Multiply a city’s social (and private) housing without cost
“#RORH” (Residents’ Own Redevelopment to Higher Density)
1) Idea from Oxford economist Vermeulen – supported by local YIMBY:
“A city could triple its housing stock without using any new space.” (read) > https://tinyurl.com/ych3yph8
Vermeulen (apparently a Dutch graduate student, at the time in Oxford, constrained to tight living quarters ..) had the idea but imagined using compulsory purchase. CityVoice is 100% opposed to compulsory purchase (why? see https://www.cityvoice.co/nppf-response-upend-the-system ).
CV proposes this be done entirely by 100% consent of all the owners. (Not as mad as many will want to say it sounds – once they calculate the potential improvements/ profits..)
2) The proposal would work for districts of a city in which:
(a) there is low density;
(b) buildings are old, not highly distinguished, and could reasonably be replaced;
(c) value is high due to high demand for space and location; and
(d) owners can be attracted by big financial gain, pride, and .. better homes.
3) Residents of a street (or even district) get together and re-plan their own property to higher density.
4) For you to get the easy, quick and delightful education that I have absorbed on the key question – namely how higher density can be beautiful if properly designed – please see and enjoy all of dev.createstreets.com/ – and all tweets by @createstreets. (4)
5) The rebuild takes place in rotating stages: of a group of say 30 buildings, say e.g. 4 units are rebuilt at a time – owners move out, and back in to their section of the new property, over only a short period.
6) The owners earn significant profit and a new and better home. The city can negotiate proportions of social housing in the expanded number of units.
7) (Some variables:)
Vermeulen (1) estimated: “A two-storey house built 100 years ago, now in deteriorated condition or even subdivided, might house, say, (4?) people.” A brilliantly-designed new residential or mixed building on the same site might house – say? – 16? We can set up a numerical framework with variables to apply to all individual cases.
(Let’s name some initial variables, so the maths can be discused and compared in each case:)
Residential Expansion Factor: e.g. if 4 units become 16: REF = 4.
REF must provide: – for existing owners: [Bigger home, and/or] Owners’ Profit = OP £/sq ft
– for house seekers: toppling of exorbitant house prices (Vermeulen referred to the ‘Oxford Housing Price Premium’); Price/resident = PR £
– for key workers: built Social Housing as Percentage of total built area = SHP %
– for all: new, pleasant, car-limiting open layout, options for more pleasant access
(e.g., cars underground or far from people, bikes from cars, open space and facilities, streams, etc.
Pre-SHP value appreciation = PVA%. Post-SHP VA (Owners’ final return ‘post SHP’) = FVA%
For each project, e.g., we do the maths for all the variables – giving high/low OVA, SHP – etc., etc. )
8) THIS CONCEPT gives a city opportunities:
1) Create a great world-class new district, increasing owners’ and the city’s status.
2) Provide large quantities of social housing/ expand total housing stock, of whatever type.
9) Name of the concept: #ResidentsOwnRedevelopmentToHigherDensity.
Acronym [to speed adoption] #RORH
10) The current owners/residents get ALL the profit, own and approve the design and building.
(i) Central ‘Providers of Beauty and Convenience’ (might even be the local planning team !) provide owners with:
– a streetscape design framework of, potentially, world-class quality … which all agree is good …
(ii) Whole areas are rebuilt (only if ALL owners consent), within the framework; work is staggered by parts –
people move out of the old into the new as it grows (Step Redevelopment = ‘SR’).
(iii) In principle, development happens only if every owner agrees. Consent of all owners is likely IF, from it, they get:
(a) relocation in the same place with more comfort; near-zero inconvenience;
(b) an improved environment – if they see that the future result is something they will like, and be proud to be part of (beautiful, functional, elegant, innovative, historic); and if
(c) it makes them a handsome profit.
In practice, if some are ‘holdouts’, fill-in of parts is still OK. Site www.CapX.co says: “Bloomsbury was built like this – Master plan prepared, and site owners filled in their parts one by one.” (People still like Bloomsbury..)
11) Owners’ consent is 100% of the idea. Local and district master plans would be locally prepared, agreed.
12) This is an architectural project which also alleviates shortage of housing; and an economic one: to benefit existing owners.
And gives a chance to redesign whole districts.
It’s ARX, social and ECON. It is a mix of motives and mechanisms – thrice blessed, indeed, because mobilizes so many juices at once.
But CityVoice would like to see any plan to redesign a street or district be only of the very highest, most inspring, talent and quality.
— This should come before all: Very careful consideration of what will really be breathtakingly beautiful and beautifully functional. And only by consent of every owner.
(1) Vermeulen: “City could triple its housing stock without using any new space“: https://tinyurl.com/ych3yph8
(2) “Govt missing opportunities to solve the housing problem” > https://tinyurl.com/ycufppmz
(3) Yimby article, on CapX.co: > https://tinyurl.com/ycwj82uc
(4) The @CreateStreets manifesto book: dev.createstreets.com/
The @LondonYimby manifesto-book (inlcudes lots of careful thought about detail of how to do it): https://tinyurl.com/yd3yy3ac