Since when did being a stay at home mom equate to being some kind of scum? I am currently looking for a new house/flat for me and the two kiddies and am repeatedly getting the door shut in my face. Why? Because I am on DSS, these three letters haunt me at the moment. “Sorry no DSS” is printed on most adverts in the newspaper. In fact what you usually see is “No pets or DSS.” Do agents and landlords really bulk together people on benefits and animals together? In some ways I can understand that landlords wouldn’t want “certain” people on benefits but why not let everyone apply and then pick who you like. I don’t smoke, drink, own a pitbull or lead anything like the “Shameless” council estate lifestyle that people seem to assume when they hear housing benefit.
If I were to go to work now I would pay all my wages back out again on childcare and my children would miss out on these vital years with me. However, I would be able to get a house. So that’s basically the toss-up, look after my children and be expected to live in less desirable areas or work all hours, miss my children’s early years but get a nice house ( that I’ll hardly be in.) Other than the fact that I feel hugely discriminated against for being a single parent, I also simply don’t understand why landlords wouldn’t consider people on benefits. We get money on a regular basis and they can have money paid directly to them from the government which is a guarantee they don’t get with other tenants.
My grandmother has recently fallen victim to tenants who were renting her house while she was abroad and have refused to leave on her return. It has taken 5 months, stress and a lot of expense to finally get them out with a bailiff. These were working people in respectable jobs. My grandmother was expected to move into a hostel at the age of 78 with increasing medical problems because they didn’t feel like moving.
It just goes to show that landlords and agents should assess everyone’s merits and not simply disregard a whole, growing sector of the community. Being on benefits doesn’t necessarily make you a liability just as being in full-time employment doesn’t necessarily make you responsible.