In July we launched a so-called micro-unit alongside our client RHP (www.rhp.org.uk) and our manufacturer – Legal and General (https://www.legalandgeneral.com/modular/). The prototype unit was delivered to RHP’s car park, where it was launched to the media and other interested parties yesterday, and is there to show how 26sqm can provide a really nice space to live in if well designed – pictures and floorplans are now available to view on our Projects page (http://www.wimshurst-pelleriti.com/launch-pod).
The unit was very well received on the day and has received only positive comments from those who have visited so far. In spite of this it is clear that there will be a lot of debate about the impact the introduction of this unit and others like it will have space standards – as there has been while we have been developing the concept with RHP – but the key thing to remember is that LaunchPod is there to fill a need that the private market cannot currently fulfil. It is purely a rental product that will be let at no more than the average rental rate of a double room in a typical shared house in the area. In this sense it is a big step up from the typical HMO offering – which in London is more often than not a double bedroom, shared kitchen and shared bathroom at up to £800 per month. It is categorically not a challenge to the space standards that the GLA requires from the sales market. The unit will provide a short term rental option in-line with the aims of the London Living Rent initiative, an affordable stepping stone for those who crave their own private space but have no help from the welfare state and cannot afford the market rate for their own flat. The London Living Rent Initiative is targeting intermediate rented housing at one third of the mean local (ward level) household income, helping Londoners on average incomes save for a deposit to buy their first home. In South West London this covers a very large percentage of the population – young professionals in particular.
Given the wealth of investment into student accommodation in recent years – new graduates will often find themselves living in lower quality accommodation when they are working that when they were students. LaunchPod is seeking to reverse this trend in a genuinely affordable manner. In the LaunchPod renters will have their own bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living-dining area, high ceilings and external amenity space as well as a wealth of storage. This is surely the sort of innovation that is required to help address the Housing Crisis.