In the quest for the answer to London's housing crisis one organisation thinks they have a solution for couples and singles. Pocket Housing has been welcomed by some as the answer for couples and singles earning above the limit to qualify for social housing but below the steep cost of flats within the capital. The idea is to build smaller well designed homes suitable for individuals and couples that are available at 20% below market rent.
Voices of concern have been raised about the idea, with people taking issue with the precedent that building homes below the minimum space standards in the UK will set.
Other innovations in this vein include the introduction of flats for singles and couples within shipping containers. This housing style has just moved to London, after originating in Amsterdam and Berlin. Advocates for shipping container homes say speed of installation, cost savings on materials and the capacity to re-use units in new locations make it a serious option for urban housing.
Although both schemes have considerable drawbacks it is interesting to see the range of solutions people are proposing to address specific housing needs. The lack of supply of permanent and temporary affordable housing is a significant issue for both individuals and local authorities.
Schemes of this nature, although useful in addressing a specific need, should not distract from the need for larger and family sized homes within London. With the news today that average price for a detached family home within the capital has broken the £1million mark, the issue has never been more important.
Since the UK already has some of the smallest space standards in Europe for flats, there are those sounding a note of caution about building even smaller. They welcome well-designed homes that young Londoners can afford but they also have serious concerns about building this small.