Dr John Smith: A home and its memories mean a lot

Homes are more than just houses, says John
Homes are more than just houses, says John

We have lived in our present house since 1981 and around us we have neighbours and good friends.

It is full of books and pictures and clutter; stuff, if I can call it that, which we have accumulated over the years.

The children are long gone, now they visit with their children. It is full of memories, it is our home and when the family return they say they are coming home.

Most of the time we have more space than we need and we certainly have more bedrooms than we want on a day to day basis.

By the way we own our house. But what if we didn’t? What if I didn’t have a good doctor’s pension? What if I were sick or had lost my job through no fault of my own?

What if I were in receipt of some benefits?

And just imagine if I had no savings and could not get a job. I think you know what is coming.

I have more bedrooms than I need; the bedroom tax is the final straw. Benefits are reduced and I am forced to move.

Forced to move from our home – a home full of memories, a home that is full of memories for our children too.

I may never have owned the house but I have made it my own. It represents all that our family is.

It is the depository of our family life, our time together. It is important but it means nothing to anybody else, only us. And now we must go.

We will leave our neighbours and friends behind; we will lose our sense of community too.

What has happened to our society when we allow this to happen? Why do we victimize the poorest, the weakest, the sickest?

Is it because they are the easiest to hit? Who will speak for them, who will say enough is enough?

A house should be a home whoever owns it. Moving should be a choice and never forced upon us.