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Thread: Housing Mistakes

  1. #51
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    People like different living arrangements, but the planners seem to prefer one version that they say is "good for us".
    Planners should plan the districts - and do. In most other countries house are built by the individual who buys a plot and gets in an architect and builder to design and build an individual house.

    Because of the ridiculous planning and land laws in the UK a handful of major builders most of the homes. They may give you a choice of the front door colour and kitchen units and that is about it. An artificial land shortage ratchets up land prices and the knock on is small pokey, poor built homes. Modern homes, since WW2 are pitiful.

    I like this... an eco German kit house - Huf Haus. They erect them in the UK

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    well said. It's all true what you say.
    All the things you describe I see every day in my neighbourhood.


    Quote Originally Posted by Big where it matters View Post
    People in struggling communities have a right to be protected from people who couldn't care less if the community they are living in is run into the ground.

    Then maybe people could chill out in their own neighbourhoods and more life might find its way into local High Streets as the sense of being under seize lifted. Of course, there would still be the problems associated with lack of skills / work opportunities but not constantly running into a scally with a pitbull or out-of-control kids/adults who don't give a flying f**k for anyone would make life so much sweeter.

  3. #53
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    I suppose that's the problem really! If you are building to a competitive,agreed cost per unit,it opens up a whole ballgame, of potential failure of quality! Surely though,that's a tendering/political problem,as opposed to an architectural one?
    No not really. Designs have to be done to meet a budget and have to work (without failures) within the budget. More often than not the variable is how long it lasts.

    Obviously if you build a timber shed at a fraction of the cost per sq ft of a brick house, it's not going to last as long ie., it needs more maintenance to keep it going (if you want to live in it).

    Council doesn't have much money and has to build 'cost-effectively' (cheaply). Then you get the lifts kicked in and it blows the (maintenance) budget.

    ---------- Post added at 11:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:10 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Big where it matters View Post
    If we accept that poorly designed (council, slumlord) properties are a thing of the past...

    The common factor in all this? An absence of civic responsibility. The solution? Legally force landlords to maintain their properties to a high standard and have letting agreements with tenants that are enforced. Of course, there will always be tenants who just want everything their own way and will never comply...

    Yes, I am being a bit of a fascist but baby Jesus meek and mild just doesn't cut it.
    This last sentence hits the nail on the head.

    The mood is changing and thank God it is. There is less and less sympathy with the scallies and smackheads (yes, I’ve stopped getting The Guardian...). Something must be done and firmly but is a concentration camp over the border really the answer?

    Forcing landlords to nanny undesirables is not going to work either. People in struggling communities do have a right to be protected from people who couldn't care less if the community they are living in is run into the ground but it is not a function of landlords to root them out.

    In fact, Landlords who do turn people away on that basis are labelled as fascist, discriminatory and irresponsible.

    Blowing them up to council or the bizzies brings its own problems. People have to carry on living next to them when there is nowhere else for them to go.

    As even the highest court in the land said, it isn’t reasonable to expect councils (or landlords) to carry on pouring money into houses that are being kicked to pieces by those few tenants that are vandals.

    And how are councils to protect the honest citizen if they are spending huge sums on broken lifts and, it has to be said, defending spurious legal action in the courts? - no doubt versus legal aid assisted complainants (fascist enough I think...)

    Beating up Landlords is not the answer. A shift in public values is needed. Some would say that would be retrogressive but really what else would work? We need to go back to the days of social responsibility and social accountability and consequence (ok, really sounding like Cameron now).

    But there is no redress (it seems) against people who trash where they live and intimidate their neighbours. This is wrong. This must change.

    ***

    I used to concede that it was the fault of ‘poorly designed’ properties. That it was all in the past, things were looking up etc etc... but just maybe they weren't so poorly designed. When you look at the Garden Tenements for example...

    A huge improvement to begin with (and you had to be ‘respectable’ to get in), eventually dominated and trashed by people with no respect for themselves or anything around them (where’s that Guardian??) and now (what’s left of them are) beautifully managed and well run again.

    I accept that they didn’t suit everyone or even every family for which they were intended but nothing wrong with the design in all of that.

    ***

    The problems with empty houses in the New Heartlands is caused by central government pulling the plug on the funds to keep going. Properties have been bought and paid for, some of them cleared and government says 'ok, no more money now'.

    And... they were right to do so. Because HMRI subsidy (the Housing Market Renewal Initiative) artificially propped up houses prices to the betterment - not of landlords and definitely not of tenants - but of those that lent the money in the first place and those to whom mega interest was paid. The Banks!

    ***

    Well, there's a good Thursday morning rant. Who else wants some?!!!



    ---------- Post added at 12:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:36 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    Yes... but my point is that the 'planners" did not live in the same environment they were planning for everyone else.
    But so...? I guess no-one is forcing anyone to live anywhere. The choice still exists.

    And being Green is a moral issue. It is hard to get on a train or bus when the car is right there but it should be done - as a moral issue. For our children. If only public transport was more accessible and convenient... something I'm sure these 'planners' are advocating.



    ---------- Post added at 01:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:06 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    I like this... an eco German kit house - Huf Haus. They erect them in the UK
    Although I would agree that space standards have fallen terribly and construction costs have unnecessarily increased in the UK, I really can't see what relevance this has to our social housing.

