Worcester Park couple sell their wedding rings to pay the rent as charity warns of New Year housing crisis

Worcester Park couple sell their wedding rings to pay the rent as charity warns of New Year housing crisis

Worcester Park couple sell their wedding rings to pay the rent as charity warns of New Year housing crisis

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A charity is warning that household budgets in the area are being pushed to breaking point as a Worcester Park couple sells their wedding rings to pay the rent.

Housing charity Shelter said one in 13 London families fear they will not be able to pay the rent or mortgage at the end of the month.

Among them is Worcester Park mum Caroline Berens who lives with her husband and two children. Both her and her husband work but they are struggling to pay the rent on their home. She said: "I go clammy just thinking about the bills. 

"I do anything I can to avoid opening the post as I’m scared it will be another overdue bill.  We do all we can to make ends meet – we’ve even sold our wedding rings and my mother-in-law has helped us with the rent – but we’re really worried about keeping our home in the coming months."

Shelter helps three million people each year with housing problems to make sure they do not end up on the streets. Its chief executive, Campbell Robb, said: "It’s a worrying sign of the times that so many of us are starting the New Year worried about how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage in 2014.

"Unless they get help, some of the families struggling now could face the very real prospect of losing their home this year.

"Despite recent discussion of an economic recovery, we know that a combination of high housing costs, wage freezes, and rising food and energy bills has created a nightmare scenario for many families that’s pushing them to breaking point."

Comments (17)

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8:41am Mon 6 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

I overheard someone talking on the train the other day in such anger where they have living next to them a 10 year old couple with a baby. In a 3 bed semi, they reckoned worth £1300 a month rent, never done a days work, have sky, can run a car, have BT fibre and now the girl in the house is pregnant again. The chap wants a specifiec job and wont just do anything to eran money and all he does all day is play his Xbox.

You tell me this baby cash cow is acceptable when hard working people are suffering like this. Why should people like this be given something that so may young and older people that work hard aspire to have. What is going to ever make them realise they need to work hard to live.

This is a sad story but whilst many suffer, it looks like there is also many that are juicing the system.
I overheard someone talking on the train the other day in such anger where they have living next to them a 10 year old couple with a baby. In a 3 bed semi, they reckoned worth £1300 a month rent, never done a days work, have sky, can run a car, have BT fibre and now the girl in the house is pregnant again. The chap wants a specifiec job and wont just do anything to eran money and all he does all day is play his Xbox. You tell me this baby cash cow is acceptable when hard working people are suffering like this. Why should people like this be given something that so may young and older people that work hard aspire to have. What is going to ever make them realise they need to work hard to live. This is a sad story but whilst many suffer, it looks like there is also many that are juicing the system. EwellMan
  • Score: 10

9:01am Mon 6 Jan 14

Leonsm says...

enough talking about it, how about something gets done...
enough talking about it, how about something gets done... Leonsm
  • Score: 5

9:02am Mon 6 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

make that a 20 year old couple.....lol
make that a 20 year old couple.....lol EwellMan
  • Score: 5

9:12am Mon 6 Jan 14

EwellMan says...

1. No payrises
2. Government massaging RPI/CPI figures to make it look inflation is at 2%
3. Rising food and utility prices not forgetting councils tax (Epsom and Ewell) all whilst services slashed
4. Buy to let pushing up House Prices

Basically it comes down to Government and Council Greed.....Austerity but thats for them and not for the poor people struggling to makes ends meet.

Just take Epsom and Ewell Council as an example, planning to raise council tax this year by 2% again. Services are at their worse ever and have been for years so you would think the would hold the tax as it is to help residents. The Surrey police blame it on 700k decrease in Government money this year all whilst they sell off out police station building making millions? Where is that money going?
I can understand the need for austerity and to cut spending but decreasing services means decreasing costs so where is all the increase in council tax going? Something is not right?
1. No payrises 2. Government massaging RPI/CPI figures to make it look inflation is at 2% 3. Rising food and utility prices not forgetting councils tax (Epsom and Ewell) all whilst services slashed 4. Buy to let pushing up House Prices Basically it comes down to Government and Council Greed.....Austerity but thats for them and not for the poor people struggling to makes ends meet. Just take Epsom and Ewell Council as an example, planning to raise council tax this year by 2% again. Services are at their worse ever and have been for years so you would think the would hold the tax as it is to help residents. The Surrey police blame it on 700k decrease in Government money this year all whilst they sell off out police station building making millions? Where is that money going? I can understand the need for austerity and to cut spending but decreasing services means decreasing costs so where is all the increase in council tax going? Something is not right? EwellMan
  • Score: 11

10:48am Mon 6 Jan 14

SteveC1964 says...

Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section.
Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence.
Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section. Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence. SteveC1964
  • Score: 13

12:03pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

Leonsm wrote:
enough talking about it, how about something gets done...
The economics would suggest too many people for too few houses, hence unaffordable rents.

This problem has been kept in ballance in the last 100 years, with the slaughter of millions in wars and pandemics like Spanish Flu.

Unless we have a mass cull, or stop people breeding like rabitts, this is an inevitible outcome of population growth. I'm not condoning either just pointing out the bleedin obvious.
[quote][p][bold]Leonsm[/bold] wrote: enough talking about it, how about something gets done...[/p][/quote]The economics would suggest too many people for too few houses, hence unaffordable rents. This problem has been kept in ballance in the last 100 years, with the slaughter of millions in wars and pandemics like Spanish Flu. Unless we have a mass cull, or stop people breeding like rabitts, this is an inevitible outcome of population growth. I'm not condoning either just pointing out the bleedin obvious. Mr Flange of Wallington
  • Score: 2

1:03pm Mon 6 Jan 14

kingstonpaul says...

Mr Flange of Wallington wrote:
Leonsm wrote:
enough talking about it, how about something gets done...
The economics would suggest too many people for too few houses, hence unaffordable rents.

This problem has been kept in ballance in the last 100 years, with the slaughter of millions in wars and pandemics like Spanish Flu.

Unless we have a mass cull, or stop people breeding like rabitts, this is an inevitible outcome of population growth. I'm not condoning either just pointing out the bleedin obvious.
I think your cull should start with people who can't spell 'rabbits'.

I'm not sure that having two kids is a case of breeding like rabbits? If you're referring to the benefits junkies making more babies so that they can cream off even more in state handouts, the solution is simple - capping the number of offspring the state will support.
[quote][p][bold]Mr Flange of Wallington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Leonsm[/bold] wrote: enough talking about it, how about something gets done...[/p][/quote]The economics would suggest too many people for too few houses, hence unaffordable rents. This problem has been kept in ballance in the last 100 years, with the slaughter of millions in wars and pandemics like Spanish Flu. Unless we have a mass cull, or stop people breeding like rabitts, this is an inevitible outcome of population growth. I'm not condoning either just pointing out the bleedin obvious.[/p][/quote]I think your cull should start with people who can't spell 'rabbits'. I'm not sure that having two kids is a case of breeding like rabbits? If you're referring to the benefits junkies making more babies so that they can cream off even more in state handouts, the solution is simple - capping the number of offspring the state will support. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 4

2:34pm Mon 6 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

The solutions to most of these problems are simple. Sadly, so are most of the people inhabiting this country, so nothing ever gets done about anything. If you've voted for any of the main three parties in the last 20 years or so then you don't really have the right to complain about any of this. If you vote for awful, corrupt, self-serving traitors then an awful, corrupt and selfish country you will get and this is where we are now in 2014. Makes you feel proud doesn't it. It's called progress apparently!
The solutions to most of these problems are simple. Sadly, so are most of the people inhabiting this country, so nothing ever gets done about anything. If you've voted for any of the main three parties in the last 20 years or so then you don't really have the right to complain about any of this. If you vote for awful, corrupt, self-serving traitors then an awful, corrupt and selfish country you will get and this is where we are now in 2014. Makes you feel proud doesn't it. It's called progress apparently! GreenBrown
  • Score: 3

5:35pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Brianfromsutton says...

