Malthouse backs offsite construction development

Backing comes after the MP’s visit to a modular affordable development in Lambeth.

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The Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister, Kit Malthouse MP, visited a Pocket Living modular affordable development in Lambeth yesterday (7th February), saying: “I applaud their efforts.”

Pocket Living is an affordable housing developer, aiming to utilise modular construction to deliver affordable homes in London “much more quickly”.

All recent Housing Ministers have arranged visits to see a Pocket home early in their tenure.

Upon the Malthouse visit, Pocket Living’s CEO Marc Vlessing showed the MP around the development that includes 70 affordable homes on the edge of the China Walk estate.

Pocket Living currently designs and builds “well designed and affordable” homes for local first-time buyers, with a model to build affordable housing, without public subsidy, sold outright to buyers at a discount to the local market of at least 20%.

The homes “stay affordable” in perpetuity and they are restricted to first-time buyers living or working in the local borough who are eligible for affordable housing (as defined by the Mayor of London).

Following the agreement of a £150m finance agreement in November 2017 with Homes England, the Mayor of London and Lloyds Bank, Pocket Living said that it can begin to commence on plans to build at least 1059 affordable homes by March 2021.

On his visit, Kit Malthouse MP, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “It was fascinating to visit this Pocket Living development which is doing something extraordinary delivering lovely affordable homes in the centre of London for a demographic that would never dream of ownership in this kind of location if it wasn’t for them.

“I applaud their efforts and hope to see them expand in the future.”

Pocket Living CEO Marc Vlessing added: “We are delighted that the Housing Minister is showing a keen interest in what we’re doing and that he shares our vision for taking innovative approaches to disrupt the housing crisis.

“By pioneering innovative techniques, such as modular construction, Pocket is ensuring this dream of homeownership is not out of reach young middle-income Londoners.”

He said: “We aspire to lead the way in the housing sector using modular construction – delivering homes faster, reducing disruption to local communities and increasing the genuinely affordable housing provided.

“Policy makers need to continue to work with the industry to help scale up modern methods of construction and ensure homeownership is a realistic dream for even more citymakers.”

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