Act of Faith

Affordable City Living for Key Workers

In 2008, Mace’s residential “Living” team delivered a social/affordable housing project for developer Pocket Living. With a background in social housing and the support of a major funder, Pocket Living was been set up to provide affordable housing for key workers.

In 2008 We Were Gripped by a Housing Panic. Now We’re Gripped by a Frenzy of Even Bigger Proportions

Firefighters, teachers, police officers and NHS staff in general. These are some of the professions which make up the loosely defined label Key Worker – first-time buyers with low paid public sector jobs. Such is the importance of retaining these staff in London’s jobs market, they are a growing target for new accommodation and financial packages to help them stay here. More than  300,000 key workers in London cannot afford to buy their own home: a first-time buyer in London pays about double the national average. Over 40% of working households cannot afford to purchase the lowest priced housing in their borough.

We Call Them City Makers  And Our Homes Are Designed  For Them

Pocket is a private developer that helps singles and couples on low to moderate incomes own a home of their own. Where appropriate, Pocket uses high-quality modular construction  techniques to minimise construction times, construction wastage and site disruption.

The Exciting Thing about Pocket Homes Is That They’re at Least.  20% Cheaper than the Surrounding Market Rate

Pocket’s development in Kentish Town is  based upon this approach. The site is a small urban block with frontages on both Weddington Road and Allcroft Road. The site was  in part vacant and blighted and in part occupied by a taxi repair workshop and barrow stores for the nearby market. The proposal was  for a mixed-use development comprising 22 units of affordable residential accommodation and 218sqm of commercial accommodation, which maintains the existing employment use on the site.

A Pocket flat in Weedington Road, Camden
A Pocket flat in Weedington Road, Camden
Pocket Living development Willingham Terrace, Camden
Pocket Living development Willingham Terrace, Camden
Pocket Living development Willingham Terrace, Camden
Pocket Living development Willingham Terrace, Camden

The scheme also incorporates an improved storage facility for barrows used by local market workers. Burrell Foley Fischer’s urban design response to a small, irregularly shaped site bordering a conservation area, has not been restricted through basing the design on modular construction techniques. The system offers the flexibility to make an appropriate contextual response.

Completion was achieved on programme in November 2008.

Client: Pocket

Architect: Burrell Foley Fischer LLP

Principal Supplier: Spaceover


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By George Brzozowski

I want to help you to see news events as starting points for constructive conversations. I seek to cut through the froth of the political spin cycle to underlying truths and values. I want to be so focused on progress that together we can provide a credible and constructive counter-narrative to the hopelessness-, anger-, and fear-inducing brand of discourse that is so pervasive in the news.

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