Home Forums Chat Forum FAO Big Hitters: How are you solving the housing crisis?

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  • FAO Big Hitters: How are you solving the housing crisis?
  • kelvin
    Full Member

    politecameraaction you’re ignoring two things; one that most workers born elsewhere will not be working in construction, and secondly that construction workers are more likely to be from the EU/EEA than from outside Europe.

    pondo
    Full Member

    If you’re past the point of breaking even why not?

    Oh, ok – cool. When I get to that point, that’s what I’ll do, thanks.

    1
    stingmered
    Full Member

    I’m a BTL landlord of one property, got into it because I didn’t have a pension and it seemed like a viable alternative.  Although I’ve made a modest profit over the years (we’re talking <£200/mth before 40% tax…) with current mortgage rates, I actually lose £200/month, the rent I charge is about 75% of the market rate in the area… why do it do this (and the agency I let though are constantly at me to change things)? Because the tenant is a good guy, he looks after the place, he’s there for the long term, and he’s expressed an interest in buying it in the next 6 months. I’m also a good landlord, keep on top of maintenance and decoration because it’s the right thing to do. Clearly a monthly loss is not sustainable in the long term, but I feel that even if the tenant decides not to buy, my mortgage rate will probably drop me into a breakeven position in the next 12 months so… hey. The property has also cleary got a capital gain element, although over the since I bought in 2007 (and just before the crash) it is surprisingly low for a 2 bed flat in a desirable part of south Manchester. It’s certainly not retirement money anyway!

    poly
    Free Member

    Its an interesting point and I do not know what to do.  1/3 below market value would be 70 000 discount.  More than the total rent I have had in the entire time I have been renting it I think.  4 times what she has paid me in rent.

    but presumably you’d still be making a significant capital gain?  I’m not seriously suggesting you do this – but on another thread you were complaining Angela Rayner wasn’t left wing enough!   :heart:

    whilst I can see the good karma temptation to sell at a discount and keep the good neighbour… consider for a moment that you sell to her next month.  Then her circumstances change – new job, new partner, ill parent, inheritance, and 12-18 months time she’s selling up for a profit and will inevitably take the best offer so you get shitty neighbours.

    if you want to sell – then selling with a tenant is a PITA, and nobody will want a property with a sitting tenant paying 30% below market rate.  So in that sense it is worth less than vacant possession market value anyway.  But that is if YOU want to sell.  If she wants to buy then at the very least she’ll be expecting to pay market rate.  If she knows she gets a good deal on the rent she can’t really expect to get a good deal on the purchase too unless she thinks you are a mug/vulnerable.  If I had been exploiting someone at full market rent and then there was an option for them to buy it – I like to think I would not screw them on the price.  I’m not sure that makes sense when she’s essentially been exploiting you.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    most workers born elsewhere will not be working in construction

    Exactly – the suggested immigration of more construction workers comes in addition to the existing levels of migration!!!

    What’s more, the industry itself estimates that you need an additional 30,000 workers to build 10,000 homes. But if you bring 30,000 additional workers into the UK, then they need somewhere to live. And if they live ~3 to a home (which is above typical UK density, as mentioned above), then you need to add 10,000 homes to the UK hosting stock on the first day the builders arrive to avoid a worsening of the supply/demand relationship!

    There is no way to build the UK out of a housing shortage using mostly foreign labour and maintaining net immigration across the rest of the economy…unless you want to imitate Dubai and make builders live in tents or Portakabins on site, or temporary barracks miles away.

    I have NFI what the answer is.

    and secondly that construction workers are more likely to be from the EU/EEA than from outside Europe.

    Historically, yes, but t²here’s been a 25-30% decline in EU workers over the last 3-4 years. (Figures are difficult to come by because of the casualisation of the sector). Now there’s no difference between Hungary or Ukraine or Uganda for immigration purposes. Morocco and Turkey are only a few hours drive further than Romania. Some of our Europhile friends who criticise Brexiteer racism seem a bit squeamish about non-EU migrant labour.

    UK construction loses a quarter of its EU-born workforce

    https://www.hbf.co.uk/news/skills-shortfall-home-building-research-workforce-census/

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Several years ago youngsters were mostly encouraged to go to university. This left a huge gap in students going to college to learn a hands on skill, eg plumbing, bricklaying, electricians and builders, roofers and other trades in general. These and mostly other less skilled jobs such as carpet fitters, tilers, gardeners etc. are still looked down on, as ‘lowly’ jobs. My own job as a soft furnisher is semi skilled, yet seen as a non desirable job. When I retire nobody is going to do my type of work as it’s so badly paid and not thought of as  proper employment. I can’t even get a decent curtain fitter, because no youngster will want to train in that type of work, which is hard and badly paid.

