Micro-homes could solve London's housing crisis
January 31, 2019 - London
A think tank is suggesting that micro-homes could be the answer to London’s shortage of available homes for first time buyers.
The right-leaning Adam Smith Institute says current design and ‘liveability’ requirements for new homes should be kept but floor space requirements should be radically altered to allow what it calls “a new wave of innovative development.”
The think-tank’s suggestion is that the upcoming Greater London Assembly’s London Plan should remove minimum space requirements for co-living units and micro-homes, while retaining the requirement that they are “appropriately sized to be comfortable and functional for a tenant’s needs.”
The institute’s definition of micro-homes says they are “purpose designed flats with floor space below 37s square metres that make innovative use of space to expand choice available to many Londoners open to living in smaller, but more personal and private apartments.”
It stresses that micro-housing is not the same as cramped sub-division of existing units, but instead “smart, modern, custom designed units that make good use of space which have won prestigious architectural awards. Micro-housing is often accompanied by communal amenities such as games rooms and open living spaces that help address loneliness.”
The call is prompted by statistics drawn up by the institute, which suggest that London’s average house price is now five times higher than 50 years ago, and that in the past 20 years the capital’s population has grown by 25% while its housing stock has increased only 15%.
It claims that by 2025 some 3.5m Londoners will be living in rented housing, with 79% of adults moving to London in the last year renting; on average about one-third of a London resident’s income is spent on housing, up from a fifth just 15 years ago.
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Photo: Brian Flaherty (Domino Loft)
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