Generation Rent: This campaign group wants to convert the Houses of Parliament into flats and move MPs to Hull

 
Emma Haslett
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How Westminster Palace could look if it were converted into flats - complete with washing lines in the courtyard (Source: Generation Rent)

MPs like to go on about the wonders of austerity, but do they really mean it? A campaign group has challenged the nation's lawmakers to put their money where their mouths are - by selling up the Houses of Parliament.

According to Generation Rent, which campaigns for better rental homes, the taxpayer would save nearly £120m over a five-year parliament if it converted the Palace of Westminster into flats and moved - to Hull.

The group argued that while the average one-bed flat in London costs £1,148, the average home in Hull (which has the cheapest rent in England) is £325 per month.

Based on current numbers, 400 MPs would need to put rent on expenses. Assuming that they pay the median rent for a one-bed... that will cost the taxpayer a mere £1.56m – less than a third of the current rent bill.
The group also reckons Parliament could save £20m a year in employment costs if it moved up north, while creating 5,000 jobs.


(Source: Generation Rent)

To encourage MPs, Generation Rent supporter Jay Morton has even done some mock-ups of layouts that might work. The group reckons government coffers could stand to make up to half a billion pounds by selling Portcullis House, the modern extension of the Houses of Parliament. Giving up the rental of fig trees for that building could also save money - so far they've cost the public purse £400,000 (who knew?).
And because of the number of courtyards in the building, most apartments - Generation Rent envisages mainly three-bedroom maisonettes, created by converting double-height spaces - would be dual-aspect, so fairly light and airy. There would even be two swimming pools for residents, created by filling in the debating chambers. We suppose cold water might be a nice change from hot air...


(Source: Generation Rent)

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