HomeThe house famine and how to relieve itPagina 35

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(2) T/Wwkzäzg Evpeïzses-
(a) Repairs.
(b) Management and Sundries. _
(0) Rates, Taxes and Insurance. U
{ · ,It will thus be seen that " rents" are based upon several factors
, which are all of the most variable nature ; that under class (1) there
{ is greater possibility of variation than under class (2). It will also
be seen how greatly the cost and, in part, the working expenses can
I be lowered 1f the scheme is going to be a rural one. In this case,
‘ other things being equal, there would be a great reduction in the
following items :
ä Cost of Site (large gardens at cheap rate) ;
x Cost of Roads, Sewers, etc. (sewers not necessary and roads far
i less expensive) ;
( Cost of Building (wages less high) ;
{ _ Rates, Taxes and Insurance (especially in rates, which form
about one-third total rent).
Our object being to lix the rent at as low a figure as possible, it is
_ obv1ous that the three points of real importance are :
‘ (1) the lowering of the rate of interest ;
(2) the lengthening of loan ;
(3) the carrying out of the scheme in rural districts.
_ With such shifting ground to go upon it is a matter of immense
, diliiculty to so üx the rents that all the working classes can pay
J them; mdeed it must be acknowledged from the outset that the
* subsistence wage of the poor unskilled worker is not sulïicient to
· allow him to pay the mere interest on the bricks and mortar that
must form h1s dwelling. Under present circumstances it is absolutely
mipossible to house the very poor, and it is certain that the raising
of the standard of building and the enforcement of structural sanita-
tion, by Model Bye­I..aws, etc., have, while making the houses more
habitable, added considerably to the overcrowding of the poor.
3 Every act of the sanitary reformer will make this problem of hous1ng
§ . the very poor more acute. The lowest classes cannot afford to pay
any interest at all or any sinking fund, and the community may find
Q lt more profitable to house these people at a merely nominal sum
I than to allow the present wasteful system to continue-a system
that destroys health and life, and also demands that worst form of all
. help, mb., poor relief. In the meantime the work of the Socialist
_ must aim at underbidding, as far as possible, the private house ‘
speculator and at the same time raising the quality of the accommo-
,, dation and fixing the rent at such a sum as to cover the gross outlay
less the sinking fund. In this way the rents may still be higher §
, than is desirable, but the municipal tenant is getting the matter more
2 into his own hands. He has, at least, some lixity of rent and has '
3 every reason to believe that it will become lower in the future,
, whereasbunder private management it was at iirst low but became _
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