Thursday, June 12, 2008

Schadenfreude Corner



Nice to know that 'creating mixed communities' has worked the other way, at least once. From yesterday's Metro, a story entitled 'Britain's Best Council Flats?' that has been doing the rounds of the rightist rags:

'They've got stunning views, en suite bathrooms and decked balconies - and they could be yours for £75 a week.
These plush harbourside apartments are thought to be the most luxurious council flats in Britain.
However, the properties - which sell for up to £525,000 - are causing a stink among owners say it is unfair that single parents and the unemployed can rent them.
One third of the 340 homes in the development in Poole harbour, Dorset, are social housing. Karla Whiffen, 23, who lives in one with daughter Millie, said 'I pay £75 a week using my housing benefit, which is very good.'
However estate agent Tom Doyle said 'Is it right to have an unemployed person paying £75 a week for the same flat that somebody else is paying £500,000 for?
The Tax Payers Alliance suggested the social housing could have been built elsewhere in the area.'

(the ironies of this are pretty rich, to say the least, particularly considering what estate agents have done to the national stock of council housing...note also that the opening paragraph describes many council flats anyway)

10 Comments:

Blogger Dominic said...

Is it right to have an unemployed person paying £75 a week for the same flat that somebody else is paying £500,000 for?

Yes. Next!

9:04 pm  
Blogger Savonarola said...

But is it right for a Trotskyist leader to make $1,872,500 off a house sale?

12:07 am  
Blogger BG said...

Similar discussions at the moment about redeveloping public housing in Melbourne:
http://www.abp.unimelb.edu.au/re-imagining-fitzroy/
http://visions.unimelb.edu.au/episode/42

I live about 200m from these towers and take my dog to the park there. Part of the unspoken desire (at least in the case of these towers) to redevelop the site is to remove a site stigmatisated by associations with crime and whatnot. There certainly is a relatively high rate of crime there, but for reasons most first-year criminology students could (one hopes) recognise.

It's worth noting, of course, that all the good intentions are not directed at the residents of these towers. The re-developments desire to make the area a less unsettling part of this rapidly gentrifying area.

6:23 am  
Blogger BG said...

If you're so inclined: An essay about Fitzroy by an indigenous novelist, poet and academic who grew up in the area.

It's been a few years since I read it, but I recall it being better than the abstract makes it sound...

6:35 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

Sav, your link is faulty. Who could this lucky trot be, I wonder...?

10:40 am  
Blogger Dan said...

"One third of the 340 homes in the development in Poole harbour, Dorset, are social housing."

Hahahaha...! Silly question, but why is the percentage of council homes not higher? As I understand it, the list for council homes, both in Bournemouth and Poole, is frighteningly long (and no, it's not because of the Poles...) Additionally, why is it assumed council homes have to be shit? (But then we all know the answer to that question already...)

11:21 pm  
Blogger Murphy said...

1/3 is actually a ridiculously high percentage...

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11:22 pm  

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