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Thread: Housing Mistakes

  1. #76
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    I am not talking about newspaper reports or drawing generalised conclusions from one-off emails from unknown sources. CO2 may be natural but the levels of it are not. I used to work in Central London - a three hour round trip from home on the beautiful South Downs every day. It was the sh*ts.

    Housing or living in Liverpool city centre has a number of issues - mostly related to inappropriate mix or proximity of uses (apartments over/next to night clubs).

    ***

    I make no claims for 'proven science' although the consensus is somewhat more robust and it goes way beyond newspaper headlines.

    ***

    However... I didn't want to leave you unanswered, hence my earlier long reply, the meanwhile bringing it back to talking about housing, urbanism and urban planning.

    But to try again to bring it back on topic, you might want to look at the crime levels in the Boot Estate/Speke/Croxteth Hall Park areas before drawing any conclusions about city centre living in Liverpool. The lack of opportunity and facilities in these areas has been a major housing mistake in this city (and others in the UK).




    ---------- Post added at 05:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:24 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Anyone into property development and knowing what can be charged for accommodation know it never costs more to do up property that is habitable. The problem now with that property is that it has become too big a job and whose fault is that?

    Matchboxes have been built from scratch on Daulby street, i've been in them. Big houses all over the city have been converted into multi use/co-habitation - very few larger houses are now single occupancy. Not only is it not fair that the council cannot reap in council tax on properties left like this but it is unfair on owners, let say of the Georgian property just a little along the road from this on the opposite side which manages quite well in the same area.
    Obviously I don't know exactly which properties you mean but let's say we're talking about a house big enough for six 1-bed flats. You would have to be in an out, property paid for and refurbished with a reasonable return on your money for under £350k. Good Luck, really. No matter how far it's gone or hasn't gone.

    Who knows what's going on down the road. Who knows how close to the wind they're sailing or not. How good the accommodation is or isn't. How many corners have or haven't been cut. And personal circumstances vary hugely...

    You say the place was a nursery. No doubt went out of business for one reason or another. Perhaps the business plan was solid as a rock. Responsible owners. Well-funded. But some unforeseen circumstance came along.

    Perhaps something that made the property un-viable for a new buyer or a new use. No customers? Dry rot? Death in the family? Unresolved divorce? Who knows. But in your world you lose the house too... jeez, remind me to steer clear of you in a dark alley.

    And what would council do with it? They have no money to touch it with a barge pole. Maybe just add it to the long-standing list of moribund property? Flog it off at auction? err, just a bit fraudulent if not out-and-out theft.

  2. #77
    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    I am not talking about newspaper reports or drawing generalised conclusions from one-off emails from unknown sources. CO2 may be natural but the levels of it are not. I used to work in Central London - a three hour round trip from home on the South Downs every day. It was the sh*ts.

    I make no claims for 'proven science' although the consensus is somewhat more robust.

    However... I didn't want to leave you unanswered, hence my earlier long reply, the meanwhile bringing it back to talking about housing, urbanism and urban planning.

    But to try again to bring it back on topic, you might want to look at the crime levels in the Boot Estate/Speke/Croxteth Hall Park areas before drawing any conclusions about city centre living in Liverpool. The lack of opportunity and facilities in these areas has been a major housing mistake in this city (and others in the UK).

    Housing or living in the city centre has a number of issues - mostly related to inappropriate mix or proximity of uses (apartments over/next to night clubs).


    ...
    .
    I think the s**ts for your commute was more related to CO (carbon monoxide) and diesel exhaust particulates than actual CO2 - which makes plants grow...

    You are correct, I don't have any crime statistics for Liverpool city center... Are they available as a crime per 1000 population?

    And a follow-up Q.
    How populated is the city center at this time with actual residents, not tourists in hotels? And how will ths increase with Liverpool Waters?

    As has been mentioned here before, the giant block living built in the 60's was not particularly sucessful.

    I assume that the city apartments will be rated as "desirable" and will be populated by the upper income group of scousers... is this correct?
    Also, is there any plan in the Liverpool Waters, or equivalent, projects to provide lower cost housing for the poorer scousers?

    Will these projects "yuppify" the city center, and is that what the city really wants?

