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Count Your Blessings: Day 37


Over 100 million people around the world have no shelter whatsoever.

Give 30p for each bed in your house.


Well that's pretty straightforward - unless I include the sofa-bed in my living room... or the airbed in the cupboard (which may or may not still be in working order, it is more than three years since I last used it!).  This feels somehow rather pertinent when the 'bedroom tax' debate on under-occupied social housing is a very live issue.  it is a tricky one. 

The final house in which my family lived before we grew up was a four-bedroomed council house.  There was no requirement that the tenancy be surrendered, even when we had all left home and my dad died.  My mum recognised for herself that it was inappropriate for her to 'block' a family house and asked for a move... she was then entitled to a one bed-roomed flat, so a massive downsizing exercise had to take place.  The irony is that under the right-to-buy scheme, which my parents had been unable to participate in, being on benefits, the family who moved in bought the house and it was lost to the local social housing stock.

People who can afford to buy houses can have as many empty rooms as they like.  People who cannot afford to buy or rent privately are penalised if they under occupy, even when there is no smaller accommodation available.  And without and consideration of the possibility that they, too, might like a spare room to serve as an office or guest room.  Whilst I have some sympathy with social housing providers whose larger properties are 'blocked' because people won't downsize, it is as ever those with the least who pay the price.

So, in my underoccupied flat, I have three beds, one bed-settee and one airbed (Im not going to count the cat's pet bed or the 'vetbed' in her carry case!), and will pay £2 today.


My pledge

Today - £2

Total - £32.55, seven prayers, some thoughts and one e-petition signed

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