Forget working from home -- why not live in an old office?

By Chris Stein

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Sounds like more gentrification.

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Does it come with asbestos?

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The quality of the materials and equipment, bathrooms, kitchens, floors, paint, doors, etx sounds like it will be the worst because if the investors want a decent ROI and they are proposing low rents or else it must be a government handout for renters or for the investors. I would make a project for the top dollar renters and forget investments with the poor people money in mind.

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In the UK, property management companies have been buying up empty office blocks and converting them into 'rabbit hutches' for the poor. They charge local authorities multi-million pound sums of money to house homeless and impoverished people in them. Converted office blocks do not make good quality accommodation when cheaply converted as they were never designed to be residential. They are prone to mould, decay, concrete cancer and are often badly insulated. Adding multiple bathrooms and kitchens to such buildings is a bad idea. Most conversions squeeze the maximum number of people in that they can. It has become a major scandal in the UK in the last few years.

[Quoting:] Harlow’s Conservative MP, Robert Halfon, wants [squalid] office conversions shut down. 'These landlords are profiting out of human misery. We were supposed to have got rid of this kind of thing in Victorian times,' he says.

He adds that removing planning constraints on office conversions had been an unmitigated disaster. “It has created modern ghettos for the most vulnerable people and led to social cleansing by London councils, who see it as an easy way to ship problems out of their boroughs. The law needs to change urgently.”

[Sources: and 'Private Eye'.]

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The repurposing of buildings is a good thing, if done properly! There are still so many Mori type towers going up though and they really do ruin the atmosphere of the area, as they just seem like soul less ghost towns. I prefer to live in a area that offers an actual real life neighbourhood experience.

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