The long debate on whether micro homes can help to solve London’s housing crisis continues, and it seems a more positive outlook on the option is now becoming more prevalent. A new report published today by the Adam Smith Institute has suggested that this can be just the case and that it can actually “expand choice” for young professionals.
The Adam Smith Institute is a neoliberal think tank and lobbying group based in the United Kingdom and named after Adam Smith, a Scottish moral philosopher and classical economist. The Greater London Authority (GLA) has set standards on minimum floor space and the think tank want them scrapped. They reckon that homes in London with less than 37 sqm of floor space can provide an “affordable opportunity” for young people. An option that hasn’t been available for young people for many years.
“Restricted supply of new housing has meant sharp rises in house prices and rents in central London in recent decades, with young Londoners priced out of the market” It also means that tenants are spending a third of their income on rent compared to only a fifth 15 years ago, and the average house price is 5 times higher than 50 years ago.
The ASI’s Head of Research Matthew Lesh said, “It’s not size that matters in housing, it’s how you use it.” Here at Tempohousing we have a perfect example of how the utilisation of a small space is imperative in providing a positive and happy living space. In November 2018 we brought our version of micro-living to Bristol to showcase at the housing festival and it went down very well with both the local public and the council. The most popular comments were on the great use of space and 99% of visitors said they would be more than happy to live there.
Chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, Andrew Bailey, states that “The average salary in London is £35,037,”. “So young professionals are moving out to commute in, putting stresses on the train and bus systems into the centre. In addition, anywhere that is an hour out of London will cost you around £5,000 a year in travel.”
Matthew also states that “There are many who would rather live close to the city centre, in a building full of amenities such as game rooms and co-working spaces, rather than spending hours commuting every day.”
Micro-living provides choice and opportunity to live in the heart of the city at reasonable rates. It gives people more time for relaxing or socialising than time spent travelling to and from work. Tempohousing have built a co-living environment in Utrecht, Holland. The project named Place2BU provided 225 homes at affordable prices. The homes are 21sqm in size and are equipped with a living room/bedroom, kitchen and bathroom with a shared launderette on the ground floor. Each floor also has a common room where residents can congregate and socialise. All the residents we spoke to love that style of living and said it was great to have the opportunity to socialise but also have their own space to retreat to.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has said London needs “more than 50,000 new homes a year” to combat a shortage of affordable housing. Finding the space for 50,000 new homes can be tricky, this is where micro-living can certainly come into play and help solve this crisis.