TfL is Working on Tiny, Affordable Homes in London

By Holly Brockwell on at

Transport for London has announced a partnership with 'starter homes for city makers' company Pocket Living, in order to create a swathe of "100% genuinely affordable homes" in London.

The downside, of course, is that they're miniscule.

TfL owns lots of land, and will be building 125 homes on it which will then apparently be sold "at a discount from the open market value" (usually 20% with Pocket Living's other properties) with priority given to first-time buyers and people who already live or work in that London borough.

TfL says in the announcement:

"Pocket homes are targeted specifically at local singles and couples, who earn too much to qualify for social housing, but are priced out of the open market. Pocket buyers own 100% of their property from day one.

In the future when Pocket homes are sold on, new purchasers must meet the original criteria and have a household income below the Mayor of London's affordable housing threshold."

Don't get too excited, though. If you qualify in terms of finances and location, you'll still need to be OK with living in 38 square metres: appropriately about the size of a tube carriage, as Londonist points out. That means no pets, no kids and no possessions, really – you're not going to have a lot of storage space.

On the positive side, Pocket Living says their small homes are better designed than bigger ones. CEO Marc Vlessing told the Guardian in 2013:

"There are an awful lot of developers out there who do very shoddy work. I can show you a 500sq ft flat that would be more space standard compliant which, if badly designed, you would not want to live in, but can show you a 400sq ft flat in which you would."

Pocket Living says buyers must earn below £90k, with their average buyer earning around £40k. Even so, they say they're "normally oversubscribed by up to 10 buyers for each home," at which point they essentially run a lottery.

We don't have any info yet on where TfL's versions of pocket homes will be, but presumably the transport links will be top-notch.

Main image: Pocket Living