Archive for March, 2011

March 9, 2011

Exploring Housing Alternatives

I’m going to explore housing alternatives. Really explore them.

Initially it’s an effort to gain a better understanding of the apparent housing crisis and to get a bigger picture of housing options here in the UK, but I am also going to take a good look at the alternatives to renting or getting mortgaged to the gills.

There are so many different ways of living and a good few interpretations of what a ‘home’ actually is. From council housing to cohousing, cooperatives, squatting, semi-mobile homes, live-in vehicles, self-build, to whatever else I find, I’ll explore as many alternatives as possible. From common supposedly available-to-anyone urban housing to more radical examples of human shelter. I’ll most likely spend my efforts looking into ‘positive’ alternatives but then again I may well touch on homelessness, refugee camps, tent cities, survivalism. My explorations will undoubtedly even take me beyond the northern hemisphere!

You see, with a mortgage you don’t even actually own your home, do you? It belongs to the bank, ultimately. And renting is just topping up someone else’s bank balance or property portfolio, isn’t it? Either of these two most common ways of securing a roof over your head are, for the majority of people, really only paying through the nose to keep bankers and property owners in piles of cash, aren’t they?

So what’s the alternative? Well, we’ll see.

In the meantime, here’s a wee bit more on squatting:

Squatters take over Colonel Gaddafi’s son’s £11m London mansion.

And a bit of post-war, that’s late 1940s, film of squatters protesting housing shortages in Britain: HOME FRONT SQUATTERS.

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