Hi everyone 👋,

📝 The Main Bit

In 2017, 13 affordable homes to rent were completed at Maggie’s Farm in Pilton, Somerset, just up from the Glastonbury Festival site adding to the 19 that had been built a few of decades before.  Then on June 15, 2023, former England international and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker visited to officially open the last 20 social rent homes built under a scheme by festival founder Michael Eavis.

The site received land and stone from Worthy Farm and contributions from the Workers Beer Company for dressing the stone.  The total number of affordable homes on the site now stands at 52, bringing much-needed housing options to local working families.  Eavis said this was his proudest achievement in his life, while Lineker praised the initiative as a great solution for the country’s housing issues.

It is an incredibly noble thing to do to gift such large sums of wealth to the local community and the prospect of the properties offering affordable rent in perpetuity to local residents will bring a benefit for as long as the house is standing.

What is social housing?  Six key features of social housing in England include:

  1. Affordable Rents: Social housing rents are typically set at a lower level than those in the private rental sector, making it more accessible to people with limited financial means.
  2. Housing Associations and Local Authorities: Social housing is often provided by housing associations (non-profit organizations) and local authorities (councils).  These entities own and manage the properties, ensuring they are well-maintained and meet certain standards.
  3. Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for social housing, individuals and families must meet specific eligibility criteria, such as low income, local residency requirements, or being in housing need.  The demand for social housing often exceeds the supply, resulting in waiting lists and priority given to those with urgent housing needs.
  4. Security of Tenure: Social housing tenants enjoy more significant security of tenure compared to private renters.  They have the right to stay in their homes if they comply with the terms of their tenancy agreement and fulfil their responsibilities as tenants.
  5. Different Types of Properties: Social housing includes a variety of properties, ranging from single-bedroom flats to larger family homes.  Some social housing developments are integrated into mixed communities, while others are concentrated in specific areas.
  6. Allocation Process: When a social housing property becomes available, it is allocated to a qualified individual or family based on a combination of factors, such as housing needs, priority status, and local connection.

Should every landowner gift land?

I think this comment needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.  Very few people like to give something for nothing.  Particularly because the Endowment Effect creates a bias in people that means we tend to value something we own more highly than something we don’t.  I think Michael Eavis is a bit of an anomaly and the gifting of land is a bit of a standout action.

I have struggled to find a single supporter of this idea on the farming forums, and it is easy to see why.  The cashflow of farming is usually very difficult to maintain year to year so the thought of giving away assets – that may have been in their family for generations – to people who could make their farming operations more difficult by complaining about noise or some other nuisance is very unappealing. 

It could be beneficial for estate planning, inheritance tax or any other number of reasons, or it could completely be a selfless act.

I can’t imagine this ideal being shared from the perspective of other farmers who rely on the land to provide them an income and don’t have other side line businesses such as a world-renowned music festival to source additional income. 

Giving away the land for free seems a very unlikely proposition for people to accept.  But perhaps a different incentive such as leasehold with a ground rent that would bring an income to the farm, or a claw back option if the housing association decided to sell the property in the future would incentivise more landowners. 

There is a solution there to be found that would appeal to landowners and benefit the social housing sector too.  Share your ideas in the comments below.

🕵️‍♂️ Property Glossary

I share definitions each week of words and terms that pop up now and then in the property world and can be confusing.

Gas Safety Record

A document that shows that all gas appliances and installations within a rental property have been checked and are safe to use by a Gas Safe Register Approved Engineer.

It is required by law to obtain this certificate annually and given to tenants before moving in or within 28 days for existing tenants.

Failure is a Criminal Offence and prosecuted under Criminal Law.

Apps I Use

Readwise – I’ve been paying for Readwise since 2021 and gained access to Readwise Reader Beta in 2022 and find it extremely useful for knowledge retention and research. I pass all my email newsletters through it and whenever I get a spare few minutes I can pick up where I last left off without any friction.

If you sign up using the link you’ll get an extra month free (two in total) so you can really test out the software without it costing you a penny. They don’t advertise widely so it is down to word of mouth like this that gets the tool new users. I find it invaluable.

Monzo – Carefully budgeting my spending is fundamental to being able to save towards the build. Monzo has helped me track and itemise spending for years. I now pay for the Premium account which gives me access to extra features and things like airport lounge access, phone insurance, worldwide travel insurance so it practically pays for itself. If you join using this link we’ll both get £5 (which I’ll use towards the build!).

Focus@Will – This app has superpowers. It has the ability to allow me to switch off from a noisy home and get some work done and it seems to work for me in about 5 minutes.

Socials

I’m now on:

Twitter as @Brendan_Burr

Instagram as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Pinterest as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

Snipd for Podcasts @MTBO

Threads as @MeasureTwiceBuildOnce

That’s it for this week, thanks for reading!

Brendan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *