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Saturday, 20 July 2019

Poor Doors

Well, what did they think would happen when the planning system forced folk who can afford to buy an £800k apartment and folk who can only pay low rents to a Housing Association into the same block?

The owners are buying lifestyle. They want a 24/7 concierge service to take in mail and parcels and keep out crack dealers from the lobby. They want a clean, well maintained, regularly checked play area for their protected children free from dog turds, needles and spray tags. For this they are willing to pay an eye-watering service charge.

What of the social tenants in the same block? The service charge will be equal to the entire disposable income of many. Should they get these things for 'free' (not free of course - the owner occupiers will have to pay)? Should owning an apartment in a shared block, unlike a flat in a conversion or an Edwardian maisonette or a place in a mansion block, come with a legal obligation to pay directly for social tenants?

Developers have come up with 'poor doors' - separate entrances for the social tenants that do not enjoy the 24/7 concierge service or the standards of cleaning, decor and maintenance in the common parts. Play areas are segregated. Unaffordable service charges are thus avoided. Of course the distinction is humiliating and divisive and undesirable - so much so that councils are now motivated to act to end the practice.

But how? Fairly? Practically? Genuine ask.


Quiet_Man said...

You get what you pay for, it's the way of the world except the left ca't seem to accept this.

James Higham said...

They didn’t let me through the poor door, too destitute.

RAC said...

When leftist get power they will inflict their dogma. The answer is to keep leftist from power.

Doonhamer said...

They get What you pay for.
It's the new way of the World.

Raedwald said...

OT Edward

DeeDee99 said...

The answer is to change the planning laws so that developers are not forced to build apartments blocks to accommodate both wealthy buyers and poor renters.

Unless you want to live in a society like the Soviet Union, with accommodation allocated according to your "need" - as determined by a representative of the State. Of course different rules and superior accommodation would have to be allocated to the "deserving" Elite.

Stephen J said...

As so much with the left, not only do they look for the most emotive language in any particular context, they claim to own that language.

Their willingness to inflict this behaviour along with many of the other tenets of cultural marxism is sort of what Trump has been tweeting about in the last few days.

The reality is that the local community is bending over backwards to help those that cannot afford local housing prices (another story entirely). If I was such a beneficiary, I would be very pleased and thankful. I would not try to call my benefactors out over their approach to their customers, I would know that their business objective is to make the best possible return on investment.

The funny thing about lefties, is that they get very excited if someone uses language they don't like, but look askance when they do the same. A person from an ethnic minority is sacrosanct, but a person with more millions that they should have, is a target.

The reality is that such a door is there to deliver the paying customer, a "gold star" service. If you want the "standard" service, the one without the white laundered headrests, you need to know that you are getting it.

If what was there was instead the kind of door that John Cleese described in his mistaken notion that he was in a competition to build a multi-story abbatoir, these "poor" people might have a good case.

Cheerful Edward said...

Sadiq Khan is quite right.

At the root of the problem is the grotesque, preposterous, property bubble, stoked in London by our lax laws, allowing the inrush of dirty foreign money, and London's property as a haven and laundering channel.

If anyone expects the notoriously lazy Johnson to address this, especially while his party are significantly funded by those same foreign kleptocrats, then they must be dreaming.

Stephen J said...

I take it that Ed has heard of "supply and demand", GCSE economics?

It is not the surfeit of money that causes property prices to rise, it is a shortage of property.

The inbuilt UK population is falling, any rises are due to the influx of new people rather than new money.

Domo said...

I'm not sure we can remain in the EU and deny property rights to Europeans.

Cheerful Edward said...

It is not citizens of other European Union countries who are hoovering up London property with suspect money. It is Russians, Arabic people, and so on.

You need to ask the Danes about that point anyway, Domo. Property law is not covered by the Lisbon Treaty as far as I remember.

R-W. There are over six hundred thousand empty homes, and a similar number of unbuilt planning permissions. The developers also own an untold amount of brownfield pending applications, but would rather strangle supply.

Anyway, we have streets of houses for one pound each in Liverpool, in County Durham, and elsewhere. This proves that local market outlook, and not general UK population pressure, is the main determinant of property prices.

