Single elderly being turned away from apartment rentals


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Three and a half mat room? That's a coffin.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Utterly disgraceful. A country cannot consider itself civilised if it will not take care of it’s most vulnerable residents.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

"...3-1/2 mat tatami room in Yokohama's Kotobuki district, which is furnished with a TV, microwave, portable toilet, and nursing care bed..." Portable toilet?!? Would that be a porta potty in his room or down the hall and shared by everyone? What does he do for baths? Sento?

Wish I had some business sense and knowledge of law here, I mean, there's a demand for a company that provides low-cost accommodation for single older adults and childless elderly couples. Those low-cost facilities are really cutting corners in order to make a profit. Perhaps that's the only way to stay in business... I don't know but I wish there's a way to provide for people like Kimura who want to live in a decent place.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So why don’t the welfare services act as guarantor? Thus removing the rental concern from landlords? In his case the fact he receives visits from welfare workers makes it less likely than other tenants that his corpse will be undiscovered.

I agree with zichi, but would add some sort of housing welfare support for those least able to pay themselves.

l mistakenly thought Japan had a good public healthcare system but it sounds like I was wrong; maybe not quite as rapacious as the USA but bad enough. I am more and more appreciative of the amazing service provided by the NHS for all its faults.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@englisc aspyrgend I chatted with a German about their healthcare and social welfare so I think Germany takes care of their people. The German guy told me that Sweden is even better! I asked him how so and I've forgotten but I think maybe Sweden pays out more and has more coverage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

3.5 tatami room? This is Japan in 2020.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So these old people get old overnight? No pension plans? Savings? Thought of what they are going to do or how to cope when the enviable happens? Sickness and accidents are one thing but getting old is not too difficult to predict.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

omotenashi indeed. Perhaps if Abe weren’t so busy handing out 450,000,000 yen in useless masks he could’ve provided some shelter for a couple of these people. Or if the 20 billion Dollars worth of Olympic boondoggle were directed at the people who need help...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

WoW and foreigners thought they had it bad, this is happening to people who are Japanese nationals. shocking. Shame on any landlords who are being greedy and selfish. They should be brought to justice for discrimination.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I know a couple of guys who had good jobs for decades. They saved plenty and each bought homes. One got sick from working up over in Fukushima and landed in the hospital for months. He underwent lung surgery. When I met him, he had gone through his savings and was working for a temp company that was paying him by the day. His house was on the market and the city office was on him to make payments (health insurance, I think, among other things). He rented an apartment with his brother who also had a good job but was laid off and scrambling to find another job.

I know of another guy who worked in the tech industry and his health insurance payments were 70,000 yen/month. He was laid off and was working as a temp office clerk for 1,000/hr/37.5 hr work week. He had to take a few days off every now and then to visit his doctor. He managed a weak laugh when I told him that his paycheck was going to paying his bills.

Another guy had a problem with his knees and other health issues. He was working from his hospital bed for awhile but I guess the company decided to let him go as he was in the hospital for several months. He had savings and was all right being unemployed for awhile but he's had to apply for welfare since he can't walk for long and has to use two canes. They make him jump through hoops for assistance (housing and living allowance).

These guys are in their 50's.

So, what I'm trying to say is that you can have a good job and save but if you survive an illness or disease, it comes at a cost. The way it's set up is that you must deplete your savings and sell off your vehicle if you have one and blah, blah, blah. I understand that, on one hand, the government doesn't want to fund an extravagant lifestyle but why can't they do their people right instead of helping themselves with big fat paychecks?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Billions of yens are wasted each day building unnecessary roads bridges parks and river dykes, the government should be building more public homes instead. I see so many heart breaking stories of people living in $hit holes while the local government is doing almost nothing to accommodate the needy.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

When I first arrived in Japan I felt like a celebrity with all the family and extended family i had married into showing me around all the nice jaw-dropping beautiful places but being a Londoner I knew there had to be a "Skid Row or Squalor Street " somewhere in the city. All cities have them and i inquired about those places. It was vehemently denied by her family that Squalor Street ever existed in Japan. In the early days we lived at her parents house but I found it hard to get away and take a walk on my own. This led to a little friction as her family would always insist that somebody would accompany me on my walks. Yeah, I wanted to find a pub, have a laugh with the locals and get what we Londoners call "The Knowledge"

Years of a bad bloody marriage and divorce i found Utopia , It's called the "Day-laborer District" You really have to live it, to understand it. Yes , I crawled out of the gutter and back onto the pavement and am a much happier man these days. If anyone wants a great day out, simply pack a lunch with a six pack of beer or a bottle and a box of smokes to share out and visit a Blue Tent down on Squalor Street. You'll be welcomed with open arms.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

In case any of you have not realised yet Japan can & IS often a dark cruel place to live, a big ""thanks"" to the old uchi\soto thing!!!