    But, all the jobs I’ve mentioned above are needed to create a home.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Ta Poly.  I feel quite conflicted about the whole thing

    she has not been exploiting me tho – I have done this quite willingly

    andrewh
    Free Member

    no youngster will want to train in that type of work, which is hard and badly paid.

    Would they want to if it was hard and well paid?

    As the numbers of people in a job decrease the amount the remaining people can charge will increase (as long as the job is still needed of course) and a new equilibrium will be reached.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    politecameraaction, your logic is so flawed that I don’t know where to begin… it’s like suggesting we can’t let people into the UK to help with NHS staffing because those workers will also need the support of the NHS.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    politecameraaction, your logic is so flawed that I don’t know where to begin… it’s like suggesting we can’t let people into the UK to help with NHS staffing because those workers will also need the support of the NHS.

    It’s not comparable. 100% of people that enter the UK themselves need housing for the duration of their stay. 100% of NHS workers don’t need constant medical attention for the duration of their stay.

    1
    tjagain
    Full Member

    also conveniently forgetting that without immigration we face a falling and aging population

    kelvin
    Full Member

    It is entirely comparable. Construction workers will contribute to building hundreds of homes, not just one… just as a surgeon will operate on hundreds of patients, even if they need some operations themselves. The idea that a construction worker adds to the demand for homes in any way equivalent to what they can add to the supply of homes, is totally flawed.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Construction workers will contribute to building hundreds of homes, not just one…

    Did you read the link with the industry estimate that construction of an additional 10,000 homes requires 30,000 additional workers?

    Net migration to the UK was 685,000 last year, and only 212,000 new homes were completed. The government wants to raise that to 300,000 new homes per annum – which means about 300,000 more skilled construction workers would need to arrive to deliver those 100,000 extra homes? Where are they going to live – and their dependents?

    Blindly and blithely relying on more immigration to fix the problem isn’t gonna work. The only way Gulf States have knocked up so many houses to serve their massive immigration in the last 20 years is by having millions of forced labourers living in barracks as single men and working 6-7 days a week. The UK isn’t going to do that (I hope).

    But since you raised it, how is relying on overseas workers medical workers for the NHS long term staffing needs working out for the NHS and their countries of origin, by the way?

    also conveniently forgetting that without immigration we face a falling and aging population

    Again – the rate of net migration is far, far above the rate by which the UK population is falling. Oxford Uni Migration Observatory sez:

    The UK’s population would grow from 67 million in 2021 to 77 million in 2046, and that net migration would account for 92% of this growth.

    https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/the-impact-of-migration-on-uk-population-growth/

    tjagain
    Full Member

    But since you raised it, how is relying on overseas workers medical workers for the NHS long term staffing needs working out for the NHS and their countries of origin, by the way?

    Ruddy awful since brexit.  No great issue pre brexit.  Its one of the tragedies of brexit that we no longer have access to the surplus nurses in the EU

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Ruddy awful since brexit.  No great issue pre brexit.  Its one of the tragedies of brexit that we no longer have access to the surplus nurses in the EU

    There’s been a massive increase in the number of non-EU foreign care staff in the UK since Brexit – far more than there were ever EU foreign care staff.

    Most newly-registered doctors are educated outside the UK, and very few of them were from the EU before Brexit.

    There has been a massive increase in the number of non-EU foreign nurses in the UK since Brexit. Nurses from outside the EU are being enrolled at twice the peak of EU nurse registration.

    https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/resources/briefings/migration-and-the-health-and-care-workforce/

    It is just not the case that immigration has reduced since Brexit – despite the intentions of Brexiteers. The exact opposite has happened.

    By the way, it is completely nuts that the UK NHS is now mostly reliant on foreign education systems to train enough doctors. Indian and Nigerian taxpayers are subsidising our health service and we are subsidising the Australian and New Zealand health service (to a much smaller degree).

    1
    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    But if you bring 30,000 additional workers into the UK, then they need somewhere to live. And if they live ~3 to a home (which is above typical UK density, as mentioned above), then you need to add 10,000 homes to the UK hosting stock on the first day the builders arrive to avoid a worsening of the supply/demand relationship!

    There is no way to build the UK out of a housing shortage using mostly foreign labour and maintaining net immigration across the rest of the economy…unless you want to imitate Dubai and make builders live in tents or Portakabins on site, or temporary barracks miles away.

