Futures Forum: Abolish Empty Office Blocks (AEOB: House People) buys its first property in Bristol
... the following comment was left:
The video is here:
A short piece recorded for Made in Bristol Television on Monday 24th November 2014. Tony Crofts and Elinor Kershaw talk about our plans for the building we have purchased using community investment.
Made in Bristol TV piece - Rachael Clarke - YouTube
Check out their website:
Abolish Empty Office Buildings | House People
On the group's Facebook page, there is a link to this piece:
A Decent Home?
Tessa Coombes October 23, 2014
(Originally posted at TessaCoombes, 22/10/14)
In Bristol and the UK we have large numbers of people who can no longer afford a decent home. They are stuck living with parents, or in private rented accommodation that is overcrowded, expensive and in poor condition and they have been denied the opportunity of moving into social housing because the council stock has been sold off under the Right to Buy and council’s have been constrained in their ability to replace it with new housing. Yet housing still doesn’t feature as a top political priority – sure we hear the nice words about how they all want to build more, as long as it doesn’t cost anything and government doesn’t need to invest in it. Just what does it take to create the change we need?
We’ve had all the political talk at Party Conferences about how this is a critical moment for housing policy, we’ve had the Lyons Housing Review and we’ve had some policy commitments. But I’m not entirely sure anyone really believes that the politicians nationally and locally are truly committed to making housing a priority and that the initiatives and policy ideas they have come up with will actually solve the problem – I remain mostly unconvinced, although there are indeed some interesting and good policies and commitments, they’re just not comprehensive or radical enough. They’re not going to see large numbers of new homes built or enough empty homes brought back into use to meet existing or future need.
In Bristol we have had plans and strategies on affordable housing, we have had the report of the Homes Commission and we have seen some new social housing built for the first time in a long while. However, we are still no where near providing sufficient new homes for those that need them, I’ll talk about some of the reasons for this in a future blog. We’re failing a whole generation of young people and forcing others to live further and further away from where they work. Something has to change but how?
Back in 1975, nearly 40 years ago, the Director of Housing at Bristol City Council published a Green Paper on housing with the following title:
“A Decent Home!! (A paper to stimulate thought and encourage participation so that policies can be evolved to tackle effectively the Housing problems of this great city.)”
A Decent Home? | reshapedebate.net
And last week, Radio 4 broadcast a piece on a Bristol resident going to Berlin to look at the housing market there:
TO RENT OR NOT TO RENT
Leah Marks is a renter from Bristol who likes renting but is coming under pressure from friends, family and partner to buy. She knows that, in the UK, it's getting harder to find your feet on the property ladder. And she also knows that even though the rental market is growing, young people are struggling with high rents, insecure tenancies, and often poor quality housing.
Meanwhile Germany is often held up as a model for renting where, for decades, it's been easy, socially acceptable, and common to rent for often long periods of time. So Leah travels to Berlin, a city with one of the highest proportion of people renting in the country.
There she meets her counterparts and compares the legal, social, psychological, economic and emotional realities of life when you rent, especially when there is very little peer and parental pressure of 'when are you going to buy?'.
Producer: Beth O'Dea.
BBC Radio 4 - To Rent or Not to Rent
Futures Forum: Renting vs Buying in the South-West