    I guess I brought it mostly back on topic...

  3. #78
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    I think the s**ts for your commute was more related to CO (carbon monoxide) and diesel exhaust particulates than actual CO2 - which makes plants grow...

    You are correct, I don't have any crime statistics for Liverpool city center... Are they available as a crime per 1000 population?

    And a follow-up Q.
    How populated is the city center at this time with actual residents, not tourists in hotels? And how will ths increase with Liverpool Waters?

    As has been mentioned here before, the giant block living built in the 60's was not particularly sucessful.

    I assume that the city apartments will be rated as "desirable" and will be populated by the upper income group of scousers... is this correct?
    Also, is there any plan in the Liverpool Waters, or equivalent, projects to provide lower cost housing for the poorer scousers?

    Will these projects "yuppify" the city center, and is that what the city really wants?

    I guess I brought it mostly back on topic...
    No mate it was by train. Although I used to amuse myself by having four (or so) pints at Waterloo and racing across crossroads in the middle of nowhere on the drive back from the station (no I didn’t. I made that up...).

    City centre population was 23,000 in 2010 (and incidentally house prices 10% down - so much for those pointing the finger at ‘land bankers’). http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/...2534-26181823/

    As for crime there's this http://www.ukcrimestats.com/Neighbou...ce/City_Centre but I think may be somewhat distorted (because it gives figures per capita of a population of 15,000 for the City Centre but there could be a quarter of a million people walking down Church /Lord Street on a Saturday afternoon)

    Liverpool Waters proposes about 15,000 people in 9,000 dwellings but if you talk to their Development Manager about affordable housing I think he’ll give you a very old-fashioned look.

    Yes I think designer-living in Dale Street is just what the city wants (and needs).

  4. #79
    Senior Member gregs dad's Avatar
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    Has anybody got a figure on unused living and office space,old and new build, in Liverpool City centre ?

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  5. #80
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregs dad View Post
    Has anybody got a figure on unused living and office space,old and new build, in Liverpool City centre ?
    I had a list once. It's probably worth delving into Liverpool Vision's site for their Commercial property and Residential Updates.

    For sure, the empty (and very high quality but outdated) office space in the Victorian Commercial District (Dale Street, Victoria Street) is a massive opportunity for upmarket downtown living (song in that?).

    If you just walk around and look above ground floor in that part of town, it's really pretty empty.

    [ok, found it. Looks like about a million square feet of office space (there'd be very little empty residential space in comparison...]


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  6. #81
    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    No mate it was by train. Although I used to amuse myself by having four (or so) pints at Waterloo and racing across crossroads in the middle of nowhere on the drive back from the station (no I didn’t. I made that up...).

    ......

    Yes I think designer-living in Dale Street is just what the city wants (and needs).
    Don't know how you did the commute... even when I lived in LA I only spent 15-25 minutes on the road, going 5 miles one-way... Think of all of the hours you consumed, but it's all personal choice...

    ----------------------------


    Your designer-living comment is interesting, and contrasts with the US which has a completely different approach.
    This California govt. presentation is long, but pages 35 + 36 give the US approach.

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/hrc/plan/h...fd_hsg0506.pdf

    Redevelopment must include provisions for low-cost housing.

    I find it interesting that with all of the social housing provided in the UK, that redevelopment can ignore it.

    Perhaps that says that more social housing isn't really needed in Liverpool?


    -----------------

    As an architect you might be interested in some of the examples near the end of the linked presentation...

  7. #82
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az_gila View Post
    Don't know how you did the commute... even when I lived in LA I only spent 15-25 minutes on the road, going 5 miles one-way... Think of all of the hours you consumed, but it's all personal choice...

    ----------------------------


    Your designer-living comment is interesting, and contrasts with the US which has a completely different approach.
    This California govt. presentation is long, but pages 35 + 36 give the US approach.

    http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/hrc/plan/h...fd_hsg0506.pdf

    Redevelopment must include provisions for low-cost housing.

    I find it interesting that with all of the social housing provided in the UK, that redevelopment can ignore it.

    Perhaps that says that more social housing isn't really needed in Liverpool?


