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Affordable housing company breaks ground on new development in Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 17:00 30 August 2019

Cllr Farah Hussain, Cllr Jas Athwal and Mark Vlessing. Picture: Pocket Living

Cllr Farah Hussain, Cllr Jas Athwal and Mark Vlessing. Picture: Pocket Living

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An affordable housing developer has broken ground on its latest scheme in Wanstead to provide new homes for Redbridge residents.

Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, and cabinet member for housing and homelessness, Councillor Farah Hussain, kicked off construction on the Pocket Living project by breaking ground on the site on Friday, August 30.

Pocket Living will transform the disused garage site on Gardner Road into a two-storey building offering 20 affordable one-bedroom homes for sale - with a 20per cent discount off the full market value.

The homes remain affordable in perpetuity and are restricted to first-time buyers living or working in the borough.

They are ideal for singles and buyers who own 100pc of their home, differing from shared ownership schemes, and buy-to-let investors are ineligible to apply.

The homes on Gardner Close have been designed by Haworth Tompkins architects - an award-winning architectural studio which won the 2014 Sterling Prize.

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Pocket Living's chief executive Marc Vlessing said: "We're extremely excited to be delivering our first homes in Redbridge. We want to help local people to get a foot on the housing ladder as there is huge demand in the area for Pocket.

"More than 150 local people have already registered for a Pocket home."

Cllr Athwal said: "First time buyers in Redbridge and across London face a huge challenge when trying to find a home.

"We are in the midst of a housing crisis and schemes like this are an important tool in providing genuinely affordable homes.

"This is just one step in delivering on our pledge to build 1000 affordable homes by 2022 - 600 of which will be council homes."

Pocket Living's commitment to delivering affordable housing has been backed by Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, who in 2017 provided the company with a £25million loan to deliver sites like Gardner Close.

The mayor's backing will see Pocket Living start on 1059 affordable homes by March 2021.

Buyers of Pocket homes have to live or work in the borough and to ensure the homes reach the people they are intended for, each year the mayor sets the maximum household income for eligible buyers.

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