Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We'd like a Nice Little House with a Garden; Boris Johnson Has Called for More New Family Homes for First-Time Buyers. Now Builders Are Rising to the Challenge, Says David Spittles

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

We'd like a Nice Little House with a Garden; Boris Johnson Has Called for More New Family Homes for First-Time Buyers. Now Builders Are Rising to the Challenge, Says David Spittles

Article excerpt

Byline: David Spittles

NOT so very long ago, a modest family house in London, with a garden, was an affordable choice for young professional couples moving out of flats and seeking family space.

Most were at least able to settle into a cheaper Victorian terrace alongside like-minded neighbours before trading up to a bigger property where they could see their children through their school years.

Spiralling property prices and a shortage of lower-value new-build houses sabotaged this route up the ladder. However, the plight of families trapped in cramped conditions has prompted Mayor Boris Johnson to call for bigger and more affordable family homes.

Housing associations and private developers are responding by building larger flats (some with four bedrooms) and fair-priced houses with familyfriendly amenities such as allotments or children's play areas.

Family Mosaic housing association, as its name suggests, focuses on this sector. Creating an environment for families in a gritty, inner-city neighbourhood requires fresh architectural thinking.

Silk Gardens in Bethnal Green has a mix of flats, duplexes and townhouses, from 891sq ft to 1,508sq ft, with separate access to internal courtyards, secure playgrounds and sky gardens. Sixty-five per cent of the site is outdoor space and residents can rent rooftop allotments.

Family Mosaic is bringing the same design principles to Central Park, a big regeneration scheme on the Blackheath/Deptford border, where homes will be released for sale next spring. To register, visit centralparkliving.co.uk or call 020 7089 3917. In addition to building new family homes, the association is refurbishing older houses and selling them on a shared-ownership basis. The first of these is at Swaton Road, Poplar, where a modernised three-bedroom Victorian terrace house with garden costs [pounds sterling]131,250 (for a 35 per cent share) and even comes with curtains and blinds. As well as the mortgage costs, buyers will be asked to pay a monthly rent of [pounds sterling]558.59. Call 020 7089 1315.

A former dairy in Gilbert Street, Enfield, has made way for a scheme of 62 homes, a mix of flats and houses, for outright sale and shared ownership, through Origin housing association. …

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