OakNorth – the bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs – has lent £2m of working capital to Pocket Living, London’s fastest-growing affordable housing provider. The loan will help Pocket deliver more genuinely affordable homes for local people in London.
Pocket homes are targeted specifically at local single buyers in the intermediate market – those who earn too much to qualify for social housing but are priced out of the open market. Sold at a discount of at least 20 percent to the local market, Pocket homes are exclusively for people who already live or work in the borough and are first time buyers.
These homes remain affordable in perpetuity for local people as all future purchasers must meet the original criteria and have a household income below the Mayor London’s affordable housing threshold. This model allows city makers, London’s hard-working young people on moderate incomes, a route into homeownership. Pocket homes have award-winning design and are above national and London space standards, providing an open-plan kitchen/living room, separate king size bedroom, hallway, wet room and ample storage space.
The loan form OakNorth comes on the back of the Mayor of London’s £25 million finance agreement with Pocket Living to build 1,059 homes, a third of which are expected to be modular.
Commenting on the deal, Pocket Living CEO Marc Vlessing said: “Pocket Living is proud of its commitment to affordable housing. We chose to partner with OakNorth, because we have worked with them in the past and know that they share this vision. Last year, with the help of OakNorth, we delivered 154 affordable homes in Croydon.
“Thousands of hard-working young people are currently struggling to gain a foothold on the housing ladder in London. This loan from OakNorth represents a significant investment in the London’s affordable housing provision and will help us provide a range of genuinely affordable homes for local people.”
Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Debt Finance Director at OakNorth, commented: “Since the launch of its first project a decade ago, Pocket Living has proven time and again the attractiveness of its model with all 15 of its projects selling out. With a healthy pipeline of 1,195 units, the business is playing a vital role in helping to resolve London’s housing crisis and bring some much-needed new affordable homes to the capital. We’re delighted to be supporting them with this working capital and look forward to working with them on future projects.”