Why is "affordable housing" ok with a 10 year lifespan?

The government promises 50000 new "affordable housing" flats, and all new builds are built to minimum legal standards which mean that current new builds are only guaranteed to be structurally sound for 10 years.


Why is deemed acceptable to promote “affordable housing” when this is essentially coercing (young) people into seeing good value in a 25 year mortgage to own property which can legally subside or collapse less than half way through the mortgage term.

Why the contribution is important

I am eternally baffled by the concept of demolition, especially if it is to pave the way for "affordable housing”. I am not just saying that old buildings carry the character of the city in a way that new constructions don’t. My feelings are pragmatic.


I am sitting comfortably in my flat, on the 5th floor a '50s Council block, which I have owned for the past 15 years. I sit comfortably in the knowledge, reinforced by visual evidence, that this building will stand for the forseeable.

The current trend, pushed by politicians and developers, is to demolish existing structures to build "affordable housing". As far as I am able to ascertain, each new building in the UK is designed by an architectural practice; planning permission is then granted on this design and, before construction starts, an engineering firm must warrant the design as viable and sound (this phase often can be used as a loophole). Since the properties in question are meant to be “affordable”, they are built at the lower end of the British trend to build everything to minimal legal standards. These minimum legal standards mean that current new builds are only guaranteed to be structurally sound for 10 years, and are built with what I consider to be temporary building materials (including a lot of plastics which I thought we were meant to be steering away from using).

 
My question is why it is deemed acceptable to promote “affordable housing” when this is essentially coercing (young) people into seeing good value in a 25 year mortgage to own property which can legally subside or collapse less than half way through the mortgage term.
 
 
Notes: 
 
I believe that the engineer’s warranty used to be provided by the engineering firm, and was set at 20 years, which I still deemed a bit limited. My recent research has pointed at the fact that the warranty is now managed by companies which appear to be insurance firms. I was unable to find what the governmental legal requirements are, within what I considered to be a reasonable amount of internet trawling.
 
References:
 
Sturgeon’s pledge of 50000 affordable homes: http://goo.gl/VfwMuY
 
Structural insurance 1: http://www.new-homes.co.uk/why-buy-new/customer-protection/
 
Structural insurance 2: http://www.nhbc.co.uk/Warrantiesandcover/Affordablehousingproviders/Affordablehousing-BuildmarkChoice/

by TF on February 20, 2016 at 10:09AM

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