Recent News

Towards a community of practice: notes from a London Local Authority roundtable

Alternative housing, be that utopian schemes like co-housing or technological fixes like off-site construction, increases the mix of options on offer in London’s constrained housing market. One key lesson that emerged from our site visit to three alternative housing schemes in Lewisham was the vital role an ‘enabling local authority’ might play in overcoming the barriers to alternative housing provision. An earlier multi-stakeholder workshop had also revealed a lack of knowledge or… Read More

Political party manifestos – anything for London’s housing?

The publication of the political party manifestos should have been a welcome moment for clear thinking and radical ideas on how to alleviate the housing crisis. Instead what we have, with a few exceptions, are aspirational promises with little on how they can be achieved and lots of tinkering around the edges of the major issues. The big stories are those that have been signalled for months: getting the numbers up; helping… Read More

Video: Lessons from a visit to three alternative housing sites in south London

On 4 February 2015, a group of researchers and stakeholders visited three alternative housing sites in Forest Hill in south London: Walters Way, a street of houses constructed using the Walter Segal self-build method; Featherstone Lodge, site of a future co-housing development; and Havelock Walk, a mews of live/work dwellings The site visit followed an earlier thematic workshop which explored how alternative housing can be part of the solution to London’s housing supply… Read More

Fizzy and the ‘good landlord’ model

Site profile: Fizzy Living By Rodrigo Peon-Veiga and Katia Habra, LSE MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies In 2012, Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) created Fizzy Living, a commercial subsidiary focused on attracting institutional investors with an appetite for investing in the private rented sector (PRS) and who are interested in long-term returns secured through rental income streams. Fizzy capitalised on TVHA’s reputation, skills in property management, and their preparedness to provide £30m capital… Read More

Why Pocket works: size may not matter when it comes to affordable housing

Site profile: Pocket. By Katia Habra and Theadora Trindle, LSE MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies, 2014-15. As average house prices continue to grow in London, reaching £514,000 last September, younger Londoners are not only being priced out of the city, but must now delay – and often abandon – any hopes of ever accessing the property ladder. Meanwhile, with election season in full swing, housing has been targeted as a priority campaign… Read More

Prefab is Back in Town

Site profile: Y:Cube. By Theadora Trindle and Benjamin Walch, LSE MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies, 2014-15. London is in the throes of a housing supply crisis, we all know this by now. What is less known is how to address it in a way that produces new stock quickly, efficiently and of high quality. While often overlooked, there is a precedent in London’s history for doing this successfully: the use of… Read More

Learning from live/work

Site profile: Bow Arts Live/Work Units By Benjamin Walch and Rodrigo Peon-Veiga, LSE MSc Regional and Urban Planning Studies, 2014-15 Funding arts locally while providing artists with affordable living and working space can sound like a utopian vision. But in 2007, an encounter between the Bow Arts Trust and social landlord Poplar HARCA, who found themselves working together on another project, made this vision a reality in East London. LSE London went in… Read More

Development of new cohousing: lessons from a London scheme for the over-50s

LSE London’s Kath Scanlon and Melissa Fernandez have recently published an article on the lessons learned from a south London co-housing scheme, Featherstone, which they have been researching for 3 years. The article can be accessed here.

PRS Profiles: The reality of private renting in London

This video is the introduction to a series of short films called PRS Profiles, which seeks to showcase the realities of private renting in London from the perspectives of renters themselves.

What is different about today’s big developments? Thoughts from a recent site visit

A visit to a large residential development site on the river in central London one recent morning raised a number of important issues about what enables successful development and what still constrains additional investment: First, large developments of apartments and associated infrastructure need off-plan sales to give the developer financial security. The larger the development the greater the need for these sales – as once the development is started it is extremely… Read More