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With 1.8 million people on England's social housing list, this series looks at how Tower Hamlets and Manchester councils are dealing with the problems caused by a lack of affordable homes. Each episode follows the stories of people competing for these few homes. Some people's hopes are answered but most find themselves with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of more suitable prospective tenants ahead of them. The series also observes the issues through the eyes of the council officers on the front line.
|S01E01||Episode 1||08/01/2013||This episode follows some of the council officers and families in Tower Hamlets in East London. Each week there are 24,000 people hoping to get one of just 40 properties available. The housing team at Tower Hamlets have the challenge of working out which households are in most need within their priority band: Band 1 is the most urgent. Mike Kemp, a former investment banker, is rebuilding his life after his business failed, leaving him in financial ruin. Currently living with his wife and two daughters in a one-bedroom flat, he has bid 400 times for social housing in two years but faces a potential six years on the waiting list. Grant and Kimberly are expecting a baby in six weeks and live in one bedroom of a shared flat, so are in Band 2. The conditions are far from ideal, with little space, no lock on their door and bed bugs. Shepu Begum and her family are looking for a big kitchen, a garden and a car parking space and have already rejected 12 properties. This time however, Shepu may be forced to compromise for the sake of a new build property on the horizon. Thomas Jones is in Band 1 for emergency rehousing. With his building being demolished, he and his granddaughters have to leave the flat he has lived in for years. So far he has viewed five properties that haven't made the grade. Will a new offer of a three-bed house and garden hit the jackpot?|
|S01E02||Episode 2||08/08/2013||This episode follows some of the winners and losers in the competition for social housing in Manchester, just as the introduction of the bedroom tax heaps more pressure on the system. Ash and Millie joined the housing list when they discovered Millie was pregnant. They live with Ash's family, and Ash doesn't want to look for a job before they have a permanent place to live. Sarah, Damien and their daughter live in a privately rented home. With Sarah studying full-time to become a social worker and Damien out of work, they are struggling to pay the bills and desperate to move before they end up in severe debt. Due to a heart condition, Alan is classed as disabled and unable to work. He gets by on disability benefits and cannot afford the incoming bedroom tax on his two bedroom flat.|