It seems that hardly a day goes by without the news featuring a significant proportion of column space to the ongoing housing crises within the UK. Such a crisis in then only emphasised when we consider a few facts and figures. According statistics referenced by the BBC and CBI only 15,698 affordable homes where built between 2011 and 2012 and with the shortfall of homes expected to be around one million, the crisis doesn’t look set for resolution anytime soon. This is then emphasised by there being a growing social housing waiting list with ever more bloated rental prices, with 1.69 million households upon the list to date and a significant jump in affordable housing rent of 7% to £78.78 per week (Gov.uk 2013).
With such a political hot potato it’s then little wonder that this topic is being weighed up as seriously influential to voting decisions, and as political parties outline their position. We take a look at the effect one such answer to the problem might have on the economy, and upon tradesmen.
A General Election Promise
As political parties continue to go head to head in the run up to the election, one recent announcement by the Tories has added further bolster to their previous promise of 100,000 starter homes for those under 40 and that is their commitment to building a further 200,000 starter homes by 2020.
For the economy, this could specifically mean that the jobs market is boosted, as well as the housing market, as it continues its improvement from the successive dips in value that had been experienced over the previous 5 years. As a drain installation company, or indeed any trade that surrounds the serving or building of homes, such a massive project would indeed provide both work and affluence: always great news following the recent years of relative financial uncertainty.
London, A Mass Housing Development and Drains under pressure
Despite the overall positive effects of such a large housing project, such schemes are not without challenge in the eyes of the tradesmen. J Snow London Drainage, a repairs engineer for some of London borough councils highlighted on the starter home commitment, “this will require particular skill as well as meticulous investigations as city drains are struggling to cope with the growing influx.”
To appreciate this, let us provide a little background: London is known for having one of the older drainage and sewage systems in Europe, indeed, the “great city” was the first to install ‘modern’ sewage, as the region literally steamed ahead during the industrial revolution. These systems very often still stand today, with many parts dating back to installation in the late 19th Century. Needless to say the maintenance costs associated with such a system easily runs into its thousands, even when working within a relatively isolated part of the system.
When we connect new drains, the old ones will then need thorough investigation to establish just what condition the supporting system is in; following this we would either connect the system up, or update the old system so that it could cope with what are to be pretty significant demands.
This then means that any housing development within London would require significant investigations, however a project that will likely emerge if the 200,000 home promise goes ahead, would then prove to be an unprecedented, but welcome, challenge for our team of experts.