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They know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Issues of home, home loss and compensation in urban regeneration. Lee Crookes Department of.

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Presentation on theme: "They know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Issues of home, home loss and compensation in urban regeneration. Lee Crookes Department of."— Presentation transcript:

1 They know the price of everything but the value of nothing. Issues of home, home loss and compensation in urban regeneration. Lee Crookes Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield

2 My research on Housing Market Renewal (HMR) – The omission of considerations of home from HMR research and policy – The impacts of losing home – Compensation arrangements Valuing home

3 Low-income households continue to subsidise urban regeneration...the funds allocated to relocation are less than 5% of the total cost of clearing and taking the land...The real cost of relocation is very much higher, but is paid in various ways by the people being moved out. Under present conditions, the redevelopment of American cities is economically possible only because of the hidden subsidies provided by the residents for the areas to be cleared (Gans, 1972: 202)

4 Percy Jenkins threatens to jump: what was/is the role of housing studies? Percy Jenkins made a last defiant bid to save his home yesterday…but failed. For four hours he resisted bailiffs and police, council officials and welfare workers. He roared at them from the roof top, threatened to hurl himself from a 30ft high window ledge and barricaded his doors. But in the end, weeping, he had to concede defeat. (Daily Mirror, 1969: 14-15)


6 "A lot of people died after they left Mowbray. It was heart-breaking for the old people. My husband was poorly, and he used to just sit and look out the window. Then before he died he said, 'You must dress me and take me to Mowbray. My Mum and Dad are looking for me, and they can't find me in Mowbray.' Yes, a lot of people died of broken hearts." (Western, 1996: 219)

7 "In seeking a new place to live, the displaced tend to move as short a distance as possible, in an effort to retain existing personal, commercial, and institutional ties and because of the economically and racially biased housing- market constraints they face. What they find usually costs more, has less adequate space, and is of inferior quality. Involuntary residential changes also produce a considerable amount of psychosocial stress, which has been found analogous to the clinical description of grief."(Hartman, 1984: 305-6)

8 My PhD research: surely things have changed? Aims A view of HMR from below Home and attachment to place in HMR areas Taking home and turning meaningful places into spaces Impacts of losing home Methods Ethnographic case- studies of a HMR office and those threatened or affected by HMR Interviews and participant observation of public inquiries

9 Growth in the number of empty houses and low house prices led some to suggest that certain areas in northern England had become disconnected from sub-regional housing markets Assertion was that these places had no value or future Long-term programme to reduce no. of empty homes, raise house prices and create sustainable communities Initial plans to demolish 450,000 houses 31,000 demolitions c.90,000 houses were refurbished Early 2000s: Housing Market Renewal

10 Academics played a major role in the formulation, implementation and review of HMR It is doubtful whether any previous regeneration programme has been developed from a sounder evidence base. (Leather et al, 2007: viii) But….

11 The disappeared …No mention of displacees in the two CLG- funded national evaluations No official data on: – how many households were displaced – where they went – whether they moved to better housing conditions – their new and/or current employment, financial and health circumstances

12 The experience of losing your home Ive had shingles…another neighbour has. One neighbour who was terminally ill said he just wanted to die. He died at Christmas... All the worry is causing serious stress. My husband and I argue much more than we used to. Ive got high blood pressure and I worry morning and night. You have to spend your time throwing up and crying. Fighting it is pointless. Attempted suicide, anxiety-related deaths

13 Hundreds of peoples lives are affected by this CPO...For us, the cost is enormous. It takes us all to breaking point and has broken this community and our spirits. It has cost many people their lives or made their last years a misery. Its very hard to explain what it feels like to have this done to you. People have died fighting alongside me. The NDC strategy did talk about reducing the proportion of elderly and low-income people...I just didnt think they would do it like this. I want to tell this Inquiry about who we were. The personal stress, the individual costs and trauma get overlooked. I want to show the cost in human terms... (evidence to inquiry, 15 January, 2008)

14 Elijah Debnam, Oldham The last time I saw him he suffered three of what I can only assume were panic attacks in an hour. His face kind of crumples up into a heart-breaking mask of pain while theyre happening. They are terrifying to watch, so I cant imagine how they must feel for him. Its the stress that brings them on, he says. (Leeming, 2010).

15 Nothing will compensate me for losing this house. Id sooner them keep the money and leave me here. They can have all the money theyve got. They can have their £300m. Its my house. This house is worth £300m to me. Because I wanted to finish my days here. Itll last, itll last my days, and thats all Im asking. Leave me alone. But they wont. Theyll win...theyll win. But where Im going, I have no idea. Ill probably finish up in a bloody nursing home or some bloody thing. And thats one thing I dread. (Debnam, 2010)

16 Compensation arrangements for CPOs Market value compensation Disturbance allowance (removal costs, solicitors fees etc) Home Loss Payment – established under the provisions of Sections 29 and 30 of the Land Compensation Act 1973, represents an additional sum to reflect and recognise the distress and discomfort of being compelled to move out of your home (DCLG, 2004: 20).

17 The payment to displaced owner-occupiers and tenants is intended to reflect the fact that the acquisition is compulsory and that the market value of a property may not fully reflect the attributes which the owner values on a personal basis (Roots, 1999: 41). In other words, there is an attempt to compensate the owner (and tenants) financially for the loss of subjective, non-market values over and above the cost of the bricks and mortar and land. An element of the harm that arises from the loss of home is, in effect, already recognised in law. This presents a possible opening for developing work to better quantify the various harms of home loss to inform policy on compensation

18 Need to complement our knowledge of rent gaps with work on the subjective premium (Merrill, 1986) of home The subjective premium represents, in effect, the obverse of the rent gap. It is what keeps people in place and what encourages them to defend their right to stay put, even though the market value may be falling.

19 If you cant beat em, join em? Neoliberalism has little time for emotive accounts of displacement In order to understand the overall impact on wellbeing we have to quantify those impacts that are not easily measured – we have to know the price of everything Could make a start by linking compensation to length of residence Since 2011, planning permission is now required for demolition and, in some cases, an EIA Continuing evolution of health/social impact assessment Quality Adjusted Life Years as per medical interventions Wellbeing valuation (HACT/Fujiwara 2013) Legal conceptions of home (see Fox OMahony)

20 Focus on housing but not the value of home Moving the housing problem around whilst failing to recognise the value of home Links to bedroom tax – impact on households wellbeing and wider societal wellbeing Wider social costs of upheaval – Root Shock Right to place (Imbroscio) and the wider right to the city (Lefebvre)

21 Closing thoughts With some exceptions, home is often a place of comforting familiarity that meets a range of basic and more advanced needs One of the principal values of housing studies should be a deeper recognition of the value of home Housing (or home) studies ought to be supporting peoples abilities to access and retain good quality, affordable housing and protect their right to stay put If we cant always support emplacement, then how can we ensure that those displaced are awarded fair and reasonable compensation? Can we only really understand the value of home at the moment of its loss?

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