I’m 79 and have lived here in Bonnyrigg for about 45 years. My husband’s employment meant that we lived above the shop in tied accommodation.
Unfortunately, he developed a serious heart condition and as he was unfit, had to give up the job resulting in the family being made homeless. Midlothian council were great and allocated the flat I still live in, taking over the tenancy when my husband died 24 years ago.
When Margaret Thatcher allowed council tenants to buy their homes, I was working full time and earning a good salary, but after careful consideration, I decided I didn’t believe in the scheme even though a mortgage at that time would have been cheaper then the rent, as I could see how much housing stock would be lost.
When the tenant networks were set up, I was in at the beginning and am proud of the changes we have been able to help the Scottish Government make, especially the sale of social housing.
I love my flat which is in an upper villa and had I bought it, I would not have been able to afford the new kitchen, shower room, boiler and lately new windows. I have seen people who bought their property not realising they would have to pay buildings insurance and still thought the council should maintain their building and those in shared property unwilling to pay their share when works need done – these of course are in the minority.
I’m happy living in council housing and am fortunate to be in a lovely area of Midlothian and the council look after their tenants very well; I’m on the Scrutiny and Tenants Panels to make sure they continue to do so.
Midlothian Council Tenant