I visit Mum in hospital every lunch time at the moment,  and take her in a newspaper so that we can sit and complete the crossword.  Yesterday I read that pensioners with large homes will be given incentives to downsize in an effort to ease the housing crisis.  Ministers pledged to make it ‘easier’ for older homeowners to move into sheltered accommodation.  In addition to building tens of thousands of new places in specialised housing, councils could offer help with the costs of moving or decorating to encourage owners to downsize.  Housing minister Gavin Barwell said: “If we can make it easier for elderly people to move into sheltered accommodation it releases family homes that we’re desperate for. It’s a really interesting idea.”

This attempt to free up more family homes will form part of the Government’s housing white paper which will also aim to help those renting property.  A report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said 2.6 million homes worth a combined £800bn could be released onto the property market if older owners downsized.

This is all very well, but where are councils going to find the money from to help people with the costs of moving and decorating?  As Etta Place once said to Butch Cassidy in the 1969 film … “Why is there never any money, Butch?”  Councils are drastically cutting back on services to save money, and none of them seem to have the proverbial pot to piss in. https://steviet3.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/tuesday-newsday-24th-january/

Also I feel sorry for the poor pensioners. All their lives they might have worked and struggled to pay their mortgage, and now when they’ve finally managed to acquire the deeds to their homes they’re being made to feel guilty for living in a decent sized house and reaping the rewards of their efforts.  Okay some pensioners might be willing to downsize and move into sheltered accommodation, but others like my uncle and aunt have elected to stay in the 3-bedroom family home that they have lived in for 50 years and which has so many happy memories for them.  Neither one is even considering moving into sheltered housing, and I say good luck to them!

Sam and I considered downsizing late last year, and looked at several leasehold properties suitable for over 55’s.  The rooms were tiny, not even big enough to swing a cat in even if we had one.  The service charges were extortionate, the bike sheds were full of mobility scooters instead of motorbikes, and one of the complex owners even stipulated that we had to pass 30% of the profits back if we sold our flat.  To quote an East End saying – ‘You’re ‘avin a tin barf ain’t ya?’

Having moving fees and decorating paid for would not be a big enough incentive to get us to move.  Yes I know a family with three or four children could live quite nicely in our house, but hey, we’ve sweated blood over the years to keep up with the mortgage payments, and it’s finally ours.  For the moment we’re staying right where we are!