Stephen likened our approach to a not-for profit Community Interest Company called Naked House. They were part of the Urban Community Land Trust family and, like us, were responding to the need of families who don’t qualify for social housing but are unable to afford a home on the open market.
In 2015 they won a competition by New London Architecture partnering with Enfield Council to produce a scheme as one way of solving the housing crisis. Their scheme involved repurposing Enfield Council land to create 22 new units across three sites.
They would be a developer led custom build initiative providing ‘naked’ homes, houses stripped back to bare essentials: habitable with electricity, heating and a basic bathroom but also planning and building regulation compliant and purchasable with a high street mortgage.
We had heard of Naked House and in fact earlier in the year invited the founders over to dinner. At the time they helped us understand some of the challenges they were facing.
To make the houses affordable (apart from the ‘naked’ element) they were looking at a leasehold/ground rent model with Enfield Council. This was proving difficult not least because the Government were planning to ban ground rents due to abuses of the system.
They have since been enormously successful and are currently building the 22 homes in Enfield and are working with Lewisham and Croydon Councils to do something similar. They were the first community led housing group to receive funding from City Hall.
Homes will be delivered as an affordable discounted market sale product (anticipated between 25-30%) and the discount will be locked in to keep the property affordable in perpetuity for allocation to those priced out of the market. The lowest cost homes will be genuinely affordable to those on London median wage, whilst those with an income up to £90k are eligible to apply.