Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Benefits family in £1.2 million council house

The headlines in the Sun and the Evening Standard actually shouted 'My Big Fat Gypsy Council House' in one, and 'Gipsy family of 12 in £1.2m council house' in other.

What's the story?

I always blog about housing stuff when I'm not sure.....

A gypsy family have been given a council house and to all intents and purposes are a right nuisance to their neighbours in what is described as "an upmarket street". (Posh street to you and me, like where I lived in the church property.) They hurl beer cans and broken glass and used toilet roll in neighbours gardens and consequently have been complained about.

The headlines though.. £1.2 million council flat...

The Sun believes "the couple are secure tenants in their current home, meaning they have it for life, with the option of right to buy - and sell.

That was the Tory idea!!

What are the papers trying to enflame in readers? That gypsies are antisocial folk or that antisocial folk are given council properties in decent areas? Or not even anti-social folk, benefit families, God forbid...

You know from me reader, that council street properties are gold dust these days, that all I had to bid on, that all I have to bid on, are flats on large estates.

Where should families like this gypsy family, or my family, go?

If we lived in ghettos would that make people happier?

It's not pleasant that people should live next to "Hell nieghbours", I've been lucky in recent years. In the church property on Posh Street I was next door to a lovely family with five kids who bought their council flat. In Papier Mache Towers, I had nice neighbours too. I've got nice neighbours here. The guy downstairs came up a couple of weekends ago asking if he could borrow my internet connection and we ended up chatting for two hours.

I wonder what will happen to this gypsy family. Haringey council, quotes the Standard, "issued a final warning to the family last week and said legal action will be taken if the anti-social behaviour doesn't stop immediately. We will have no hesitation to evict the family immediately if the problems persist."

Wealthy neighbours on the street have formed a nieghbourhood watch "to keep tabs on them" (Sun) Not invited them round for a cuppa then....

Where will the family go, or be placed? We are not a country that will see children out on the street, are we?

Coincidentally this story came out just as Asbo's are replaced with 'criminal behaviour orders'. I'm not sure what I think about that, or what the success of criminalising children will be, but hey ho we'll see.

One thing is for sure, dumping all 'anti-social' people together on estates is not the answer to problems in our society.

Shame some people don't realise how lucky they are or are unable, for whatever reason, to make best use of the opportunities they're given.

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