Press Release: 16 March 2017
Innovative development unveiled as Camden gets a brand new stock of affordable homes
London’s fastest growing affordable home builder Pocket has today unveiled the completed Willingham Terrace development in Camden.
The development of 18 affordable apartments in Zone 2, is just minutes from Kentish Town station. The site, formerly disused council garages associated with anti-social behaviour, has now been transformed into a brand new three storey building containing 18 Pocket one bedroom flats, with a brick, metal, timber and glazed façade.
All 18 apartments have been reserved for first time buyers who live or work in Camden, offered at a price point of 20% less than the local market average – having been sold for £315,000. Potential buyers must also have a household income under the Mayor of London’s affordable housing threshold.
On average, the buyers at Pocket’s Willingham Terrace development earn around £47,000 and are just 30 years old. They are all local residents of Camden – a third of which also work in the borough – with an eclectic mix of buyers from the both the public and private sector. A third of the flats were bought by local teachers.
Pocket homes make a real addition to London’s affordable housing stock as the next buyer must also meet the same income eligibility criteria. One of Pocket's most striking distinctions is that buyers own 100% of their home, this differs from more complicated shared equity schemes.
Camden Council sold the land to Pocket for the new development, reinvesting money raised from the sale into building council homes and affordable housing through its Community Investment Programme. The money will also finance repairs to current council housing.
Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council, Councillor Patricia Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing and Deputy Leader and Councillor Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport & Planning were given a tour of the Willingham Terrace development today [16th March], which was built without public subsidy from Camden Council.
Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing at Camden Council, said: “We welcome this type of innovation from developers that can help people working in key professions in Camden to buy their first home here. We’re clear that a true range of housing is needed to keep Camden’s mixed communities together, so we’re building the first council housing in a generation and homes at an intermediate rent to assist residents on low and middle incomes who cannot afford the high prices in the private market .”
Sarah, teacher and prospective first time buyer at Willingham Terrace:
“My dream of owning a home is now reality and I am hugely grateful to Pocket for providing me with this opportunity.”
“As a teacher on a modest income I can’t imagine I would have been able to get on the housing ladder in the current climate without them.”
Pocket CEO Marc Vlessing said:
“Willingham Terrace gives young thirty-somethings on middle incomes – the beating heart of our local and national economy – the rare chance to own their home in Inner London.”
“We are thankful for Camden Council’s support in delivering these vital affordable homes for this borough, and will continue to work with the council to find innovative ways to deliver the dream of home ownership for hopeful first time buyers.”
Pocket has doubled its development pipeline year-on-year since 2013 and the ambition is to complete 4,000 homes by 2023. The company is currently operating in seven boroughs and working with over half of the capital’s local authorities.
Pocket currently has developments in Hackney, Haringey, Lewisham and Lambeth (among other boroughs).