Jul. 23rd, 2013

beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
As I may have mentioned a time or two, I have been trying to move for a really long time now. But because I'm disabled and all my income is benefits my options are very limited. I'm grateful that I have a roof and all, but I'm frustrated I can't move closer to, you know, food I can actually eat, etc.

The government will tell you that their policies mean housing benefit can pay for the lowest 1/3 of the market.
This ignores the thing where most landlords simply won't take housing benefit in the first place.
But it's also just plain wrong.

I go looking for flats that are within budget, I just don't find them.
Norwich Local Housing Allowance for a single person (over 35 I think, old enough to live alone by benefit rules) is £91.15 per week.
... ignore that they list it per week when rent is per month, that's just helpful, but if you times it by 52 and divide by 12 you get 394.98 per month.

A quick check of Rightmove... well, you have to tell it £400 per calendar month, which is a teensy more than is actually covered, and then it will give you back house shares at that price, or studio flats where studio means a bed in the kitchen, but there's 110 of them. If you want an actual bed room in your own place, which is what the money is meant to cover, there's maybe 45, probably less if you read the descriptions. In the whole of Norwich. Which is quite big. But Norwich has 321 non-commercial properties to rent right now, 292 that don't say they're flat shares in the categories, so that looks like 1/3.

But the BBC have a 'Where can I afford to live' page. Type in the precise rent, choose the lowest 25% of rents - which is even cheaper than the government's 1/3, so should totally work - and see that Norwich... is in fact not affordable. Their lowest 1/4 is £400, half way price £465, so 1/3 will be in between somewhere. That local housing allowance does not in fact cover it. According to the BBC.

Somebody's numbers do not add up.

As far as I can find, most of Norfolk and Norwich have the same LHA. Since the lowest quarter of one bed rents goes as low as £395 (basically that £394.98 a month) in several of the districts of Norfolk, maybe, if Norfolk calculated it once for everywhere, it makes some sense... but probably not, and even if so, not terribly helpful for people trying to live in the city, even if they can afford the coast. Yarmouth is £375, but their LHA only covers £368 of that, so that's not massively helpful. Especially since these are 1/4 figures, not 1/3.

So I go back to the articles again and I find the exact quote is "housing benefit provides a safety net which ensures that up to a third of private properties in most areas are affordable".
Up to? Well that weasels out of that one. Anything can be 'up to' as long as there's even one place where that works.

*glares daggers*

Poke the numbers how you want, the housing benefit just doesn't pay for a decent place to live, or even a crappy place to live in a great many places.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The same cleaner is here as last week.
they still haven't mentioned the broken loo brush.

okay, they just said they were All Done. I... don't see how they're so speedy. *checks* oh, okay, it's because everything is still messy, sometimes more messy than I left it. I don't know how they cleaned the bathroom without using the hot waters. I don't know how they cleaned the kitchen while leaving the crumbs in the sink.

I signed their time thing so they would go away. that's not how that is supposed to work. :-(
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am reading Tanya Huff's 'Smoke' series; just finished 'Smoke and Mirrors'.

It has characters called Tony and Cheese.

Kept being distracted by Avengers thoughts.

... Cheese is an 8 year old girl and Tony is an ex street kid trainee wizard PA on a vampire detective television series (and his ex is a vampire). This was already a sufficiency of weird.
And then my brain recasts them.


Emotional arc of the three books is Tony trying to build his independent life after breaking up with his awesome yet overwhelming vampire royalty long time boyfriend. Trying to reach a balance where he calls him for help when it's reasonable and yet that doesn't turn into their old relationship is a good trick. And I like stories that are all about After That Guy. A lot of lives have some kind of hugely influential male presence that makes it hard to be After. It was one of the things I liked in the Birds of Prey comic waaaaay back when it started, that these women were, by virtue of how comics were but also just in their personal lives, all redefining themselves out of the shadow of some guy, someone who had been so much of their lives they had to rediscover who they were alone. Or rather as part of a new group.

Tony of the Smoke series? Totally having to put in that work while dealing with shadows and ghosts that make things proper metaphorical and then go spinning off into their own wild excellence. And being totally LOL at the same time.

Also, Lee Nicholas, the co-star of that vampire detective series, is the so dreamy damsel in distress and love interest. And Tony is so totally oblivious. He gets it into his head that the guy is straight and it takes multiple books to entertain other possibilities even after there has been kissing. Though to be fair his friends often end up possessed and there's quite a lot of very confusing kissing.

I just want to smush them together and draw little hearts. And yet when Tony dates someone else I also like that relationship. And if he got back together with his ex Henry that would work too. It's like multiple relationships can be healthy and happy and not work out for adult reasons. Who knew?


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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