    -----------------

    As an architect you might be interested in some of the examples near the end of the linked presentation...
    Aw no I was working most of the time (asleep) and not my choice.

    Social Housing is definitely needed in Liverpool. 23000 on the waiting list??? I think... maybe. But it doesn't keep pace with the private sector or rather the private sector pricing is running away from it.

    The only effective way to get affordable housing in the last two or three governments was via government subsidy ie., people were living in houses they couldn't otherwise afford. It wasn't really 'affordable housing' - it was government subsidised housing and in my view unsustainable for that reason. Central Government was driving up the Public Sector borrowing requirement to meet the acts. Ok, that's going to work long-term...

    It'll be interesting to see what's next since the funding has been pulled and council still have responsibilities to provide housing under the Housing Acts.

    Me? Look at someone else's work? oh, ok.

    [Ok, I looked - don't get me started on the environmental economics of detached houses... and ixnay with the idgesbray]

  8. #83
    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    ....

    It'll be interesting to see what's next since the funding has been pulled and council still have responsibilities to provide housing under the Housing Acts.

    Me? Look at someone else's work? oh, ok.

    [Ok, I looked - don't get me started on the environmental economics of detached houses... and ixnay with the idgesbray]
    Try pages 81-84 for examples of city type affordable housing. Should be nearer your approval level.... Also, think Mediterranean climate.

    In these cases I believe it is a mix of affordable and high price flats in the same building complex.

  9. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post

    ...

    If nobody wants to buy a place or they haven’t got the money to do it up themselves or no-one is interesting in living or working there, there’s nothing anyone can do to change that (whether it’s owned by the council or not).

    You can’t 'easily solve' the situation if no-one wants to buy it or live in it. You’re stuck with it and if you’ve just bought it (or inherited it), it hurts.
    The existing law gives too many rights to property owners and doesn't force them to display civic responsibility in how they manage their property. It needs to be changed to include a legal requirement that forces property owners to maintain their properties to a reasonable standard. If people can't afford to do so then they can manage this by selling their property rather than allowing it to deteriorate further with all the associated knock-on effects.

    Because housing is a social resource the law should also be changed so that anyone who owns a second property and keeps it empty in order to milk its value will be very heavily taxed during the period it's empty, and there needs to be an up-to-date register of who owns what so an inability to act can't be blamed on not knowing who to act against.

    Liverpool has a large number of people who are owners of smallish terraced houses who are caught in a trap if their area becomes a dumping ground for problem families or has too many poorly maintained properties that bring about a reduction in house values. There isn't anywhere they can go unless they have the kind of salary that enables a choice to be made.

    Owning and managing property is a social responsibility and this needs to be more strongly emphasised and policed. We live in culture that celebrates using property as a vehicle to increase personal wealth/status regardless of the price others have to pay.

  10. #85
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Yes we do and it serves no-one but the banks. I think we have twigged that and prices continue to fall (another possible reason for not being able to do anything with a property - equity trap). Be that as it may but a private house is not a social resource.

    If you want it so, be prepared to own and manage every house in the country because if I must offer it to Caesar, Caesar can carry the can. In the extremes, that's why we have derelict estates ringing the city. That's why some people don't lift a finger. Too often you hear - not my problem, Council should fix it.

    And because we also live in a society that accounts for individual circumstances and eschews an Orwellian totalitarianism that says you do this or we'll kick you in the nuts for having the temerity to own a property which for no fault of your own you cannot sell and you cannot maintain and you cannot occupy!

    This is just envy. Worse, a kind of wealth envy where there is actually no wealth! And worse again because it's counterproductive. Both ideologically unsound and impractical. I think we've seen that before (anyone for Hatton?).

    We would do rather better to extend rather than restrict 'ownership' (actual or beneficial) and at the same time, to restrict the flow of credit to sustainable levels, to have people lend only as much as they can afford and can be sustained by the market ie., lower value, lower rents and sustainable growth.

  11. #86
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big where it matters View Post
    The existing law gives too many rights to property owners and doesn't force them to display civic responsibility in how they manage their property.
    That is clearly true. The law does gives too many rights to property owners. Law on maintaining properties rented out to a minimum standard reasonable standard are lacking.

