HomeThe house famine and how to relieve itPagina 34

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sanitation and rural sites, with correspondingly low rates, the expendi­ §
i ture is found to drop to a minimum, so that the rents charged may
§ be lowered below those charged for the same accommodation by the
E private speculator-shall a profit be made? Should the local
l authority approximate the rent it charges to that charged by private
enterprizeP It provides a better dwelling, more sanitary, and on a ii _
better site; may it not charge just suflicient to raise the price to {
li that charged for houses of similar size, but of less quality, erected J
l. by the speculator? The ratepayers, it will be argued, bear the risk, {
l and only a section of the community beneüts, and that section the
privileged working­class. The answer to all these arguments is W
obvious. If the ratepayers bear the risk, they reap the benefit also
il of a more sanitary locality, a lowered death-rate, and much less
chance of epidemics. The poor may be crowded into one small ä
area of a town; but if contagious disease arises, the pathogenic g
l germs cannot be kept within the same limits, and are no respecters *
of persons. If capital is supplied on the public credit the invest-
gp ment is a good one, and under the conditions named, an absolutely
safe one. And besides, those who live in the houses are themselves ,
l ratepayers. Then again, chance of letting the dwellings becomes l
E greater as the rent is lowered. A public authority should aim at
providing the best possible accommodation for all its citizens at the .
r cost price, not in any way attempting to make so­called profits. ‘
g In the above remarks it has been assumed that the sinking fund,
i which is included with the intere_st, and which greatly decreases as-
the period of loan is lengthened, was included in the rent charged
to tenants. This sum should be counted as a profit, and should be
· allowed for in paying the rents, in the shorter loans at least, other- ,
wise the tenants are actually buying for the municipality the cottages
which they live in ; and, in the case of a thirty years’ loan at 3 per ‘ `
J cent., a tenant who lives in a dwelling rented at 7s. 6d. per week, is i
paying more than lf 6 per annum to the local authority towards the
purchase of his house, which is built to last a hundred years at least.
Should his rent remain the same for the next seventy years, the
ratepayers will continue to receive this grant­in­aid to local rates
made out of the earnings of the working­classes. It is only fair that
i after ample allowances have been made for all outgoings and risks, _
that the sinking fund should be paid out of the rates, and such j
a course would at once greatly assist and simplify the housing
problem. 1 1
II.-How Should Rents be Fixed? J
In dealing with the question of the " rents " to be paid for given '
dwellings it is necessary to analyse the factors that make up such .
` charges. These may be classilied under two heads :
(1) Interest 012 Capztal Ozttiay am! Sziz/ëzäzg Fzmd for-- `§
5 (rz) Cost of site.
Z (b) Cost of roads, sewers, etc. 2
, (c) Cost of building. ,
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