The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has invested £25 million from his Innovation Fund as part of a deal to boost new factory-built affordable homes for first-time buyers in the capital.
Pocket Living will start work on 1,059 one and two-bedroom homes – a third of which will be built offsite – by March 2021.
The one and two-bedroom flats, which will be sold at least 20 per cent cheaper than market sales, are aimed at first-time buyers, who must already live in the borough. The deal also ensures all of the homes will remain affordable for the lifetime of the building.
The funding from the Mayor – all of which will be paid back in full by the end of the next decade – will help finance ongoing site purchases for development. It will enable Pocket Living to increase its rate of delivery of high-density flats on small brownfield sites to provide more genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.
The Mayor believes offsite construction is a valuable tool that should be utilised as part of a range of measures needed to tackle London’s housing crisis, because it means homes can be built more quickly.
He said: “The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing Londoners today and I have been honest from the start that we won’t be able to turn things round overnight. For decades, we have simply not built enough new and affordable homes in the capital, meaning that for too many Londoners the dream of buying their own home is getting further and further out of reach.
“That is why I am working with Pocket Living to build more than a thousand homes for first-time buyers, using the latest offsite construction techniques to provide attractive and affordable homes as quickly as possible. I will continue to use more of my £3.15bn of funding to invest in innovative schemes like this to build the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need.”
Marc Vlessing, CEO of Pocket Living, added: “Our mission has always been to open up the housing market to hard working young Londoners on low to middle incomes by delivering homes they can afford. This growing group is greatly in need of innovative housing solutions.
“City Hall’s support for Pocket is yet another demonstration of the Mayor of London’s commitment to tackling the capital’s housing shortage and increasing the range of affordable housing options.
“We are proud to receive the Mayor’s backing for Pocket Living’s award-winning approach to design and the use of modern methods of construction to help those priced-out and not eligible for social housing to get onto the property ladder. Delivering homes for Londoners means initiatives between the public and private sector are crucial for the capital to thrive in the years ahead.”
The investment will be used alongside £33.5 million of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to build homes on the first set of sites to come forward.