    Using Land Valuation Taxation Tax (LVT), a tax on the value of the land only, whether a building is on it or not, solves all. If values rise one year, so does the tax, if it falls, so does the tax. It is auto adjusting. LVT clears up derelict buildings and plots as full tax is due on the land. Liverpool still has WW2 bomb site in the centre, and London still has two, and Liverpool has thousands of derelict buildings too.

    Second properties that are empty in order to milk its value will be taxed the full land value with LVT. There is nothing wrong with second properties as the UK is empty with only 7.5% of the land settled.

    Housing is not viewed as a social resource, well most of the time it is not. It is now viewed as piece of CAPITAL. Classical economics was laid down by Adam Smith and improved by David Ricardo.

    Classical economics identifies the three factors of production:


    1. LABOUR - Work by people. The return of Labour is wages.
    2. CAPITAL - Anything man-made. The return of Capital is profit or interest.
    3. LAND (and its resources, inc water and air) - Land cannot be made, is inelastic and not made by man. The return of Land & Natural Resources is called "economic rent".


    "A century ago a group of economists colluded to manipulate the
    building blocks of classical economics, to protect the vital interests
    of the privileged few. To do so, they had to concealed unique qualities
    of one of the classic factors of production - Land."

    - Fred Harrison (Economist)

    The moved LAND into CAPITAL creating neo-classic economics, the one we run by now. Ever since there has been boom & busts and two world-wide crashes. Land is now treated like a washing machine - a piece of Capital.

    Is LVT fair? .......
    Because of differences in positional advantages, fertility, natural resources, proximity to essential infrastructure such as rapid-transit rail, etc, some locations are more desirable than others. Demand for access to these features gives land its value. Land Value Taxation, being assessed on these values, is fair in its incidence.

    "When you shift taxes from working and saving to Land Values, you
    get rid of the distortions that make people work less and save less. And
    therefore people are operating in a more efficient fashion."
    - American Professor, Nicolaus Tideman

    An up-to-date register of who owns what? The Land Registry does that, but only half the land is registered. Anyone who owned land before the registry was setup was not put on, so the aristocratic landowners keep the size their lucrative acres away from prying eyes. 0.3% of the population own 70% of the land.

    We clearly do live in culture that celebrates using property as a vehicle to increase personal wealth/status regardless of the price others have to pay. LVT will sort that out. The city tried but failed. We need to try harder. It is the only solution to many problems. Look back at my posts on this thread.
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  12. #87
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    And because we also live in a society that accounts for individual circumstances and eschews an Orwellian totalitarianism that says you do this or we'll kick you in the nuts for having the temerity to own a property which for no fault of your own you cannot sell and you cannot maintain and you cannot occupy!
    Land Valuation Taxation will take the land back into public ownership and sell it for you if the situation with your landowning is that bad. The problem is that many people buy land to make money quick. If LVT is implemented they will only buy land knowing that full tax is due on it knowing they have to make it work. Would you buy £500,000 worth of industrial machinery and leave it idle? No you would not, you would make it work for you. If you did pay £500,000 and left the machinery idle and over 5 years it was worth £100,000 then that would be foolish and your own fault. And people would laugh at you. Own land and the value drops and people lobby the government to keep its value increasing.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
    Rapid-transit rail: Everton, Liverpool & Arena - CLICK

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  13. #88

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    The two 'laws' I mentioned above which are essentially enhanced versions of what already exists would solve the problem of irresponsible property ownership in its two most socially destructive forms: allowing a property to become derelict and letting it to tenants who will behave in a disruptive manner and cause misery for those in surrounding properties. People need to deal with the consequences of owning a property but not being able to maintain it. Why should people in surrounding properties have to suffer the consequences of irresponsible ownership?

  14. #89
    Member Peter McGurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big where it matters View Post
    ...Why should people in surrounding properties have to suffer the consequences of irresponsible ownership?
    They shouldn't. But neither should property ownership include the responsibility to nanny society.

    It's a function of (parents and education and) the law and the courts to control anti-social behaviour. And incidentally, not for the community to effectively condone it by its acquiescence - by not speaking up.

    Make no mistake, I do understand that some of these guys can cut up pretty bloody rough but it is everybody’s responsibility to uphold decent standards of behaviour.

