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Housing Distribution

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Imagine a scenario where a primitive people living in a small jungle area - ten couples with twenty children (2 each) 4 elderly couples and two single old women who had outlived their husbands. Thus there are 16 dwellings needed to house the various family units. They get together and decide they will all live in a confined area (only 10% of the total land area) and no building is allowed outside of it this is so the other land can be used for agriculture and to keep the vast majority of the remaining land unspoilt. In the build-able area there are 10 dwellings already with space for 4 more (all of equal size). They decided to build the other 4 and then subdivide each of them into three small units. Then they decide to allocate them so that the families with children each get one of the units that are a third the size of the others, three old couples get a big unit each and the other one gets three big dwellings, one old lady gets 1 big and one small and the other old lady gets the remainder three big and one small.

Looking at this situation as an outsider it would seem incredibly bizarre and hard to understand, although this is pretty much better than what happens under our system. Through our planning system, government intervention and the invisible hand of market forces the UKs scarce housing resources are inefficiently and inequitably distributed, with millions of people in cramped accommodation while many of our largest properties house just one old person often unable to heat, maintain, and clean them. Not to mention the homeless, families in HMOs and B and Bs, the thousands of empty (second, third, fourth) homes etc.

It really is a system that produces strange results... The current tax system even rewards (encourages) under occupation of our scarce housing resources - council tax single person and second home discounts... And housing is scarce - I think there is forecast to be 3 million addition dwellings needed

going forward.

I am not (so far) suggesting a communist / socialist solution - more highlighting questions...

The way I see it is there are three ways forward, firstly create more housing: The build area of UK is currently only around 10% including gardens and if you upped this to just 10.5% housing would be cheap and plentiful for all and there would be little need for any further gov interventions. (Higher densities would yield way more than 5% increase in dwellings for the 0.5% extra built on surface area)

Secondly share out what we have in a better way (here's the commie bit)

Thirdly do nothing and let the rich live well and let the poor get on with it - this may sound fine to all the richies but through out history the poor have got a little uppity from time to time and ruined the richies party.

Or I guess there is a fourth option - to do a bit of all three (very little of one - too much NIMBYism and vested interest) with the emphasis on the third and put pull back a bit if it looks like the poor are getting a bit too 'uppity'

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are you suggesting old people should move into caskets much earlier?

i agree.

its frustrating to see old people pottering about using only 2 rooms of a many roomed house, often never venturing upstairs and being really slow and complianing because of the roads and houses were once there were fields.

there should be laws aimed at getting rid of all old people as there are too many of them.

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NO I have given up smoking and drinking so am hoping to have more years as an old person!

I just think it is so wierd that as you say so much of the stock of larger houses is occupied by the elderly who derrive so little benefit from all the space or is entirley empty most of the time as it is a second or third home... And the tax system incourages this - crazy no ? I don't think there should be rationing or laws just a tax /subsidy agenda that discourages rather than promotes under-occupation.

Does anyone know how to edit delete posts - don't want the first one ????

are you suggesting old people should move into caskets much earlier?

i agree.

its frustrating to see old people pottering about using only 2 rooms of a many roomed house, often never venturing upstairs and being really slow and complianing because of the roads and houses were once there were fields.

there should be laws aimed at getting rid of all old people as there are too many of them.

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Council tax more or less discourages against underoccupation of a big house... Trouble is it's set at a rate which is not even proportional to the house price, let alone progressive like income tax, so it's not much of a disincentive.

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Some silly tree hugger on BBC commenting on that (hoax?) photo of an 'undiscoved' tribe in the Amazon a few months back saying they could teach us a thing or 2.

Great if you dont mind dieing at 35 or having a long painful death if your appendix goes.

Personally id rather remain in our consumerist fascist hell.

Edited by Sadman

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Some silly tree hugger on BBC commenting on that (hoax?) photo of an 'undiscoved' tribe in the Amazon a few months back saying they could teach us a thing or 2.

Great if you dont mind dieing at 35 or having a long painful death if your appendix goes.

Personally id rather remain in our consumerist fascist hell.

One thing about many "undiscovered" tribes is that one examination they tend to show particularly high rates of homicide. Killing more akin to the western world a century or two ago.

Mind you war, violent crime, theft and rape were also much more prevelent in the glorious old days. We've a long way to go before we get back to those times.

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Some silly tree hugger on BBC commenting on that (hoax?) photo of an 'undiscoved' tribe in the Amazon a few months back saying they could teach us a thing or 2.

Great if you dont mind dieing at 35 or having a long painful death if your appendix goes.

Personally id rather remain in our consumerist fascist hell.

Why does everyone think it is all of nothing with these sorts of discussion... If a pharmaceutical company found out that a tribe where using a plant that cured a disease, we in the West would not say 'right the choice is we use this compound and we can cure (say cancer) but you will all have to live in forests, wear loin clothes and die at 35 if we decide to use it...'

Of course not we would keep doing all the bits and bobs from our way of life that we like and add in a new drug. We can learn the odd things from other cultures and reject other parts it is not like everything is an all or nothing deal... Having a (slightly) more equitable distribution of housing would not destroy our entire way of life or turn Britain into a version of 1970's soviet Russion.

We have ‘socialised’ defence, policing, schooling, health, roads, libraries and many many more areas in this capitalist utopia than we are blessed to live in – and there is considerable government intervention in the housing market too… I just think that it is poorly intervened with...

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The inequities of home ownership are because when people are without a home, the work they are willing to do to acquire one is a store of wealth for those in a position to sell. This arises because most of the population do not have sufficient land of their own.

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My proposal would be to ease planning regs specifically for beautiful, green sustainable small communities for the over 60s.

All homes would be built to passivhaus standard (very little/no heating required). Set in beautiful gardens close to good transport links or a good infrastructure.

Homes could only be rented/sold to the over 60's.

I'm sure if this model was done properly it would free up the much needed family properties.

The new homes would have to be affordable andstunning to incentivise the elderly to go for it.

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Land tax.

*runs for cover*

We should agree to defend land ownership only up to an upper limit for each individual, according to market value. This would allow more people to get land at a reasonable price.

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