Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The woman who lives in a shed: how London landlords are cashing in | Society | The Guardian

The woman who lives in a shed: how London landlords are cashing in | Society | The Guardian

Council finds people living in everything from massively overcrowded houses to a walk-in freezer – and the problem is getting worse...Converted sheds have become an increasingly mainstream – if illegal – part of the London property market. It's a logical development, given the explosion of property prices throughout the capital, and the huge shortage of supply. As central London becomes more expensive, people are pushed further out and rental prices even in Newham, which is the second most deprived borough in England and Wales, are rising fast.
Landlords are subdividing family homes into smaller and smaller units, haphazardly extending plumbing and electricity connections from the main properties into the garden sheds and garages, which they have no problem in renting out.
Newham's mayor, Sir Robin Wales, is dismayed. "It's big money. You get a few breeze blocks, sling up some crappy old shed in your back garden, and now you're making hundreds and hundreds of pounds a week. It doesn't take long for you to make a lot of money out of it, provided you are prepared to trade in human misery.
Life under the virtuous austerity program of David Cameron is working out to be much like the Victorian Era. They are back in recession. If the Republicans take over the national government in November, we can look forward to the same.


Kommunalka Associatioins Institute said...

The Kommunalka was a Soviet experiment in communal living. Entire families were forced to live in a single room :

For many of those who grew up in the USSR, home was the cramped
confines of a communal apartment.

Valentina Baskina grew up in a large communal apartment in the
center of Moscow, in the 1930s. Her entire family lived, ate and
slept in one room. They shared the apartment with three other
families, plus an old woman who lived in an alcove off of the kitchen.

After the Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks expropriated the apartments
of the upper classes, and filled them to the brim, one family per room.
All of the tenants had to share the kitchen and bathroom. The housing
authorities deliberately mixed people from different social classes.

The aim was to create a truly collective society. But it was also the
Bolsheviks’ solution to the urban housing shortage. Communal apartments
remained the most common form of housing in Soviet cities for several

Anonymous said...

Heil Privatopia, Comrade!