Wednesday, Feb 04, 2015

Planning rules on affordable housing scrapped

Guardian: Luxury flats with billiard rooms at the cost of affordable homes?

Developers who turn empty buildings into private homes are now exempt from contributing funds towards building further affordable housing. The Abu Dhabi Investment Council, for instance, has avoided a £9m payment towards affordable housing in Westminster while building luxury flats with home cinemas and billiard rooms. The Qatari royal family looks set to avoid part of a £78m levy on the redevelopment of Chelsea barracks. Meanwhile, families being evicted from social housing in that borough are being sent out of the capital, away from friends, jobs and schools.

Posted by debtserf @ 09:28 AM (3585 views)
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5 Comments

1. mombers said...

This is an easy way to get around the latest pesky ruling that councils need to make public the reports that developers give them showing that building a few 'affordable' houses would wipe out their margin on the development. It's clearly nonsense that a development of 20 flats sold for half a million each yields an enormous profit margin as they each cost maximum £150k to build. The rest is the cost of the land which will simply adjust downwards by the build cost of the 'affordable' units if this is a condition of the development. The value of the land is brought down a bit by the undesirability of having riff raff on your doorstep.
A much better solution I think is for the developer to be compelled to offer a percentage of the flats for rent on the open market, and hand over the rents to the council less amortised build costs, maintenance and a 10% margin. That way you don't have all the low income people concentrated in one place and the revenue can be used to neutralise the Housing Benefit bill for the rest of the area. Rents go up, council revenue goes up and cancel out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 10:39AM Report Comment
 

2. debtserf said...

Social cleansing and housing apartheid.

"A much better solution I think is for the developer to be compelled to offer a percentage of the flats for rent on the open market, and hand over the rents to the council less amortised build costs, maintenance and a 10% margin. That way you don't have all the low income people concentrated in one place and the revenue can be used to neutralise the Housing Benefit bill for the rest of the area. Rents go up, council revenue goes up and cancel out."

Since the coalition is busy dismantling the little compulsion that does currently exist, it's doubtful this would even be considered.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 11:13AM Report Comment
 

3. Mqsp said...

Nombers is away with the birds.

Professionals earning what anywhere else would be high salary's are chasing 'affordable housing' in London. The poor did not stand a change even under the old regime.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 02:00PM Report Comment
 

4. mombers said...

@2 yup it's social cleansing and will lead to nasty problems. Just look at Paris with its ghettos erupting into riots like clockwork. And an extreme example, South Africa, where the legacy of Apartheid persists and segregated communities result in horrific violent crime. I live opposite a council block and it never crossed my mind that it is a bad thing. The only bad thing is that half of them are rented privately at my expense via Housing Benefit. At the very least they should say Right To Buy homes can only be rented out at the same as the council charges. This would whack a lot off the value and make it less lucrative.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 02:22PM Report Comment
 

5. Minorproblem said...

Good, the riff raff can go live somewhere else, not in my backyard..

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 03:08PM Report Comment
 

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