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what is wrong with empty buildings being used by immigrants.

(32 Posts)
treesntrees Tue 03-Feb-15 20:51:53

Aibu to think that it is better for an area if empty houses, shops and other buildings are rented by immigrants rather than being boarded up. I live in an area where this has happened and I often hear negative views expressed about this by people I like. My usual response is to ask if they preferred it when most of the shops were boarded up and there were streets of boarded up houses. Their replies are usually "Wellll No"
Todays offering was in response to the possibility of a community building being taken out of use. These very likable people were worried that an African church would take over. What is wrong with a church paying rent to use a building which would likely otherwise be boarded up. If it is used as a church several dozen families dressed in their best will be using the building most days in the week rather than the worse elements in the area using it as a drug den and making trouble for the neighbourhood. The building is surrounded by car parks at the back so no obstructions caused by parked cars.

26Point2Miles Tue 03-Feb-15 22:54:54

Maybe the owner has to pay to refurbish it and keep it up to scratch.... Maybe he can't afford it or hasn't got the time?

Churches need licences/permission etc.. You can't just let churches spring up anywhere!

treesntrees Wed 04-Feb-15 19:37:47

26 it is a council owned property and it is being closed as part of cost cutting which is why I think it being used for a church is better than it being boarded up and left to rot. I did wonder if licences were needed to open churches but judging by the number opening in this area it is not hard to do. However your comment doesn't answer my thread as I was using the community building as an example of short sighted thinking.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Wed 04-Feb-15 19:43:28

The trouble with renting is that a property has to be of a minimum standard.

This costs money, it sounds like a good amount of land and with the right planning permission it can be sold on to private investors.

Nolim Wed 04-Feb-15 19:52:17

I am sure you didnt mean to be ofensive op but just by reading the name of this post it seems you are using the word immigrant in a derogative maner.

Tinks42 Wed 04-Feb-15 19:59:16

Im also not sure what you are on about? Someone owns a property whether it be the council or private. It's up to them whether they let it. If however we say that every single property that is boarded up be allowed to be used by the homeless or maybe a secular group, that can bring great amounts of problems. It's also not actually going to enhance the area is it. I for one don't want squatters living next door to me. They aren't going to renovate the place are they.

fairyella Wed 04-Feb-15 20:00:41

But to rent a building it has to be in a fit state to rent (fire escapes, and such like). It also has to have insurance covering any use it's going to be used for.

It also needs to be approved, in planning terms, for the use it's going to be used for. For example, noise considerations or parking congestion impacts on the neighbours of said building.

It sounds simplistic to suggest that empty buildings should be used for different activities, but the reality of what you're asking for is very different. Sorry, YABU.

Tinks42 Wed 04-Feb-15 20:00:42

Apologies... didnt mean "someone" meant the property is "owned"

26Point2Miles Wed 04-Feb-15 20:03:41

Er, it's not my job to 'answer your thread'!! You posted in aibu not for answers?


Tinks42 Wed 04-Feb-15 20:07:17


Who has the "short sighted" thinking ability here.

WorraLiberty Wed 04-Feb-15 20:08:45

Well you'd have to ask the owners of the houses, shops and buildings what they think.

Can they afford to do the place up, get it up to legal standard and rent it out?

I'm sure if they could, they probably would.

I'm not sure why your thread is aimed at immigrants in particular, rather than just homeless people in general though.

But yes it would be nice if properties didn't go to waste.

redrubyindigo Wed 04-Feb-15 20:11:18


I had that exact same thought. Soon changed my mind though when it happened. It was a living bloody hell.

Think sofas tossed over balconies into the street and having shit thrown at you when you leave your house, food left to rot in black bags in the hallways and doorways being blocked by hoodies so you cannot enter your own flat.

I left the area thank god after I left Uni. Would never go back to that shithole.

Yep. I thought they would be happy to have a safe clean home and I helped to campaign for it.

I wish you luck.

fairyella Wed 04-Feb-15 20:12:22

Oh, apart from the "fit state of repair", insurance, planning permission for intended use and impact on local residents/commercial units, I also forgot to mention the point that these buildings are owned by someone.

They may be saving to pay for one or all of the above, have designs for alternative use being made up, waiting on planning permissions, just want to close it up for no reason at at all, waiting for a new tenant to sign, marketing for a new tenant... or something else - but that doesn't mean they can't do what they like with their property.

