For building new homes, certain regulations were introduced to include affordable housing. This proved a problem for the up-market property developers aiming to attract the wealthy buyers who did not wish to mingle with the less affluent.
So the solution was to design apartment blocks in a way that the rich and the poor were segregated. What has been termed "poor doors" and "poor floors" have been introduced and facilities such as courtyards, communal lounges and roof gardens divided. Separate entrances, lifts and stairs were installed to keep the wealthier and the less wealthy residents apart. Technology allows developers to control which parts of new buildings people have access to. In many tenure-split blocks, access to certain floors is via a key-code, which prevents movement between levels.
One vast £1bn Convoys Wharf development in Deptford, south-east London, will have different entrances for residents paying London affordable rents – those on social housing waiting lists – and for slightly better-off households buying into shared ownership. The most common form of segregation, however, is the tenure-specific block. West London’s Ealing council, with Malaysian developer EcoWorld, is planning six towers with nearly 200 affordable homes confined to two blocks.