Wednesday, 21 March 2018

No Blacks, No Jews, No Gipsies, No Children, No Pets

The housing market in the UK has become an issue with no active solutions on sight. And there is only two things to blame: the lacking of political drive and the construction companies backing the lack of political drive (meaning, the lobby). There isn't much to analyse and even though the House of Commons (at least they have a house, poor ones) decided to approach the issue and discuss the very important housing problem in the UK, there is noticeably very little will from the people in power to do things differently and sort this malfunction once for all.

The Members of Parliament sat for hours discussing the housing unavailability and the lack of incentive to build affordable houses, and finally analyse what really promotes the nonexistence of houses and how to tackle the problem, so the present and future generations can have something so basic as a safe place to live.

This political (alleged) initiative is more than welcome, but sitting for hours clapping your members' frigid speeches (from both political arms) to come to the conclusion that:

1) There is a housing problem in the UK, no affordable houses are being built and the current prices are unbearable for the mid-class pockets;

2) There is an emergent epidemics of people sleeping rough, and maybe... just maybe that is also arising from and going to add a few additional points to the housing-problem debate.

Two assumptions any of us could have made without having to belong to any political arm, without having to major in an Oxbridge Campus on degrees that just because they're 'Oxbridgian' will fly you to a very successful career and few concerns about one's future.

However, the real world, the world made of mid-class people who really struggle to afford to pay increasing insane mortgages or rents for houses that arbor many other problems, like the lacking of space - I have never seen in my whole life houses with rooms so tiny as in England that would be called food storage cupboards anywhere else in Europe - or poor construction quality, is here to last.

By the end of my street, in an area known to Nottingham as one of the poorest and more socially complicated, the council is building affordable houses!!!, so affordable that the space takes on the conceptional affordability of the idea and is ever so small. But the prices are not affordable at all, they are £200K a piece and any mid-class family with two kids would struggle to save enough for even initiating the mortgage process. Two blocks away there is another area I don't want to name, but lives on this rhetorical assumption that it is an incredible place to live due to the social fabrics that inhabit it (basically cocky arrogant people with wages well-above the mean who behave like they're the best thing in the world after the invention of the microwave). A 3-bedroom house in this fallacy of heaven costs half a million pounds to buy! Half a million! Super affordable. Anyone can go pick a Neymar Jr. from their bank accounts and personal savings and just pawn their existence like that. Easy!!!

I can understand that the housing issue is now a monster so difficult to resolve that could take longer than a decade to actually see some positive changes. Shared ownership is a fantastic idea, seldom promoted by councils but a great idea indeed. In the meantime, in cities so academic like Nottingham is, the housing market became ever more complicated for families because increasing numbers of students rent basically everywhere, houses that accommodate many people but are framed and shaped for quick occupancy. Not a legacy for the future with family and familiar environments. When looking for a house to rent, like we as a family have been doing for about 5 years now, you have narrow options and must accept conditions you wouldn't normally accept for the fact that if you do not want to live under such conditions, you won't have a place to live at all. There is a queue waiting for those four walls with a roof on top and the landlords are thriving on this market. 

A month ago we visited a house in that same complicated area of Nottingham that I referred to, above. One with mold everywhere, rusty pipes, lacking space for a normal living and there was humidity and holes (serious holes) on the ceiling - £700 they asked for a place that shouldn't be charging more than $400-£450 considering the area and the quality.

I'm not even mentioning London, that is a bubble on itself obeying to much stricter/ridiculous conditions. This is East Midlands where people still want to live in normal, acceptable, safe, affordable houses. Not zoo cages!

Landlords got to a point where they can demand obnoxious things fully accepted by the regulators. Things embedded in such prejudice that any normal government would determine these as unlawful and criminal. The last agency we contacted didn't even book us a house viewing because the landlord clearly stated he wanted No Children. The moment we said we were a family of working parents with money to pay the monthly rent, this person 'cryed' No Children allowed in the house. Like if he was talking about some family of wild boars with cubs ready to destroy a house the moment they were granted access. Like if he wasn't protected by a deposit safeguarding scheme and a contract that makes tenants responsible for any damage on the property. The reason for that is just quick quid, making money easy on students and making sure that the house is for a tenant-in tenant-out system whilst collecting deposits based on some ridiculous structural assumptions. I know what I am saying as I had to 'battle' my share of rogue landlords and their greedy claims when I was a student myself.

If the local councils and even the national government allow such 'legal' prejudice we will return to wild times where landlords could clearly and lawfully announce on their property doors "No Blacks, No Jews, No Gipsies, No Children, No Pets". Can anyone else see the incredible prejudice that is emerging once again from a problem that is itself a prejudice against the mid-class people? Can this be more blatant than what it already is?

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