Build! Let's all build! Hooray! Let's build 200,000...buildings, yeah. Buildings. The more the better. Lot's of lovely, lovely buildings. Yay buildings! Well, that's the Labour attitude to lack of supply in London - it's not a problem in most places. (The Lib Dem attitude seems to be: '...erm, ask us one on sport, please.’ Just as it is with all things.)
Except... what kind of buildings shall we build? Big ones? Small ones? Homes to live, or investment piggy-banks, for accursed short-term tenants to sit in, quaking with anxiety and waiting to be given notice. We have endured decades of teeny, flimsy, punitive homes, which punish us for renting as opposed to buying. Even people who buy newbuilds to live in must be furious, when given the keys to their compacted, hard-won hutch.
Well, first of we need proper one and two bedroom flats – not ‘Dovecots,’ for the poor people rattling around in mansions paid for by the state *sarcasm klaxon* evicted because of the landlord profit subsidy known as the bedroom taxed housing benefit. They must be genuinely affordable, by actual resident earth human people, not billionaires. We also need proper family homes.
And in these buildings, the ones we will build (hooray!) can we also please have:
1 Gardens (or access to a garden.)
2 Storage, and plenty of it.
3 Enough space in bedrooms to place and then walk around a king-size bed, next to which there will be a wardrobe, chest of drawers, chairs, and room for all of this to actually open.
5 A utility room/utility cupboard for mops, hoovers, washer/driers, clothes racks, etc.
6 Somewhere to dry laundry - inside and out. That means no silly rules which prohibit drying on balconies.
7 Proper kitchens, with room enough for several (oh god, she's going to say cupboards again, isn't she...?) cupboards and cabinets for saucepans, crockery etc, as used by humans to cook.
8 A lounge with enough space for overnight guests to spread a double inflatable mattress.
9 A bathroom with shower over bath, dry enough and ventilated so that towels dry rather than fester in the squelching bloom of mould, which must not, for privacy and dignity's sake, open up on to the lounge.
10 Sound proofing, so we can't hear neighbour's lurrrve-action, or worse, pissing in the bathroom, their music or voices - not raised, just chatting.
11 A corridor. So that we can have privacy, and bathroom doors which open onto corridors, not lounges. Somewhere for damp coats to dry.
12 Proper space standards – not flats designed to suit what was built in the past. We need enough room to spread out, entertain visitors, assemble flat pack furniture, and work at desks while someone else is watching telly. Room for book shelves, ornaments etc.
13 Bike lock-ups.
14 Spare rooms. These will not be taxed, and will be used to store medical appliances, visiting children and other guests.
Yours Sincerely Rentergirl.
PS - we'd also like to be able to stay in these buildings for a long time. Maybe even decades.