London house prices: Here's how pop-up homes could help boost supply and cut rental prices

Kasmira Jefford
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The Heijmans ONE scheme in Amsterdam was devised to help tackle the shortage of homes for graduates (Source: GLA Conservatives)

Pop-up venues – from shops to galleries and restaurants – have thrived since the recession and are now ingrained UK culture, providing landlords with a means of filling vacant spaces and supporting fledgling businesses.

But they could play just as crucial a part in tackling London's housing crisis by providing fast and cheaper accommodation, the Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservatives have claimed.

In a report released today, the GLA Conservatives argue that pop-up homes could cut the price of renting by a third while also costing half as much to build compared with standard homes, despite often exceeding building standards and safety regulations.

Andrew Boff, a Conservative London Assembly member and housing spokesman, said this method of housebuilding, where homes are built in a factory before being assembled on-site, means pop-up homes take third of the time to build, which in turn would help the next London mayor with a way of reaching the target 50,000 new homes a year more quickly.

There have been a few pop-up homes built in London already including Mitcham, where flats were being rented at £148 per week compared with the local market average of £210 per week.

Lewisham council collaborated with architects at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to launch 24 temporary homes last summer on the site of a former leisure centre while developers in Amsterdam are also trialling pop-up housing solutions.

“I’ve said before that we need to look at innovative ways of providing a diverse housing stock in our capital and these homes provide a fast, affordable solution that could help drive down the price of building and, subsequently, renting in London," Boff said.

“The London Land Commission recently identified space for 130,000 new homes on public land and previous reports have shown there is potential for at least 10,000 homes on small disused sites across the capital. Why not utilise these spaces now by erecting high-quality, desirable homes that are genuinely affordable," he added.

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