Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quote Of The Week

From a BBC article about a new eco-town project:

'The government has said that of the 5,000 homes to be built, 2,000 would be affordable.'

Presumably the other 3,000 will be pebble-dashed with emeralds, thatched with peacock feathers and priced at 80 billion pounds each. No wonder the housebuilders are going out of business.

31 comments:

Boz said...

Emerald-dashing is so nouveau riche...

Tara said...

geez. they could have at least made 50% affordable, eh?

Marsha said...

CAFE co-chairman and Yapton resident Terry Knott said:

"there is limited demand for affordable housing in this rural part of West Sussex"

Ooh, get him!

I suppose that's why the pressure group isn't called CANTEEN (Communities Against New Town, Even Ecofriendly, No)

I love the idea of the emerald/peacock feather house. Just like the Wizard of Oz!

patroclus said...

Marsha: Ha - that quote is even better. Buying within your means is clearly a sign of extreme social undesirability in rural Sussex. Your kids will only be accepted into the pony club if you buy a house you can't remotely afford.

I'm quite glad I moved to Cornwall.

James said...

But what defines affordable? Surely any house that sells is affordable.

Tim Footman said...

When I worked for a computer mag, we were instructed never to describe a piece of kit as 'cheap'. It was 'affordable', always 'affordable'. Of course, when people wrote or phoned to ask for buying advice, they told us they wanted a cheap PC, not an affordable one.

LC said...

Affordable means that instead of selling you a flat at a fair price that would be within the means of somebody on an average salary, they charge you the same price as you would have paid for the flat 10 years ago, but now you only actually own 30% of the property, and they charge you rent for the remaining 70%.

I wish this was a joke.

patroclus said...

James: Well exactly - that's what 'affordable' ought to mean. But then it developed the connotation that Tim describes, and now it means the thing that LC said. Extraordinary.

Tim: I never knew you worked for a computer magazine! Which one was it - or are you ashamed to tell us? Might you even have worked with the mighty LC in real life?

Malc said...

Blimey! If that "nice young Ben Fogle" (my mum in 2000 and any time since) is agin it, it must be evil incarnate - he's nice about everything.

Affordable housing is developer/planner code for "little hutches with tiny second bedroom that we'd never dream of living in.

Nibus said...

Is Housing Minister Yvette Cooper going to personally pebbledash them with emeralds?

Tim Footman said...

Real life? Uh?

Sorry, been doing a Baudrillard article all day. Reality used to be a friend...

Hmm. I worked for What PC? I believe LC worked for one of those mags about pixellated Tom of Finland characters kicking each other's heads off in somewhere a bit BladeRunnery.

And ne'er the twain shall meet.

patroclus said...

>>...one of those mags about pixellated Tom of Finland characters kicking each other's heads off in somewhere a bit BladeRunnery.<<

Heh, that's possibly the most misleading description of What To Buy For Business magazine ever written.

Annie said...

Oh, God. Has it always been like this and I just didn't notice, or is it actually getting much much worse?

Sarah said...

There is a proper definition of 'affordable' housing and, as someone studying Housing Practice, I really should know what it is. But I can't remember. Damn, my moment to shine in the blogosphere is passing me by...

Sarah said...

'Affordable housing' is low-cost or subsidised housing for people who can't afford to buy on the open market - both social rented and shared ownership. I bet there is demand in rural West Sussex. Affordability in rural areas is a huge issue due to second homes and rich retirees and that sort of thing - local first time buyers just can't afford to buy.

I did some internet research, can you tell?

I'm a bit uncertain about subsidising people to buy homes. I wonder whether it will just support unaffordable house prices in the long term. Though shared ownership is such a tiny part of the housing market in total that I don't know how much effect it can have. Also, it's not very popular.

Albert said...

I live on the border of rural West Sussex and cross over to work in it each day. Everyone I work with rents and would love to be able to afford to buy a house locally. Wtf?

LC said...

I worked for the publisher what did What PC? for a few years in the late nineties, but I'm sure I would have remembered bumping into Mr Footman.

Hehe - I've actually stopped putting What to Buy for Business on my CV, on account of the horrible shameful stigma and that. Boringest Year Ever.

Spinsterella said...

According to a mortgage calculator thing i had a play with online yesterday I can afford a mortgage of £66K.

I'm not seeing any flats at that price anywhere...

Also, What To Buy For Business - not a real mag, surely? Heh.

Tim Footman said...

Ah, I was only there for a few months in 1993. We still had cover-mounted floppy disks - if you asked nicely, we'd send a 5.25-inch version.

Fuck, that was 15 years ago. I need a drink.

LC said...

>>>Also, What To Buy For Business - not a real mag, surely?

Oh yes. You have not known pain until you've spent a fortnight writing a 5000 word group test of 6 monochrome photocopiers (three of which are actually identical models from the same factory, just rebadged by different suppliers).

Spin - imo £66k will get you something quite nice in a couple of years time. It's getting very, very messy out there.

Boz said...

So. The message here is that what businesses should not be buying is a subscription to What To Buy For Business?

Sylvia said...

I'm glad I'm an old person so I can see light at the end of the tunnel, but I can still remember the property crash of the late 80s to mid 90s. My generation never recovered from that - it'll always be jam tomorrow for us.

GreatSheElephant said...

is everything OK? Bit of a long silence y'know

Boz said...

I think this might explain the radio silence. Sniff.

patroclus said...

Ah yes, I was without broadband for an eternity (a week) but it has just been switched on again - woo!

Boz said...

We demand a post IMMEDIATELY.

:-)

Annie said...

Come baaaaack! We miss you.

Stef the engineer said...

I drive past a whole bunch of anti-eco town (not the west sussex one) protest posters on my way to work. They aren't the clearest of signs, and I nearly drove into someone's living room trying to read one. I guess that would have been worse than actually building the eco-town.

Annie said...

The Guardian Letters blog was in the Guardian weekend guide. Huzzah!

rivergirlie said...

don't rush patroclus to do another post (although, obviously, we're all waiting - no pressure, though). she has a lot on at the moment. those biscuits won't eat themselves, y'know.

patroclus said...

Ooh crikey, I am coming back, honest, I just seem to have been caught up in exciting things like fixing carpet trims and repotting geraniums. But I've been tagged twice for the same meme by Oli and Clair, so that's coming next.

Annie - blimey, so it was! I hope they don't think that'll do as a response, mind.