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Oxford - Where No One Can Afford To Live

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http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34570348

Bob Price says Oxford is now the most unaffordable place to live in Britain and warns that the world-famous city's very future is at risk.

"Our University is unable to recruit and retain key people, the city hospitals cannot get enough doctors and nurses, high-tech industries like BMW and Mini are unable to maintain the workforces they need," Mr Price argues. "The major institutions of the city are in danger of grinding to a halt."

It is a vision of a city unable to function. Already the shortage of affordable homes means that 46,000 people commute into Oxford each day, workers coming from as far afield as Birmingham and Swindon.

The average house price is more than 16 times average earnings. To get a mortgage on a mid-priced semi requires an income of at least £70,000 and with rents sky-high too.

The man who runs Oxford Bus Company, Phil Southall, is actively considering building a staff dormitory because he cannot attract enough bus drivers to keep services going.

"We need some more housing for our staff so they can afford to live locally otherwise people have to travel further and further, which means we have to pay more and more, which means people in the city have to be charged more for their bus travel," Mr Southall says.

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Want a life...live in a place where living a life is financially viable, a place that wants and encourages you to live, values you and helps you......overpriced places are for mugs that hare happy to be fleeced for the so called privilege of living there....more to life than to live and work to pay some extortionate land rental that is for normal working people .... some places are for the rich and landed only, they can keep it.

Edited by winkie

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Dormitory town. Life sucked out of it by proximity to London.

Good communications can be a curse if linked to a much stronger centre. Birmingham take note.

EDIT: Title should really be..."Oxford - where no one can afford to live....AND work"

There aren't that many people commuting into London from Oxford. What's driving this is a completely ridiculous greenbelt around and through the middle of the city plus the gerrymandering of local districts so that planning coordination is near impossible. Oxford should be a powerhouse of the UK economy -- the government ploughs billions into the local economy for research -- but the local economy been castrated by simply-minded NIMBYs.

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Friends of ours moved from Cambridge to Oxford.

They were able to afford a 2 bedroom house in a commuter village on their Cambridge incomes (perhaps £50k for the main earner working at the University as a senior researcher) but have moved to Oxford just can't afford anything of a reasonable standard on a reasonable commute.

I think Oxford/Cambridge are similar for central areas but outside of Cambridge you have Ely/Newmarket/Huntingdon which are relatively cheap whilst outside Oxford you have the Cotswolds which are just as bad.

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Why not move some faculties to Birmingham then.

Actually, forget that. Birmingham is unihabitable regardless of house prices.

Is that a new word? Fits the context very well...

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Yup, sounds about right. Don't know many people working in Oxford but two I know who work at the Uni (they aren't Profs so probably aren't that well paid) live in Swindon. One owns the other rents and put bluntly neither would be able to afford anything approaching the same standard of home in Oxford.

It's symptomatic of how shallow and snobbish society is now, slap a Waitrose sticker on something and the sheeple will bleat on about good it is, slap a Tesco sticker on it and the same people will bleat that it's not as good as Waitrose.

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Just watched an article on this on the news. Boomers saying they don't want the Oxford workers moving to their satellite villages.

I am no radical but they need a wake up call. Would be interesting to see what happened to the Boomers lifestyle if all the 'priced out'decided to take a weeks holiday. The same week. Might give the boomers a view of their future.

Better still, use the week to visit all the National Trust properties, doctors etc. Would be quite entertaining.

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how many people living on Oxford are on low wages with housing benefits?

something around 8,000 households it would seem

the numbers are out of date, but I did find the FOI request about LHA in Oxford

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lhahb_costs_282

Oxford City Council

22 October 2013

Dear Ms Stoneman

Further to the acknowledgement below, I can respond to your FOI request of 6th October 2013 as follows :

1. How much was spent on Housing Benefit payments for social housing tenancies in financial years:

2010 / 2011 £15,186,848.80

2011 / 2012 £14,691,541.66

2012 / 2013 £16,208,050.23

This should only relate to properties that are or could be affected directly by what is known as the Bedroom Tax. Please do not include figures for the homeless or B&B's in your reply etc.

2. How many households was the Housing Benefit amount in Q1 for? Please quote for each year.

2010/2011 3,866

2011/2012 3,699

2012/2013 3,794

3. How much was spent on Local Housing Allowance payments for private tenancies in financial years:

2010 / 2011 £15,841,306.60

2011 / 2012 £18,1243,31.87

2012 / 2013 £19,154,405.05

4. How many households was the Local Housing Allowance amount in Q3 for? Please quote for each year.

2010/2011 3,784

2011/2012 3,962

2012/2013 3,921

Yours sincerely

Michael Newman

Corporate Secretariat Manager

Oxford City Council

St Aldate’s Chambers

109-113 St Aldate’s

Oxford OX1 1DS

Edited by pipllman

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that's out of perhaps 70,000 houses in total

so >10% is paid for by housing benefits directly, more or less - do we think that is significant?

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Is that a new word? Fits the context very well...

Especially so, given the current epidemic of gun and knife crime in and around Birmingham.

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Yep. Over the past few years it has become very difficult to retain staff in Oxford. We have a load of people commuting in from Didcot these days, which is relatively cheap, but once you live there you may as well commute into London for the higher wages.

We now have a guy living on a boat working for us because housing is just too expensive. He's just about to experience his first winter on it. Hope he has a good burner.

2 bed houses in central Oxford can go for £700k, but there are no jobs here with wages that support those kinds of prices, there is however a lot of inherited wealth here. If you have connections to the university there are cheap rents and joint ownership options with colleges available, but only for the lucky few.

We're now one of those lucky few. We rent a fantastic house owned by a college much more cheaply than via a debt-monkey LL, and on a rolling tenancy, however strings were pulled, and we took the family to the brink of homelessness to make it happen. It's just the way it goes in rentier Britain. The schools here are good, and it's generally a better place to have a family than London. This is the poncy parts of North Oxford I'm talking about. There are some very poor parts of Oxford too.

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The uni is the uni, there's probably plenty of Chinese and Indian PhD students who will happily go and work at Oxford and Cambridge for a few years and put up with living in shared accommodation, using it as a stepping stone to a better academic job back home.

I can only imagine that Mini rely on staff who have worked there for years or workers from Poland who are prepared to slum it for a few years and then either leave or commute. Personally I'm surprised they haven't sold the site for housing and built a plant somewhere else.

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It'll change when the nimbys no longer have carers to wipe their arses.

And dust all their spare bedrooms

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Comparison of London v Oxford.


http://

www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&city1=Oxford&country2=United+Kingdom&city2=London

From the bbc's article


Surprisingly, the least affordable place to live in the UK is not London but Oxford where property prices are 16 times the average earnings of people living in the city.

No - according to numbeo average wages for London and Oxford are similar but Oxford is mostly a bit cheaper except for Oxford housing which is significantly cheaper than the average for London (although no doubt Oxford housing is extremely pricey but not yet upto London's almost Monaco level).

So if it's extremely difficult in Oxford it's outrageously horrendous in London.

Edited by billybong

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