GreenBrown wrote:
The solutions to most of these problems are simple. Sadly, so are most of the people inhabiting this country, so nothing ever gets done about anything. If you've voted for any of the main three parties in the last 20 years or so then you don't really have the right to complain about any of this. If you vote for awful, corrupt, self-serving traitors then an awful, corrupt and selfish country you will get and this is where we are now in 2014. Makes you feel proud doesn't it. It's called progress apparently!
This says it all, "if you've voted for any of the main three parties"....... What are the other options then?
[quote][p][bold]GreenBrown[/bold] wrote: The solutions to most of these problems are simple. Sadly, so are most of the people inhabiting this country, so nothing ever gets done about anything. If you've voted for any of the main three parties in the last 20 years or so then you don't really have the right to complain about any of this. If you vote for awful, corrupt, self-serving traitors then an awful, corrupt and selfish country you will get and this is where we are now in 2014. Makes you feel proud doesn't it. It's called progress apparently![/p][/quote]This says it all, "if you've voted for any of the main three parties"....... What are the other options then? Brianfromsutton
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Mon 6 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r
e everywhere!
Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r e everywhere! GreenBrown
  • Score: 0

10:03pm Mon 6 Jan 14

Surreydon says...

SteveC1964 wrote:
Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section.
Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence.
Because crime does pay, for some.........
[quote][p][bold]SteveC1964[/bold] wrote: Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section. Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence.[/p][/quote]Because crime does pay, for some......... Surreydon
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Tue 7 Jan 14

DB says...

SteveC1964 wrote:
Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section. Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence.
I couldn't quite believe that either. That sentence is pretty much encouraging other postmen to do the same.

He stole £3,300 and is fined £3,000. Where is the risk? If you don't get caught you get to keep the money, if you do get caugh you break even!

I know there are a few other costs for him to pay and the ever-popular suspended prison sentence, but what sort of message is that sending out?
[quote][p][bold]SteveC1964[/bold] wrote: Off topic as there's no appropriate 'coments' section. Re the Thieving Tolworth postman: How come he doesn't go to prison? Arulampalam Balenthiran admitted 599 thefts. The public rely on the Royal Mail to deliver valuable and personal items. It's disgaceful that it happened and that it does not have a jail sentence as a consequence.[/p][/quote]I couldn't quite believe that either. That sentence is pretty much encouraging other postmen to do the same. He stole £3,300 and is fined £3,000. Where is the risk? If you don't get caught you get to keep the money, if you do get caugh you break even! I know there are a few other costs for him to pay and the ever-popular suspended prison sentence, but what sort of message is that sending out? DB
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Brianfromsutton says...

GreenBrown wrote:
Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r

e everywhere!
What I mean't by 'Says it all' was the fact that there are no other major options other than the 3 main parties.

BNP - No, UKIP ?... well I guess they are supposedly the next biggest option but if you are going to vote for any other party other than the main 3, I can't see how any of them would have a strong enough result to form a working government and if they did what would they then turn out like?
[quote][p][bold]GreenBrown[/bold] wrote: Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r e everywhere![/p][/quote]What I mean't by 'Says it all' was the fact that there are no other major options other than the 3 main parties. BNP - No, UKIP ?... well I guess they are supposedly the next biggest option but if you are going to vote for any other party other than the main 3, I can't see how any of them would have a strong enough result to form a working government and if they did what would they then turn out like? Brianfromsutton
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Marie from Sutton says...

More austerity to come.
I predict riots for this New Year.
More austerity to come. I predict riots for this New Year. Marie from Sutton
  • Score: 2

3:13pm Tue 7 Jan 14

SteveC1964 says...

From Kingston Council's website: Published Tuesday, 24th December 2013

A mother of two who denied dishonestly claiming more than £20,000 in benefits after failing to reveal that she owned a house in Ireland has received only a suspended 16-week jail sentence.

Marian Baker, aged 38, formerly of King’s Road, Kingston was found guilty of two counts of dishonestly claiming housing benefit by Wimbledon Magistrates earlier this month.

The court heard that Baker was paid £20,705, receiving around £830 a month, between November 2006 and August 2008.

Baker applied for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit in 2006, declaring only a couple of thousand pounds in savings. To the question whether she owned any property, either in the UK or abroad, Baker ticked the ‘no’ box.

Having moved home in 2007 she again declared no income or capital other than her savings. However, later investigations with another London council revealed that Baker had been the registered owner of a property near Dublin since April 2004.

When interviewed by council investigators in September 2008 and July 2009 Baker denied owning the property, claiming that she did not know who was responsible for the mortgage on it.

A three-year appeal by Baker against the overpayment delayed her prosecution by Kingston Council.

The court heard also that Baker had a conviction for a SIMILAR OFFENCE.

