Details of Lewisham Gateway’s Phase 2 are now available online. This is the big scheme, covered recently, in front of Lewisham station.
So what is new? Well, it’s changed from zero “affordable” housing to 10%, which is paid for by the taxpayer in the form of a £10 million fund through the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Even then it’s at London Living Rent levels which are 66% of market levels.
Then there’s the existence of co-living homes. I hadn’t noticed this before though this may have always been there. What’s that you ask? It looks all sexy and modern in renderings with people sharing stuff such as on-site cinemas. Doesn’t sound too bad at all.
Well, what it often means is a small studio room with the occupants having to share facilities such as kitchens. Thought you’d left all that behind as a teenager? Well, this looks like it could become the norm for many adults. Fair enough if you choose it but high costs will push more people into this. Many are already forced into house shares.
If you want to know why the vote in urban areas for the Tories has taken a nosedive with Corbyn topping the poles with strong support amongst younger people, this kind of thing explains it. Paying ever increasing amounts for less and less with the wider effect of less disposable income to spend in the economy.
Oh, I forgot, it’s all going on avocado and weekends in Berlin at £700 a pop.
Throw in ever-rising transport costs on rail and the cost of living keeps rising for those who havn’t been lucky enough to buy before endless government intervention propped up land prices, house prices and rents becomes ridiculous, or have parents with money to help out.
Meritocracy? Not anymore for many. It’s getting to the point when even skilled professions like doctors, who have trained for seven years and racked up tens of thousands in student loans, have to rent tiny flats or live way out in the sticks if there’s no parental help, and then commute long distances adding to transport pressures. No wonder social mobility is falling sharply.
Given all the build-up to the budget people wondered if Chancellor Philip Hammond had learnt much from the election where the Tories badly under-performed in cities and amongst under-35s.
The announcement of large increases in rail tickets of 3.4 % next year plus ever more measures that’ll ultimately boost the underlying problems in housing of increasing costs above and beyond wage increases (resulting in more and more schemes such as co-living and help to buy) shows he hasn’t.
So expect more boxes for people to live in, and even then unaffordable to many, with ever increasing voter resentment. If Corbyn wins the Tories can’t say they didn’t see the warning signs, yet did little about it. The spirit of the post-war Tories under Churchill and MacMaillan, who built big (above 300k new homes a year) is long gone.