If population were the main reason for high residential property prices, then why did they fall sharply between 2008 and 2011, while it was still steadily growing, just as previously? And why has the average asking price just fallen again by £25,000 in London? No, it is mainly land-banking, speculation - by foreigners in London - lax credit, and low interest rates, which are keeping the bubble generally inflated.

The main single factor causing demand in England is divorce - the highest in Europe - in any case, I read.

Elby the Beserk said...

Folks who lived in and or studied in Oxford way back will remember the "Cutteslowe Wall"

Charles said...

Don’t build mixed housing. I would not live in such a block, people I know who do complain of mugging, crime and undesirables hanging around the streets. No one deserves to live in a slum but forcing rich and poor to mix defies economics and causes problems. It is a fact of life.....

Dave_G said...

The Russians/Arabs aren't buying the kinds of properties that the majority of Londoners live in - theirs in an exclusive end of the market that they can play off between each other in any way they like.

As has already been noted, the supply of PEOPLE exceeds the availability of property which in and of itself is a huge problem for prices - stack on top of that a financial 'need' to maintain a wealthy property market (by limiting construction etc) and you have a proper problem.

Red tape is, IMHO, a huge factor in housing shortage. At one time there weren't massive house building companies in existence - if you wanted your own home you either built it yourself or employed others to do it for you on an individual basis. This, I believe, is something we should encourage along the lines of the Irish Vernacular House (Google it) where the material costs for a 2/3 bed property amount to under £30k. It's not the ideal solution but it's the principle that you can build/own your own home for a LOT less than is being asked - assuming we can break the corporation hold on brown field site blocking and local (and EU) red tape issues.

Cheerful Edward said...

The truly rich are not "forced" to live anywhere, Charles.

Are they?

Stephen J said...

You have seen that too Dave_G?!

Plenty of space, warm and cosy, and less than €50,000, I can't believe we would be allowed to do this in England.

RAC said...

How can one set of tenants expect to enjoy the trappings of luxury and not pay for it, whilst at the same time expect the tenants who do pay for it not to feel resentful.
No doubt as the developer was required to build two different types of accommodation he built it the way he did in an effort to provide a degree of harmony amongst those living there.
Harmony however is likely not what left wing malcontents are interested in, free stuff is a much bigger vote winner.

Dave_G said...


I saw that Vernacular House around 8 years ago! (IIRC) and have been enthused by the idea ever since.

The simplicity of construction outweighs the lack of aesthetic appeal which I believe is over-blown for 'simple housing needs' given how, in times past, hi-rises were seen as acceptable solutions.

Around 30 years ago I just missed out on an opportunity to self-build a property on a site that would have meant an outlay of £30k against neighbouring identical properties valued at £80k - the scheme was promoted by the local council in that area at that time and was taken up by a group of builders, electricians, carpenters etc who then became owner-occupiers.

For outlying areas and, yes, green field sites (to some extent), the IV House would solve a multitude of problems and could even be improved on (materially) to ensure even greater longevity although the original IV House would, I suggest, outlive many of the cardboard-built crap the major house-builders have on offer today. The skillsets required for the IV house are minimal but, I imagine, the hoops local regulations would have you jump through would put any reasonable person off the idea.

Wessexboy said...

When I was a child walls were for climbing over....

Michael said...

It's called 'pepper potting' here.

Any developer who has to comply with local council policy, knows this, and builds accordingly.

To get the scheme away with a HA kick-starting the funding for the GF is a good way, then he can put the decent stuff up high, where the value is (as long as he puts a lift in of course)!

The financial appraisal just takes all this into account, and prices the private sale apartments accordingly.

Dioclese said...

Get a job. Work hard. Buy a place the other side of the fence.

Fuck 'em

Cheerful Edward said...

Dave, the Russians and Arabs etc. are buying whole new developments, including this kind.

Immigration does contribute to demand, yes, but there's no sign of it falling significantly after the UK leaves the European Union, it will just be different people.

Planning law is a sovereign, not a European Union matter, so it is for the UK to resolve "red tape" issues..