Sentencing Baker to only 16 weeks in custody suspended for one year, the magistrates said it was a very serious offence and a substantial fraud committed over a long period of time.

In mitigation Baker’s lawyer told the court that at the time she committed the offences she was of good character (ha!) and that having become a widow in 2006 she was doing her best to support her children.

Baker was also placed under a 9.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m. curfew and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs plus an £80 victim surcharge.

Councillor Rolson Davies, Kingston Council’s Lead Member for Finance and Resources, said:

"We do not tolerate benefit cheats in Kingston. Benefits are for people in need and we will take action against anyone abusing valuable public resources."
From Kingston Council's website: Published Tuesday, 24th December 2013 A mother of two who denied dishonestly claiming more than £20,000 in benefits after failing to reveal that she owned a house in Ireland has received only a suspended 16-week jail sentence. Marian Baker, aged 38, formerly of King’s Road, Kingston was found guilty of two counts of dishonestly claiming housing benefit by Wimbledon Magistrates earlier this month. The court heard that Baker was paid £20,705, receiving around £830 a month, between November 2006 and August 2008. Baker applied for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit in 2006, declaring only a couple of thousand pounds in savings. To the question whether she owned any property, either in the UK or abroad, Baker ticked the ‘no’ box. Having moved home in 2007 she again declared no income or capital other than her savings. However, later investigations with another London council revealed that Baker had been the registered owner of a property near Dublin since April 2004. When interviewed by council investigators in September 2008 and July 2009 Baker denied owning the property, claiming that she did not know who was responsible for the mortgage on it. A three-year appeal by Baker against the overpayment delayed her prosecution by Kingston Council. The court heard also that Baker had a conviction for a SIMILAR OFFENCE. Sentencing Baker to only 16 weeks in custody suspended for one year, the magistrates said it was a very serious offence and a substantial fraud committed over a long period of time. In mitigation Baker’s lawyer told the court that at the time she committed the offences she was of good character (ha!) and that having become a widow in 2006 she was doing her best to support her children. Baker was also placed under a 9.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m. curfew and ordered to pay more than £2,000 costs plus an £80 victim surcharge. Councillor Rolson Davies, Kingston Council’s Lead Member for Finance and Resources, said: "We do not tolerate benefit cheats in Kingston. Benefits are for people in need and we will take action against anyone abusing valuable public resources." SteveC1964
  • Score: 1

6:25pm Tue 7 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

Brianfromsutton wrote:
GreenBrown wrote:
Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r


e everywhere!
What I mean't by 'Says it all' was the fact that there are no other major options other than the 3 main parties.

