Imagine owning an apartment in a high-rise building that is suddenly deemed to be a fire trap. Next, you discover that you and all your neighbors will have to pay tens of thousands of pounds each to have the flammable insulation and cladding materials on the outside of the building replaced. You cannot sell the apartment because lenders are refusing to write a mortgage on the apartment. To cap it off, you’re told you have to pay hundreds of pounds a month, in the midst of a global recession — in addition to the mortgage payments and other costs — to cover the costs of round-the-clock fire-patrols to make sure the building you occupy doesn’t suddenly go up in flames.
This nightmare scenario is becoming increasingly common for leaseholders of apartments in the UK. Following the deaths of 72 people in the fire on June 14, 2017, at the 24-story Grenfell Tower in London that had been fitted with highly flammable insulation and cladding, similar materials have been uncovered at thousands of towers across the UK. Owners of flats in smaller buildings have also had their lives upended because their blocks were built with unknown or dangerous materials.
The new building fire safety rules and regulations that came into effect after the Grenfell fire, while largely welcome albeit decades too late, have sparked a host of unintended consequences for the UK’s apartment market.
Mortgage lenders have refused to offer loans for any properties in high-rise buildings that have been flagged as firetraps or have yet to be inspected but could prove to be firetraps. As a result, the vast majority of the UK’s high-rise apartments, which sit at the bottom of the property ladder, are for the present moment impossible to sell or buy.
So far, the only people who have paid a high price for the fire — besides the victims, their relatives, and the survivors, some of whom were still waiting for permanent rehousing three years after the fire — are the millions of leaseholders who, through no fault of their own, are now trapped in financial limbo. And many of them are trapped in buildings that are dangerous.
And here I am, thinking that the ones who did the crime should pay for it.
“More Christian delusions, that the superstitious can keep to themselves,” sayeth Our Betters.
Also, keep an eye on those “unintended consequences”. Caesar doesn’t know your situation, and he has precious little concern about the follow-up consequences of his actions.
He just wants to look as if he cares, and that he is in control of all things.
You know the problems your community shares, and your neighbours know too.
Time to get together and plan out how you’re going to change things.
“If Christians don’t take the lead… who will?”
If Christians don’t act, rest assured, there will be alternatives who do.
As those who take responsibility rightfully gain authority, they won’t be looking very kindly on those who just couldn’t be bothered to fight for what’s right.