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Acquisition of 173 affordable homes, London

  • FAH have exchanged contracts with City Pride Limited for the acquisition of 173 affordable homes at Island Point in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH).
  • Development including social rented (c. 50% of market rent), Affordable rented (up to 80% of market rent) and Shared ownership homes.
  • Provision of social benefit through delivering quality affordable housing in a borough with a substantial housing waiting list.
  • Work on site is underway with practical completion expected in February 2020.

Background

LBTH’s Housing Strategy (2016-2021) seeks to maximise the building of affordable housing through all sources of supply. Legal ownership of these properties is restricted through ‘Section 106’ planning conditions, and investment is reliant on the Registered Provider status of FAH’s wholly owned subsidiary Funding Affordable Homes Housing Association (FAHHA).This opportunity offers the prospects of tackling the social challenge of new affordable housing delivery in one of the smallest but most densely populated London Boroughs. Tower Hamlets, is a Borough of marked contrasts which has experienced spectacular regeneration and economic growth but still has areas with high levels of deprivation. It continues to have one of the fastest growing populations in London – it is projected to grow twice as fast as the London average and three times as fast as the rest of England over the next decade.

The 173 social rented, Affordable rented and shared ownership homes at Island Point are arranged in five housing blocks made up of apartments, maisonettes and houses along with ancillary spaces including a Community Pavilion, extensive external landscaped areas and children’s play areas, scooter/cycle stores, a basement car park (for 60 cars) and some external car parking spaces.

Deal summary:

  • 109 social rented; 33 Affordable rented; and 31 shared ownership homes at Island Point.
  • High quality design through the appointed architects ‘Squire and Partners’.
  • Planning permission granted with signed Section 106 Agreement in place.
  • 20-year Management Lease agreed with local housing association Poplar HARCA.
  • Property due diligence and valuation commissions completed by JLL.
  • Legal due diligence completed by Norton Rose Fulbright.
  • Construction works commenced in July 2017 with practical completion expected in February 2020.
  • The proposed scheme is aligned with London Borough of Tower Hamlet’s Housing Strategy 2016-2021.

A full social assessment was independently undertaken by The Good Economy Partnership (GEP). The assessment confirms there is a sustained demand throughout the whole of London with long waiting lists for affordable homes including rent and shared ownership, this is particularly the case in Tower Hamlets. The excellent location for public transport will allow residents to access employment opportunities across London. The conclusion is that investment in this project is recommended from a social perspectiveSocial Delivery:

Summary:

Although the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has the largest proportion of social housing in the country, it continues to face considerable challenges in meeting the housing needs of its current and future population profile. This investment provides much needed homes to individuals or families on the Borough’s waiting list, including opportunities for those on intermediate incomes who are able to access property investment through a shared ownership home.