I was told at the time that the only way I would get a flat was by getting pregnant. I do have a long-standing relationship and would hopefully intend to get married sometime in the future, but I do not wish to start a family until I feel ready to have children. Certainly not to achieve being rehoused.
Given that the waiting list is almost static, the only way for such a young woman to get housed is to get pregnant, be thrown out by her family, accepted as unintentionally homeless, put in temporary accommodation and finally found a permanent place to rent.
Why should aspiring tenants, of all races, not have the same choice and opportunity to stay where they grew up, near their family and friends, as the children of the middle classes? Forced mobility is bad news for communities - and, incidentally, for social services' budgets when Gran needs looking after.
The day someone gives me an answer to the question I am often asked - 'Where are my kids going to live?' - I'll allow them to talk down to the council tenants in the inner cities. Not before.
Liberal Democrat councillor
Clerkenwell ward, Islington
7 OctoberReuse content