And I even learned 2-3 new things that make it bad for the elderly.....WOW!!!

And as I have harped for ages, do YOU wanna grow OLD in Japan.........its looking pretty scary for most, we have been warned!!!

And Japan how about getting some damned discrimination laws on the book!!! How on earth can landlords do this to their own!!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is why so many single male guys living along the waterfront by Sumida River.

I talked to several different guys, all saying the same thing, abandoned by their family.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So why don’t the welfare services act as guarantor? Thus removing the rental concern from landlords? In his case the fact he receives visits from welfare workers makes it less likely than other tenants that his corpse will be undiscovered.

A workable solution? Jeez. That's way too simple. Doesn't require enough meetings or pre-meetings to be seen to be doing something.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"...abandoned by their family"

The Japanese government and the welfare laws make family take care of each other. (You have to formally explain why you can't! I mean there's a form you fill out.) Well, if everyone else in the family was doing well then that's great. If not, then not so great.

Take care of Uncle Taro who never married, worked and saved for years but also gave お年玉 to his nieces and nephews, chipped in for them to study overseas. Taro who is now in his 50's is penniless now due to health issues where he stayed in the hospital for months. He paid his bills then was able to coast on his savings for awhile. Now he feels strong enough to work and has been applying but no one is willing to hire him. Well, not for the long term... not as a 社員. So... his parents are long dead. His brother / sister-in-law isn't well off, ditto his nieces and nephews... Not that they don't want to help. They're in good health and they've got jobs but none of them don't have an extra room for him to stay or can afford to feed an extra mouth. In this kind of situation, you know it'll be stressful for everyone if they have to live together (imagine Charlie's grandparents in Willy Wonka ;p). Some families can do it. (...the Waltons...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad cruel and not alot to look forward to for some , maybe now you understand why some old people opt for doing silly crimes and hope to be caught, becuase the prison system is far better the a 3 1/2 tatami room shitting in a bucket for the rest of your life surely.

Atleast in prison they feed you wash your clothes give you health care and a place to sleep and you dont have to stress about where the next pay check is coming from, seems like not a bad option doesnt it when you have no other option.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

zichiJuly 24 04:32 pm JST

With our current rental we avoided any ageism matter, since we are 70. But we did provide a guarantor and also guarantor credit company which cost half a month rental but only covers one month. We have never met the owners and everything was done with a very good housing company ABC Daiwa. There was no question about me being a foreigner but being an artist seemed to have helped. We achieved a good rent for a 6LDK near to the beach.

All your knwoledge wisdom guidance and talk i thought atleast you would have owned you own place at your age by now, actually surprised to read you renting, thought you were well n trueley hooked up and knew what was going on , but at 70 you are renting and need a guarantor jeez , wow blows my whole view of who I thought you were out the window man.

I mean you talk about the family home here and the other family home over there sounds like you are gentry, but seems not , seems to be an artist in a rental , damn very surprised.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

During the tourism boom over the last 15 years, many of these small cheap rooms in the day labourer districts have been turned into backpackers and cheap accommodation, which often involves spending a bit of money on upgrading.

I suspect, many don't want the day labourers back, even with international tourists vanishing from the landscape. With the shortage in rooms for day labourers, the remaining operators can be very picky over who they choose to rent rooms to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 No pension plans?

It seems the guy in the story didn't bother paying his pension. The basic plan contains disability benefits and he had a stroke, and is now living off welfare assistance. So yeah, he bears some responsibility for his financial plight.

Mind you, if the govt funded the pension program thru income tax revenue rather than billing individuals, the delinquency problem wouldn't exist. And scrap that ridiculous guarantor system, for crying out loud!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He might've paid his pension. Wasn't there a scandal about employers who deducted pension from their employees' pay but didn't actually send those monies over to the JPS? My neighbor who's been here for a couple of decades mentioned there was a brouhaha but doesn't know how it was resolved.

I agree about funding the pension program through income tax revenue; that should also be the case for the health insurance program. It's crazy that health insurance is based upon last year's taxes. Why not deduct per paycheck based upon that paycheck? That's one way some people go through their savings... being billed for those programs. Yeah, yeah, you can fill out an "unable to pay" form for the pension program but still...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They just provided an affordable home for them. Who would ever thought?

Yup, please tell that to the rest of Europe and America.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chose not to have a pension, chose not to have insurance, chose not to save, possible chose to become an alcoholic....Life is full of choices.

Choose wisely!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even a prisoner on death row gets a 4 tatami room.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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