    I saw a documentary on this years back; the migrant workers were housed exactly as you say, in tents and temporary ‘Nissan Hut’ type accommodation centres. As long as they had a bar/mess hall on site, and a brothel in the nearest town, they seemed to get along just fine, a few scrapes along the way with language and cultural differences but nothing overly serious.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    As long as they had a bar/mess hall on site, and a brothel in the nearest town

    Are you sure you weren’t watching Deadwood? Did Ian McShane point a six shooter at a cattle rustler at any point? The reality is a bit more dismal than you suggest. But if you are comfortable with forced labourers building your next Wimpey home…

    https://hir.harvard.edu/taken-hostage-in-the-uae/

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/abu-dhabi-happiness-island-misery

    kelvin
    Full Member

    the rate of net migration is far, far above the rate by which the UK population is falling

    The problem isn’t a shrinking population (well not in England anyway) but an aging one. When it comes to construction, an aging workforce is even more of an issue than in other sectors, for obvious physical reasons. Even if immigration overall falls, the need for more migrant workers in construction isn’t going to fall.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    By the way, it is completely nuts that the UK NHS is now mostly reliant on foreign education systems to train enough doctors. Indian and Nigerian taxpayers are subsidising our health service and we are subsidising the Australian and New Zealand health service (to a much smaller degree).

    I quite agree.  Its disgraceful.  However the number of EU nurses we have lost and compared to the number who used to come here brexit is a huge issue and a key reason behind the rise of non EU healthcare recruitment ( but not the only issue and EU nurses coming here is still a sign we do not train enough.)

    doctors is a different issue at least in part – its retention of staff that is the key issue not lack of staff being trained

    1
    dovebiker
    Full Member

    What’s even more barking is solving today’s problems using labour-intensive construction methods that have evolved little in the last 100 years. We should be using high-volume, factory-built modular kits with services pre-installed that can be assembled in days, rather than weeks. OK, it requires a level of precision in terms of groundwork and setting-out that your average Persimmon contractor (other crap house builders also available) would struggle with, but not insurmountable.  The UK suffers an acute lack of skilled trades that dates back decades (we were lobbying the Government in 2002) particularly due to post-war demographics where a huge proportion of the working population will retire soon. Yes, it would require an investment in factories to fabricate these kits, but less insurmountable than finding tens of thousands of skilled trades that don’t exist.

    2
    Blackflag
    Free Member

    Can we now drop the term Big Hitters? Its bloody awful.

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    Re: uk holiday homes…the orthodoxy is to spend the fortnight that the kids are off from school, at some rural idyll.

    So, off they go drive with bikes and tennis rackets, bolted to the wagon.

    Problem is, by the time the parents reach the destination, they’re so shagged out, that they spend their holiday slouching around the rental cottage in a sherry soaked state.

    The bikes, etc never leave the car.

    Simpler if they spent the first week at home.

    Get someone to come round and take care of the cooking, cleaning and childcare.

    Then they can use the remainder of their hollydols more constructively ???

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    @dovebiker: hold on, did you just raise a genuine, viable solution to adding to the UK housing stock? Instead of moaning or picking holes in other’s suggestions? That’s a novelty on this thread! ;)

    PS there might be a big floating accommodion unit that’s back on the market pretty soon. Maybe our friends in Clacton in need to cheaper property would like to try living on that, considering how “luxurious” it was supposed to be.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    Maybe our friends in Clacton in need to cheaper property would like to try living on that, considering how “luxurious” it was supposed to be.

    tbf given a choice of that or parts of jaywick I think I would be voting for that.

    bikesandboots
    Full Member

    I don’t think it can be solved. Complete unsustainable clusterf.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    Are you sure you weren’t watching Deadwood? Did Ian McShane point a six shooter at a cattle rustler at any point?

    Sorry, never watched Deadwood, was it good?

    The reality is a bit more dismal than you suggest. But if you are comfortable with forced labourers building your next Wimpey home…

    I’m not. But these workers weren’t forced; they had travelled abroad of their own volition, lack of work at home, demand for workers abroad that was paying far better, enough to live on and still send a little back to the wife. Like I say wasn’t height of luxury but had sufficient home comforts for them to be living alright.

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    Bear in mind, the govt is going to release a lot of prisoners, early.

    Expect more pressure on housing stock.

    Realistically though, govts of all countries need to address the disparities in housing and employment.

    We live in a knowledge economy. With a decent internet connection, it’s no longer necessary to live cheek by jowl with the coal face.

    Rural Portugal, anyone???

    All the levers of power are in Englands south east.

    Id abandon the Houses of Parliament to the gods of tourism, and relocate govt to brum.

    That, and the national galleries.

    And there’s no point having any strategic infrastructure in London if it succumbs to a rise in sea levels.

    Most recruitment is done online nowadays. There’s simply no need to tie a labour force in one particular area, on the premise that you’ve always got a pool of labour nearby, in case of shortages.

