Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com

20 May

Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com.

this one tells of how public housing is so starved of funds many repairs are not done and the housing has deteriorated. new york has controlled rents kept so keeping rents artificially  very low. for those of you who want more public housing, this is a cautionary tale. london used to have this problem, too, but with the bill to allow residents to buy their flat, at a discount, many of these housing estates were able to get their repairs paid for by those who bought, and finally allow the council to undertake the huge task of bringing them up to scratch.

my case in point is this flat i bought in 1991. the estate was very run down, and council was only able to start the repairs when about half the flats were sold, so that the repair bill can be part paid by the leaseholders.

i recall my share of the bill for a 2bd room flat was £20,000 . that was in 1998. without this contribution the buildings would never be renovated. i knew of this bill before i bought the flat in 1991, so was able to budget for it.

the cleaning of the walls revealed lovely red bricks where previously it was black. so that was a nice surprise. but what i want to say is public housing is all very well, but there must be an element of a sinking fund in the rent charged… and ring fence that fund so that future councils wont be tempted to raid it and spent on other things.

at the moment, london has this policy about rents for council flats , that it must be 80% of commercial rents in the area. a lot of people complain that it is not right, but u can see if it is too low, than there is future trouble ahead when the place gets very run down. at the moment it is about £850 a month for a 3bed flat, £650 a month for a 2bed in this area, rather similar to the public housing rent given in that article in new york. (i think these figures are not normal. my examples are from two pensioners living in their homes for a long time so they do get a discount.)

it is not related to income,(unlike in new york, where it is 30% of income which means one neighbour can pay significantly higher than another living next door;

here in uk if u are low income, u get it all paid for by housing benefits. but the govt is bringing in a cap on benefits so that is why so many are having trouble living in london. unless they work, when the cap does not apply. hence u see so many previous households on benefits where no one works now have one working.

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