    We all have to face up to the responsibility of grassing someone up even if it means doing it anonymously. So yeah, Big Brother is here but the alternative is what we’ve got - mayhem and intimidation, every day, almost 24/7.

    Just maybe, Orwell (and the chattering classes) got that wrong.

    ***

    Property owners do not let properties fall into disrepair willingly, whether it’s their first, second or fourteenth property.

    It’s an entire myth that they can reap the benefits of house prices in their sleep. There are none (“house prices fall another 10%...”) and there is none (sleep). An empty property is a financial and psychological burden to any owner.

    And the changes to the law you suggest would make the penalties for 'irresponsible ownership' so punitive as to put ownership very firmly in the hands of only those who can stomach the loss ie., the very, very rich - or the state.

    ***

    There are advantages to 100% state ownership of housing but let me (as one who has stayed in Russia for a while) say that security, space provision and quality of life are not three of them. And the biggest problem of all is the bill, for the state and for the people. It's simply unaffordable.

    Now I know you didn’t bring that up but that would be the ultimate consequence of your suggestion.

    Back on earth and in Liverpool’s case, the local ‘state’ (ie., council) would end up owning vast tracts of low-grade housing and empty land that it couldn’t develop. Oh...

    ***

    It comes to something when a hollywood actor complains on national TV that she can’t move to London because of house prices and a well-known comedian can joke that the proposed ‘mansion tax’ limit is set too low at a million pounds. It's just a bit harsh when anyone loses their job, the bank repossesses and they can't sell because no-one can afford to live in it.

    It would serve both owner and tenant better if the market were set, through responsible credit control (and a bit of collective social conscience perforce) such that properties were let at rents that were affordable to ‘decent’ folk and we saw more yobs in court, rather than having to put up with them till 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning - every bloody morning (the question is of course, what then with them...)

    ***

    The nation has been screwed-over by bank-sponsored ‘getting on’ for the benefit of only the very few and the very rich indeed.

    Fair dos or thieving b*stards to them but house prices are way out of whack of wages as a consequence. And before it re-balances, we are all going to be paying for it for a very long time to come. And there will be a lot more empty properties to come.

    But it won’t help to kick honest, decent and hard-working folks (just like us) in the slats because they’ve been first mugged by the banks and second, caught out by a failing system.

    ***

    A mate of mine 'self-built' his own house more than thirty years ago. He owns three terraced houses in St Helens he got with his pension, his redundancy and a last year on contract overseas (he was a phone engineer). He struggles to keep them let to decent lads and kept in proper order. What a git.

    Or take that house in Everton. We don't know the circumstances but what if the nursery was run with the help of someone's husband (or wife) and they got divorced and he pulled the plug on the finances. Who are you or we to say she should lose the house as well!?

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    Senior Member chasevans's Avatar
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    Exclamation A head rings out !

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter McGurk View Post
    Well as an architect, I'm not having that am I?

    There's a bizillion buildings with flat roofs and 'zany' shapes that are all perfectly waterproof. There's many that aren't. Some buildings are built well. Others aren't. Some buildings are maintained. Others aren't. There are almost as many reason for building failure as they are building failures.

    But one thing is certain. If it's the architect's fault he will pay for it. There's not many architects can go bust at the drop of a hat to avoid litigation and many who carry the can for others involved who do.
    Of course you're not having that.
    Living through the architectural disasters of this *area I must say this Peter guy's got a cheek.
    My heart bleeds for him and his fellow arch itects- sorry, I meant to type arch enemies- oh ****, enemas...well that's close enough. What a fine bunch of chaps they must be, sharing the burden for the social engineering mistakes of "others". More a case of kicking the can than carrying it, seems to me.
    Peter, you know you'll never get the chance to live on the Radcliffe estate. Why? ... it's gone. Good riddance.
    Those who refuse to learn from the past are liable to keep repeating it's mistakes. A lot of your posts are full of holes, not unlike the Radcliffe estate's roofs.

    *area
    (City centre, Gillmoss, Everton, Walton, Everton, Birkenhead, Norris Green, Toxteth, and for the past 30 years I've lived in Anfield).
    Chas

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