BNP - No, UKIP ?... well I guess they are supposedly the next biggest option but if you are going to vote for any other party other than the main 3, I can't see how any of them would have a strong enough result to form a working government and if they did what would they then turn out like?
Personally, i think this country has got so bad in so many ways that if someone said to me you can make any of the parties get power tomorrow i'd probably say BNP. Not because i like the idea of having such a party in charge, but because we need some drastic measures and they would certainly be drastic. Have people actually read their manifesto? They are attacked in the press and by the establishment because they are supposedly fascist and nasty, but this is a ruse to get the simpletons to knee jerk react to them. The real problem the establishment has with the BNP is their anti-corporate stance and their wish to re-nationalise our industries etc. Our country is run by corporations so that's why there's an all out war against them. Their stance on immigration and much else is pretty sensible. What other party promises to re-nationalise things? That's what many people would like to happen in this country, but they won't vote BNP, it doesn't make sense. In reality I will vote UKIP. It is a mistake to write them off as unimportant. Their share of the vote in every election since the 90s has gone up.....1997 0.3% 105,722 votes,.....2001 1.5% 390,563 votes,..... 2005 2.2% 605,973 votes, .... 2010 3.1% 919,546 votes and in the last 3 general elections they've come 4th. Second in the latest by-elections. The tories are running scared. Ukip are taking up the traditional tory position. They will probably win the European elections this year and with enough momentum they could grow enough to at least be part of a coalition after the next general election. Maybe even become the 3rd party if the Libdems get the trouncing they deserve. You will see the BBC and the media in general try to belittle UKIP and write them off, but they only do that for something that their concerned about. As for worrying about what sort of government we might end up with, well, they couldn't be any worse could they. The house of commons today is full of people caught up in the expenses scandal, people busy still selling off the countries assets, an opposition party who's ministers presided over the biggest financial collapse this country has ever known and who purposely opened up our borders to every man and his dog in order to change the country forever, a treasonous act if ever there was one. Most of them are morally corrupt and it constantly amazes me how people vote for them. By the way, i'm no fan of the tories and UKIP are essentially conservatives, they just seem to have more pride or better placed pride in the country and a sense of outrage at the way this country has capitulated to a foreign government and justice system. We need to close the borders, sort through the thousands of files at the homeoffice and start shipping out the illegals, then those we don't need and then, well, who knows. Then we can get back to what we should have been concentrating on all these years, the struggle between the rich and the poor and making the country and in turn the world a fairer, nicer, place. Surely it's time for those people who voted for the main three parties to wake up and look at their legacy. A bankrupt country, a bigger wealth divide than ever before and we even have a new class of people lower down the ranks than the working class. Nothing to be proud of at all.
[quote][p][bold]Brianfromsutton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]GreenBrown[/bold] wrote: Any other party it doesn't matter which, just not the main three. You vote for the main three you keep playing their game. What exactly 'says it all', did you want me to say BNP or UKIP. Simpletons....they'r e everywhere![/p][/quote]What I mean't by 'Says it all' was the fact that there are no other major options other than the 3 main parties. BNP - No, UKIP ?... well I guess they are supposedly the next biggest option but if you are going to vote for any other party other than the main 3, I can't see how any of them would have a strong enough result to form a working government and if they did what would they then turn out like?[/p][/quote]Personally, i think this country has got so bad in so many ways that if someone said to me you can make any of the parties get power tomorrow i'd probably say BNP. Not because i like the idea of having such a party in charge, but because we need some drastic measures and they would certainly be drastic. Have people actually read their manifesto? They are attacked in the press and by the establishment because they are supposedly fascist and nasty, but this is a ruse to get the simpletons to knee jerk react to them. The real problem the establishment has with the BNP is their anti-corporate stance and their wish to re-nationalise our industries etc. Our country is run by corporations so that's why there's an all out war against them. Their stance on immigration and much else is pretty sensible. What other party promises to re-nationalise things? That's what many people would like to happen in this country, but they won't vote BNP, it doesn't make sense. In reality I will vote UKIP. It is a mistake to write them off as unimportant. Their share of the vote in every election since the 90s has gone up.....1997 0.3% 105,722 votes,.....2001 1.5% 390,563 votes,..... 2005 2.2% 605,973 votes, .... 2010 3.1% 919,546 votes and in the last 3 general elections they've come 4th. Second in the latest by-elections. The tories are running scared. Ukip are taking up the traditional tory position. They will probably win the European elections this year and with enough momentum they could grow enough to at least be part of a coalition after the next general election. Maybe even become the 3rd party if the Libdems get the trouncing they deserve. You will see the BBC and the media in general try to belittle UKIP and write them off, but they only do that for something that their concerned about. As for worrying about what sort of government we might end up with, well, they couldn't be any worse could they. The house of commons today is full of people caught up in the expenses scandal, people busy still selling off the countries assets, an opposition party who's ministers presided over the biggest financial collapse this country has ever known and who purposely opened up our borders to every man and his dog in order to change the country forever, a treasonous act if ever there was one. Most of them are morally corrupt and it constantly amazes me how people vote for them. By the way, i'm no fan of the tories and UKIP are essentially conservatives, they just seem to have more pride or better placed pride in the country and a sense of outrage at the way this country has capitulated to a foreign government and justice system. We need to close the borders, sort through the thousands of files at the homeoffice and start shipping out the illegals, then those we don't need and then, well, who knows. Then we can get back to what we should have been concentrating on all these years, the struggle between the rich and the poor and making the country and in turn the world a fairer, nicer, place. Surely it's time for those people who voted for the main three parties to wake up and look at their legacy. A bankrupt country, a bigger wealth divide than ever before and we even have a new class of people lower down the ranks than the working class. Nothing to be proud of at all. GreenBrown
  • Score: -8

4:15pm Fri 10 Jan 14

cicero35 says...

Thanks to socialist labour voters .
Thanks to socialist labour voters . cicero35
  • Score: -1

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