    Maybe STW could relocate to Cumbernauld?

    Cheaper everything, central location=lower production costs.

    1
    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    these workers weren’t forced

    Yes, they are.

    information gathered on the ground from interlocutors and workers in labour camps refer to increasing reports of exploitation of the low and semi-skilled foreign workers … trafficking in persons for labour exploitation is widespread in the UAE and victims of such form of trafficking remain unidentified and cases underreported.

    https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2012/04/united-arab-emirates-un-expert-urges-further-action-protect-victims-trafficking

    Migrant workers comprise the vast majority of the workforce in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait where they effectively fall under the control of employers due to the kafala (sponsorship) system and have few, if any, labour rights.

    https://www.walkfree.org/global-slavery-index/findings/global-findings/

    GLOBAL SLAVERY INDEX / COUNTRY STUDY

    MODERN SLAVERY IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

    Overview

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the second highest prevalence in the Arab States region, and the seventh highest prevalence in the Global Slavery Index. Migrant workers in the UAE are particularly vulnerable under the kafala (sponsorship) system, a restrictive work permit system that ties migrant workers to their employer.1 The system embeds a steep power imbalance by granting employers control over their employees’ lives…

    Prevalence

    The 2023 Global Slavery Index estimates that on any given day in 2021, there were 132,000 individuals living in modern slavery in the UAE. This equates to a prevalence of 13.4 people in modern slavery for every thousand people in the country. The UAE has the second highest prevalence of people in modern slavery of 11 countries in the Arab States region, and the seventh highest prevalence out of 160 countries globally.

    Forced labour

    Forced labour exploitation

    The kafala system is a set of laws and policies that delegate responsibility for migrant workers to employers, including control over their ability to reside in, work, and exit the country.4 Migrant workers cannot access legal protections or leave their employment without facing legal and financial consequences.5 The system exacerbates the employer-worker power imbalance and prevents migrant workers from reporting abuse or exploitation.6

    Migrant workers face risks of forced labour particularly in the construction, domestic work, and service industries under the kafala system.7 Allegations of forced labour occurred in the construction of, and during, the Dubai Expo 2020, with indications that workers from Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Nepal, and Pakistan had their passports confiscated, wages withheld, were forced to work long hours, and lived in poor conditions.

    https://www.walkfree.org/global-slavery-index/country-studies/united-arab-emirates/

    You’re presenting the use of migrant labour on construction projects in the Gulf like some sort of cross between Hi-De-Hi and Auf Wiedesehen Pet based on a documentary you remember seeing. The reality is very different. And it’s not a viable or sensible solution for the UK.

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    The ones you’re quoting are, but I might have mislead, in using the full original quote and you’ve focused on the bit about ‘I hope we aren’t going to mimic Dubai’ – apologies. I was talking more generally about migrant workers and providing on site accommodation, etc., I absolutely hope we don’t mimic Dubai. I’ll be more careful about making sure i read and quote the posts properly to avoid misunderstanding.

    The programmes i saw (it was part of a series) focused on the UK recession in the 80’s and the effect on manual /construction trades at that time,. The workers weren’t ‘forced abroad into labour camps’ in any sense other than economic, and seemed to be generally well treated. It wasn’t luxury, by any means but good enough (to use your analogy, 80’s holiday camp type levels) and in many ways was a good advert for FoM.

    So I’m not averse to allowing migrant labour to get us out of this bind, I’m not averse to providing on site but suitable accommodation that will serve the purpose of both accommodation and also ensuring the migrant workers aren’t fleeced by having to stay in expensive hotels, etc. As long as it’s appropriate, safe, and a choice, etc.

    MrSmith
    Free Member

    Private landlords defend themselves by trying to make out that renting out their second  properties to those that cant afford to buy is some kind of altruistic act, but by far the key beneficiary of that arrangement is the landlord who without much effort continues to make a huge profit on their investment whilst continuing to contribute to why folks can’t afford a place of their own in the first place”

    Huge profit? Don’t think so, it’s probably far better to invest in low risk investments and not deal with tenants and property upkeep.

    I’m an accidental landlord which will only be for 12-14 months. Am renting to a friend for below the market rate by removing the agent percentage. It’s nearly double the mortgage but by the time I factor in the hit on my personal allowance, the service charge, landlord insurance, consent to let fee, updating fire alarms I’ll be in a slight deficit especially if she manages to buy somewhere before I can sell and I’m left with a few months of paying 2 mortgages before it goes on the market.

    I am actually helping her buy as she’s paying below market rate thus saving a little bit more each month.

    The only people making a huge profit are those who have been in the game for decades or have inherited a property.

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