister, also has three other taxpayer-funded positions bringing her a total of about £87,000 a year.
She claims the full daily attendance allowance of £300 – around £27,000 a year – for sitting in the House of Lords.
Her attendance record for the two years between April 2008 and 2010 is an average of 92 days a year.
The Baroness is also chair of the British Library, where she earns £37,000 a year, and Great Ormond Street Hospital where she rakes in £23,020 a year.
Her partner James Strachan was head of the spending watchdog the Audit Commission until 2005.
He now sits on the board of the Financial Services Authority as a non-executive director, earning £65,000 a year, and has a range of other positions at the Bank of England and the University of Cambridge.
A University of Greenwich spokesman said: ‘She is an outstanding leader and that her external engagements benefit the university is one of the strengths she brings to the job.’


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373039/University-fat-cats-enjoy-50m-grace-favour-luxury.html#ixzz1hO6c6N3z

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:54 pm

Nems Again wrote:i also think if you ow your home and can afford it then you should be free to stay in it, what I dont agree with is 3 bed social housing being occupied by one person or a couple. Not when there is so much need for housing.

And the problem that we have a housing prob is what? no second guesses Rolling Eyes

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:57 pm

tom sawyer wrote:

And the problem that we have a housing prob is what? no second guesses Rolling Eyes

That Thatcher sold off the housing stock and successive government have done nothing to make sure it was revived.

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:01 pm


and nothing to do with immigration lol

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Re: Older people have a stranglehold on family homes

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:04 pm

tom sawyer wrote:
and nothing to do with immigration lol

Actually no, I think you will find that many immigrants go with private landlords, it was the council houses that were sold off, if we still had them, and if successive goverments and councils had added to them, we wouldn't have the problem now.

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