    It would be wonderful to have every house in the UK individually designed. A bespoke property for everyone. But are you really suggesting that this is even remotely affordable? Or is it perhaps that council or government will pay? Perhaps the Peabody Trust?

    There is also plenty of social housing in Europe - particularly in Germany, and France, and Holland, and... where are these other countries where most houses are designed individually???? Cloud Cuckoo land? (Actually, Switzerland would be about right).





    http://www.huf-haus-owners-group.co....1/10/mack1.jpg

    And yeah. I'd be very interested to see the penny heating bills for that property. Particularly in relation to construction cost. With all that glass, it might keep in some heat if tripled glazed but it would cost a fortune to build even in kit form (which BTW kind of suggests they are not so individual as you think) and some of the guys down Norris Green way (got to pick somewhere) would make short work of those windows.

    ---------- Post added at 02:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    You are very confused. I am a free-marketeer....

    The owners of the Everton properties still make money on the land under the decaying bricks...Currently they pay zero tax.
    When I say if I mean if. What you say would tend to lead anyone to expect you to hold socialist views. It's not an accusation - even these days. It is a reasonable deduction, nevertheless it is conditional.

    And I am neither confused nor am I stupid. At least not so stupid to take what others have said as proof of what they say. I can read The Times for myself thank you, and interpret same. I don’t need it regurgitated to me as gospel.

    Now, you are seriously suggested that Land Value Tax is responsible or even a major contributor to Hong Kong’s wealth. Right, I see. How silly of me.

    ‘Wealth laying idle’ was at one time income was it not? and taxed as such? was it not? To then attached a causal link to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few is... tenuous.

    Hyams may well have not paid tax on Centrepoint until he realised its increase in value. I think that is rather the point of a tax on income is it not? For sure he spent a great deal of money on all the tradesmen needed to build it. **** him.

    It’s a stretch but since it occurs to me... much like the Empire State perhaps. All those workers, working away in a depression, getting paid - what a fool Hoover was to create all that wealth and spread it around a bit! And no doubt there was and is a tax bill down the line.

    And how dare you buy land near a railway line, with money taken from your taxes for the benefit of all it serves. Outrageous! You know what? I’m going to build a line next to you so you have to pay me for it! I'll call it the Canada Dock Branch Line and I’ll call the tax Land Value Tax. There. Fixed.

    To suggest that Cornwall taxpayers paid more than their share of the nation's infrastructure costs is disingenuous in the extreme. This is how Crossrail is funded: www.london.gov.uk/crossrail-brs. So as not to bore everyone with the detail and to summarise - those that benefitted from it, paid for it.

    If there is no one that can afford to occupy houses in Everton, do you imagine that money will drop from the heavens to relieve current owners of possession and renovate them to make them more expensive and less affordable?

    And if taking tax at source is regressive (and it may well be) how does a wealth tax help? The depletion of 'wealth' to pay tax has a long and regrettably regressive history in this country and yes, that would include the landed gentry less able to pay income tax or inheritance tax or invest in wealth creation - and jobs and services. And this is where you 'betray' your socialist leanings.

    However, without a market there can be no wealth and no income whether the owner holds it or tries to flog it for threepence. Without a market, it is worth nothing. There is no wealth to tax. When there is income there will be something to tax. Geddit?

    Incidentally the empty house owner in Everton does not pay zero tax. If he’s lucky his community charge is discounted. And BTW it’s not economics. It’s fiscal policy.

  4. #54
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    I made an enquiry to the council regarding an empty Georgian property in Everton - almost derelict. They were very cagey when I suggested they would not be earning any income from council tax for it. There are no for sale boards on it, just trespassers will be prosecuted notices. It's an eyesore in need of some action by the landlord.

    Liverpool, like Ormskirk is overun with students and even conversion to flats with the brilliant views of the city from this high vantage point would surely be a viable proposition. There should be no option to do nothing at all.
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  5. #55
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    I made an enquiry to the council regarding an empty Georgian property in Everton - almost derelict. They were very cagey when I suggested they would not be earning any income from council tax for it. There are no for sale boards on it, just trespassers will be prosecuted notices. It's an eyesore in need of some action by the landlord.

    Liverpool, like Ormskirk is overun with students and even conversion to flats with the brilliant views of the city from this high vantage point would surely be a viable proposition. There should be no option to do nothing at all.
    I suspect I know the one(s) you mean. It's in a really great spot but would cost an arm and a leg to fix up but if you haven't got the money what can you do? Council can't buy it off you (they don't have the money to buy it or redevelop it). No one else can force you to sell it and you can't force people to buy it...

    Even if you could, what then? Nothing's changed. If it's the one I think it is, I can see how the rents achievable wouldn't pay for it ie., it's not viable. It's barely standing. I could be wrong and I'd like to do it myself but...

    The area is a bit of a wasteland (on one side), so it would be a case of waiting for the area to come up a bit or holding the redevelopment costs till it did. Who can do that? Chicken and Egg.

    BTW I think students bring economic activity to an area and to the city. The more that come here and stay on after graduation, the better. Our friends down the East Lancs have achieved a lot this way.

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