Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Thin Ends of Wedges
A charity has suggested that older people still living in family homes should be 'encouraged' to move, thereby freeing up those houses for young couples wanting to start families. I may have missed a vital point somewhere but I can feel my blood pressure shooting through the roof we've struggled to pay for.
When we were first married we lived in a ramshackle old flat converted from a Victorian terrace, battling interests rates of 15%. Over the years we've overcome the crippling interest rates, long pay freezes, endowment mortgages and negative equity, through sacrifice and work. It's been tough. Just as it was tough for our parents. It's always tough, unless you inherit or are born to money.
Young couples may feel daunted by the challenges of getting onto the housing ladder, but it's always been the same. We felt daunted. We didn't think we would ever make it. Blaming the older generations doesn't help, doesn't make the necessary sacrifices any easier and certainly doesn't make family houses any cheaper.
Having made it through the long hard years, having lavished attention, love and money on our modest family home, anyone suggesting that once our daughter leaves home it'll be time for us to shuffle off to a sensible little bungalow risks having their eyes gouged out.
If we have to give up our homes once we reach a certain age, what's next I shudder to wonder?