So the idea of just offering the units up to "immigrants" (!) to use for any and all purpose that they deem adding value to the neighbourhood isn't workable - we have robust property ownership laws in this country, which we should all be very proud of!

HappyAgainOneDay Wed 04-Feb-15 20:14:14

What about people who've been on council lists for years waiting for somewhere to live? And there are plenty of people in homeless shelters - Salvation Army, Crisis, Shelter, Women's Aid.....

sliceofsoup Wed 04-Feb-15 20:20:22

OP who is against the African church renting the building?

spandangled Wed 04-Feb-15 20:26:35

I don't think it's stupid. I've been thinking about this a lot of late. I live in a city where there seem to be a lot of homeless people, and with the weather as it is, I find it hard to walk past them each morning.

However, a VAST amount of office space in this city, sits empty. Office space where the landlord is liable for 100% business rates. Much of this office space has all the facilities you would find at work; toilets, kitchen and so forth.

Charities, receive 80% rate relief and a further discretionary 20% rate relief can be applied dependent on the council. Therefore saving the landlord thousands of pounds if the space is occupied for a charity. That charity could be a homeless charity, they could even ask for 50% of the rates from the landlord with part being a donation, part being the business rates they are liable for, saving the landlord 50% and generating money for charitable purposes within that space.

I know there are a million and one questions linked to this and it isn't straightforward; how it is managed or 'policed', how the spaces are maintained, what it does to a neighbourhood or a potential rental, but that said we are (through my employer) regularly asked to notify the police of hotspots of homeless people as it's perceived somewhere to be a blight on society and actually I find it a greater waste of public money and services to move people on who have no where to move on to, for the sake of public perception, rather than find them a solution which may see them integrate back into society which is where they want them to be.

SavoyCabbage Wed 04-Feb-15 20:32:45

I'm an immigrant and I say immigrant to describe my status. I am one, it's not shameful to have moved from another country.

Yesterday I couldn't find a vegetable I was buying on the self scanner till so I had to ask what it was called. He told me and I laughed at the bizarre name and told him I was an immigrant.

Tinks42 Wed 04-Feb-15 20:39:49

Im really not sure if this is a "helpful" word to be fair. It's a "label" and they are not at all beneficial to anyone.

Nolim Wed 04-Feb-15 20:42:59

Savoy i am an immigrant as well but sometimes i describe myself as an expat because the word immigrant has negative connotations. Case in point: this post.

redrubyindigo Wed 04-Feb-15 20:45:34

I understand and can empathise with all the above posts but..........anyone homeless person taking on a flat/bedsit in an empty property with all facilities should understand they now live in a community.

This involves:

Noise control
Putting out rubbish
Keeping the communal areas clean and tidy
Respecting neighbours
No drugs/alcohol abuse in communal areas

etc, etc

as a norm. Not for the council to sort out or neighbourhood watch.

Don't be hurt, angry and upset if the locals are against you and want you to leave if you are a neighbour from hell.

Believe me. I have been there and cried every night for six months in one flat I lived in with thoughtless wankers as neighbours.

Think booming music till the early hours every night. They didn't have to get up to work and many other reasons I listed up above.

I so pity the people who cannot leave that situation. I was there as a student and got out asap.

Tinks42 Wed 04-Feb-15 20:46:40


Why can't people just say where the come from? Its not a problem. To group everything together is rather wrong.

Also, it would, I hope be on an individual case. Mass opening of buildings would be madness.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Feb-15 20:58:31

Empty places and homeless people is a crying shame.

Who are the "they" who were not grateful for a roof and throwing shit at people? Were "they" a big group of immigrants or homeless people? Did they get together to form a committee for throwing shit and inappropriate use of sofas? Cos I'm failing to understand how the actions of individuals mean anyone can speak about how appropriate it is to house the socially vulnerable.

OutsSelf Wed 04-Feb-15 21:04:00

Yes! Robust property laws! Cos if you can't afford a home or suffer long term illness or have a mental health crisis or left your country in fear of your life or ran away from an abusive family you don't deserve a house! Fuck you! We have Property Laws!

fairyella Wed 04-Feb-15 21:06:19

Um, OutsSelf I didn't say any of that.

I meant robust property laws as in we have relatively little legal corruption, good land ownership records etc. relative to some jurisdictions across the world.


OutsSelf Wed 04-Feb-15 21:10:28

Well your stance that you can't let anyone just use property out with current structures and law which protects ownership as capital amounts to fuck off homeless people

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