Press release

Press Release: 02 July 2018

Deal struck to deliver 100% genuinely affordable housing scheme in Croydon

London’s fastest growing affordable housing developer Pocket Living and leading housing association Optivo have agreed a deal to deliver a new 100% affordable housing scheme near East Croydon train station. This ground-breaking collaboration will see affordable housing maximised on a site that previously had planning permission to deliver just 12% affordable housing.

The eye-catching development, situated in Addiscombe Grove, will feature 153 affordable homes with three rooftop terraces offering stunning views across south London. The scheme is set to complete in March 2020. Croydon Council’s planning committee gave the development unanimous consent in November 2017. The scheme was supported at planning committee by a passionate first-time buyer who spoke to local councillors about how h/she has grown up in Croydon but been priced out of the local market and how a Pocket home could help her.

Pocket Living, who specialise in creating genuinely affordable homes designed for local first-time buyers on moderate incomes, will have 112 one-bedroom apartments in this exciting 21-storey development. Pocket homes are prioritised for people who already live or work in Croydon. Local housing association Optivo, whose HQ is on High Street, Croydon, will deliver the remaining homes as 41 shared ownership apartments.

Pocket homes are fully space standard compliant and provide an open-plan kitchen/living room, separate king size bedroom, hallway, wet room and ample storage space. The homes stay affordable in perpetuity and they are always restricted to first-time buyers living locally who are eligible for affordable housing (as defined by the Mayor of London). This model allows city makers, London’s hard-working young people on moderate incomes, a route into homeownership.

The development will be delivered using modular construction, a process in which the building is constructed off-site using the same materials and designed to the same codes and high standards as conventionally built facilities, but in a quicker, less disruptive manner. This is Pocket Living's fifth modular development in the Capital.

The deal between Pocket Living and Optivo comes on the back of the Mayor of London’s £25 million finance agreement with Pocket Living to build 1,059 homes, a third of which are expected to be modular. The Mayor of London approved plans for the building on 13 February 2018 and welcomed the scheme’s “bold new approach” to delivering homes for local people.

Marc Vlessing, Pocket Living’s CEO, said: “Pocket Living is proud of its commitment to affordable housing. We chose to partner with Optivo because they share this vision. Where other developers may try to minimise affordable housing delivery, we continue to look for new ways to maximise it.

“Thousands of hard-working young people are currently struggling to gain a foothold on the housing ladder in Croydon. Our development on Addiscombe Grove represents a significant long-term investment in the borough’s affordable housing provision and will provide a range of genuinely affordable homes for local people.”

Paul Hackett, CEO at Optivo, said: “We’re really excited to have signed this deal with Pocket Living and are looking forward to delivering much-needed homes in the borough. At Optivo, we’re passionate about playing our part in tackling the housing crisis. So we’re thrilled to be delivering new homes within this amazing scheme at Addiscombe Grove.”

Joseph Wicking said: “I chose to speak at the planning committee for Addiscombe Grove because I wanted to share the demoralising experience of being a hard-working Londoner with no prospect of buying a home in the Capital. I saw the opportunity to make a difference to my community by speaking directly to Councillors on this issue.

“I’m therefore delighted that this scheme from Pocket Living and Optivo has the green light – it will make a real difference to local Londoners like me who would otherwise have no chance of getting onto the housing ladder.”

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, James Murray said:

“The Mayor is determined to help first-time buyers in London who are struggling to afford a home, so 100 per cent genuinely affordable developments like this play a crucial role. Turning London’s housing crisis around won’t happen overnight, but innovative off-site construction can help deliver the housing we need fast.”