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How luxury flats avoid affordable housing regulations

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Tuesday 7 June 2016 8.40pm
suziq wrote:
Something I don't seem to see mentioned anywhere in these various debates about private vs social housing rents, is not that social housing rents are too low, but that all other rents are too high, as are house prices. Paying 1000+ rent each month, as many of my co-workers and friends do is, in my opinion, beyond belief. I'm not talking high-end luxury here either, just standard one bedroom flats, as any private renters on this forum will already know.

You're telling the Emperor that he's got no clothes on :)

As sjac said, some social housing rents are a quarter of the private rents, next year it might be a fifth and the year after that a sixth. Of course, it stands to reason that the answer is to charge more for social rents and therefore "cane" all those "hard working families" rather than concentrate on the out of control rents we have in the private sector.
At least the social rents come back to government.

Politics of envy.
Wednesday 8 June 2016 12.44am
On the last couple of posts, I think that we need to step back and look at the true root cause of the exponential increases in housing prices in SE1: The population of London (and SE1 in particular) has increased dramatically over the past 25 years and is forecast to continue to grow. Over 1m additional people are expected to move to London over the next 10 years, with Southwark growing by upwards of 10%.

To house all of these people we need WAY more properties. Only once housing supply meets or exceeds demand will prices stabilise or fall. If we attempt to excessively regulate private rents, new development will fall, which only exacerbates the problem. If we impose significant affordable housing requirements on new developments, only higher end developments become financially viable (to the detriment of those other than the truly rich and the poor). But if we don't impose affordable housing requirements we create a segregated city.

So what do we do? There's no easy answer: We need strong political leadership who are willing to push through locally unpopular (but objectively necessary) measures to protect the long-term viability of the borough. We need to reign in our NIMBYism (which admittedly affects us all to some extent). And we need to understand that there are many types of people who call SE1 home and learn to cooperate to make things work as well as possible.

Anyway, this thread has moved well off its original topic, so maybe time to end it (or start a new one...)
Wednesday 8 June 2016 8.54am
Maybe we just don't fill Southwark with tower blocks then people can't come to live here. I know that this is a very childish view, but it's not as if central London is the only place to live. People shouldn't expect to land on the doorstep and demand to live here. There needs to be a massive independent survey on population density in all city boroughs so that sensible limits can be set. I've just travelled up to Yorkshire on the train and it's clear that we have the space in England to meet this population explosion. The Torys promised some new towns, but I haven't heard anything about that since the election. Some parts of Southwark are really unpleasant now because of all the work and noise associated with 'regeneration'.
Wednesday 8 June 2016 6.12pm
Here's a novel idea.....how about people, who wouldn't dream of living in social housing, stop going on about it. We could just leave social housing alone, after all, it is an economic success story, why change it further?

I'm serious, this is what the "politics of envy" looks like to me.
Wednesday 8 June 2016 8.17pm
Boroughonian, I have often found that people on this website are not supportive of council housing. However, I think there are enough people who are, to continue the debate. I am very much in favour of social housing and I think there is a hint of jealousy that someone can live in a desirable area and not pay huge sums. Even more annoying when you know that some of the people living in SE1 social housing have done so for years, and long before it became a desirable area to live. The council was shocked when I said yes to my 11th floor flat because no one else wanted it and it had been empty for 6 months.
Wednesday 8 June 2016 8.56pm
Some good points, Karen.
I came to live here at a time when it was definitely not fashionable or desirable, and I had never even heard of the phrase "social housing"

I like to hear different points of view, so let's keep calm and carry on. I only switch off when people are rude or unpleasant.
Thursday 9 June 2016 12.42pm
Some interesting debatable points but I still think right to buy was is a mistaken policy in general

Cotswolds 12
Saturday 18 June 2016 8.30pm
Southwark's Music Box gets a mention here in an article about how developers are finding it increasingly difficult to shift their luxury properties and making special offers to tempt buyers. Seems the market is wobbling for all sorts of reasons.
These tricky dickies are getting their come uppance and I find myself not feeling particularly sorry for them.
I feel sorry though for those who cannot find a decent home for a decent price.
Saturday 18 June 2016 8.59pm
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