Living for the city
UK real estate developer U+I is planning to build its compact living mini flats in London. The aim is to construct the 19-to-24 square-metre apartments in blocks across nine inner boroughs in the UK capital as a means of providing affordable housing in the centre of the city.
Compact living town flats would be housed in buildings with shared communal areas and co-working facilities. These apartments would be for rental only and so could not be sold on by speculators.
Prices for the U+I flats would be set at the London Living Rent level which has been designed by the London authorities to offer affordable housing for middle-income Londoners.
According to a Development Economics report commissioned by U+I, five town flat developments sites in each of the nine inner London boroughs could deliver:
Housing for 3,555 more working age adults than typical accommodation on the same sites
An additional £202.5 million of household expenditure per year
1,035 more local jobs
4,770 more homes
“For a new generation of workers in the middle, often working centrally, living in the middle of London has long been a dream,” says U+I deputy chief executive, Richard Upton. “People increasingly want to live, work and play in the same place and we want to develop something that not only re-fills ‘hollow London’, but also brings communities back to life and delivers real social and economic benefits.”
He adds that the company would ideally like to develop sites in association with public sector bodies with unused land. “This could bring additional social benefit to the public sector by generating much needed revenue from the rental income, while retaining ownership of their assets."
The author of the Development Economics report, Stephen Lucas, says: "Our findings show that delivering professionally-managed compact living developments along the lines of those proposed by U+I would lead to an increase in the number of young, working people living in the city centre, significantly boosting the local economy of the surrounding area".