Thursday, May 10, 2012

How the other half live .

I read a shocking article in the Guardian today. The image of London is one of prosperity and wealth. People are getting on with their lives in this vibrant city. You read that London prices are around 25% higher than in the rest of Britain and you put this down to supply and demand. You think that London is such a wonderful and popular place to live and work that paying premium prices must be worth it. But would you want to pay £350 a month to live in a garden shed? No, this is not a joke but it is what is happening all the time in the London borough of Newham. Have these shed dwellers come on hard times? No, they consider themselves to be the lucky ones with their own front door. The alternative for the shed dwellers is to share a room in an overcrowed multiple occupancy house. 

Jyoti, 30, who has an MBA and worked for an American bank before she left India, is good-humoured but politely incredulous at the conditions she has had to put up with since she joined her husband in London. She thinks there are nine people in the house, as well as the family in the back garden. "This many people, I did not expect. When this many people stay together, sharing, obviously there are problems," Jyoti says. 
Most unpleasant is the amount of rubbish the household generates, which never fits into the dustbins, and the rats the litter has attracted. "The dustbin problem is there. The rat problem is there." Her husband pays £520 a month for the room. She has had to take on the bulk of the cleaning in the house because the other tenants (with the exception of a man from Sri Lanka upstairs) don't bother.  

Jyoti feels most sorry for the neighbours in the shed, who tell her the conditions are very poor: it's damp and the drains seem to be seeping upwards, making an unpleasant smell. "There is a problem with the drains here too. They are not set up for the number of people living here," she says. There are only two toilets, which she says, "is not at all enough". She is looking forward to returning to Hyderabad, where the living conditions will be much better. 

...So forget about the flash houses in Kensington and Chelsea, remember that some people can only afford to live in a garden shed or garage. And the rates these people pay are rather high when you consider rents and mortgages in the rest of Britain. So not you know just how the other half in London live and it is rather grim.
And you still dont think there is a problem with immigration in this country Steve??!!!!!!!
It's just like America, welcome everyone to our multicultural capital where people move on to a better life.
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