London – VIJAY SHAH via ALEX SHAW and Newham Recorder
As the city of London struggles to house its growing population amidst a housing crisis and soaring rents and house prices, a new housing project underway in the district of Stratford has come in for criticism after it was revealed that only twenty-five per cent of the available stock will be marketed as affordable, the local community newspaper Newham Recorder reported.
The Legacy Wharf complex, being designed by Bellway Homes, is being promoted as an ideal site for first-time buyers to move into an up-and-coming part of east London, only a few minutes from the centre of the city. But only around 50 of the 196 flats (apartments) planned for the site will be classed as affordable, meaning that people on average city wages (around GBP £28,000/USD $38,788) will be able to successfully purchase them.
Legacy Wharf, which is expected to be ready this spring, claims to offer a variety of apartments for different budgets, especially for first-time buyers, young professionals and families. The development, located in Stratford’s Cooks Road will also have an on-site gym, children’s play facilities and even a concierge service, but the starting price for a one-bedroom flat there will start at GBP £365,000 (USD $505,631). The Bellway development will consist of a selection of one-, two- and three-bedroom living units, with some properties being available to buy via the UK government’s Help to Buy scheme, which aims to help first-time homeowners get their foot on the housing ladder.
Bellway did not comment on the limited amount of affordable housing offered at Legacy Wharf, which is being built in one of the poorest areas of London, where rapid gentrification have caused even low-grade ex-local housing authority homes to cost several hundred thousand of pounds. However Emma Denton, the firm’s sales director designate told the Newham Recorder “Homebuyers will have a great opportunity to invest in this revamped area of Stratford at Legacy Wharf,”
Many parts of east London have changed rapidly in recent years as new apartment blocks and villages have sprung up catering to young professionals and working families with jobs in central London, alongside foreign investors looking for the next property portfolio golden egg, but developers in the city have been criticised for not providing enough flats affordable to the vast majority of Londoners, particularly those on benefits or average incomes.
Newham Recorder, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/Newham.Recorder/
“Quarter of flats in Stratford development ‘affordable’” – Alex Shaw, Newham Recorder/Archant (8 March 2018) http://www.newhamrecorder.co.uk/news/quarter-of-flats-in-stratford-development-affordable-1-5426504
“File:Granville New Homes, London.jpg” – Tim Crocker and Levitt Bernstein Archive, Wikimedia Commons (19 August 2009) https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Granville_New_Homes,_London.jpg