Student halls for all? That's not the answer to Britain’s housing crisis | Rhik Samadder


Due to a lack of affordable housing, a new report suggests childless millennials should be offered living spaces that comprise a small bedroom with shower, plus shared kitchens and living areas. The report points to “co-living communities” already springing up in London, New York and Beijing, which make it “easier for people to interact with each other”. Let’s call a spade a tool for digging our graves. What they are talking about is living in student halls. For the rest of your days.

When you’re young, dorm life can be thrilling. Listening to the pound of house music through plasterboard walls, battling for space on the kitchen hob like it’s Iwo Jima. A part of growing up. But that is the crucial aspect. No one should be sentenced to live like this once they no longer have their photo on their travel card. If normal-sized homes will in future be offered only to couples with babies, it is hard to not consider it a punishment for the childless. The idea could be a sticking plaster for the housing crisis, but a pint of vodka and Red Bull for the overpopulation crisis.

Part of why this would be so nightmarish is the age range of millennials now, some of whom are in their early 20s, happily surviving on hummus and tequila. Others are nearing 40, but still, economically, in the same boat. They will not want to live surrounded by kids, none of whom are even their own. For these crotchety, ancient millennials, life may be what happens while you’re busy making other plans, but death is what happens while you’re trying to figure out Instagram Stories. The prospect is enough to make them want to stick a large portion of chips in the oven. But they won’t be able to, because there are five pizzas in there already, and a three-hour wait.

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