GLA to fund Rooftop Development
Riette Oosthuizen comments:
"We are delighted that Apex Airspace have received funding from the GLA to fund 500 affordable homes. The potential for rooftop development across London is substantial as our study to Apex Airspace have shown. 180,000 new homes is at most a conservative estimate. Rooftop development, like any other type of infill development, comes with its planning challenges, but exploring the potential of existing assets is a good starting position to keep communities in place. It is also a good way of improving existing buildings beyond what would be delivered if dependent only on a maintenance budget – existing residents can have the benefit of, for example, much needed new bin storage, access arrangements, improvements to the existing building and landscaping."
The pioneering funding marks the first time that the Mayor has supported any airspace developer. With a robust pipeline, this £10 million funding loan will help deliver much-needed new and affordable homes to people across the capital, who suffer at the hands of a lack of affordability, a lack of choice and longer commutes.London’s population is expected to grow by one million over the next decade, and the latest figures suggest the capital needs 65,000 new homes per year in that timeframe to meet this demand. Our own research has shown that there is potential for up to 180,000 properties in London alone by capitalising on unused spaces above residential, commercial and public buildings.
We are also accelerating delivery by capitalising on the latest construction technologies with new homes constructed offsite in factories, and arriving 95% complete and then craned onto roofs. Rapid installation, a reduced onsite build time and minimal disturbance to neighbouring homes and communities are amongst the advantages to using these construction methods. Not only are we generating strong returns for property investors and freeholders, we are ensuring that value is added to the entire building through refurbishment and through enhancing the public realm, creating sustainable communities.
James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing & Residential Development, said:“London’s housing crisis has been decades in the making, and we need to use every possible opportunity to build more council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes. Our £10m loan will help Apex work with councils and housing associations to use their innovative approach of building on existing rooftops, so we can create more of the new genuinely affordable homes that Londoners so desperately need.”
Arshad Bhatti, Founder and Chief Executive of Apex Airspace, added:“Today’s announcement is testament to City Hall taking an innovative approach to building more affordable homes and, as pioneers in airspace development, we are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Mayor. With a robust pipeline, this £10 million funding will help deliver much-needed new homes to people across the capital, who suffer at the hands of a lack of affordability, a lack of choice and longer commutes. To date, we’ve received £25.3 million in funding from the Mayor of London, Homes England and the BGF (Business Growth Fund) which will enable us to forge a wider range of partnerships with London’s councils, housing associations, and private market freeholders. It will help us to source new opportunities in both inner and outer boroughs and deliver the homes the capital so desperately needs. The housing crisis is more than just a numbers game and we are committed to offering a genuine solution which could dramatically alter housing supply in the next ten years.