Related Cos. Takes Half Stake in UK Affordable Housing Developer
- Feb 05, 2016
London, England—Related Companies has acquired a 50 percent stake in Pocket, a UK affordable housing specialist. Pocket is the leading developer of homes for first-time buyers in London; the deal also coincides with the launch of initiatives by the British government to attract more first-time buyers into the market.
Pocket builds compact one-bedroom residences for first-time buyers at a discount of at least 20 percent to the open market, according to the company. The residences are reserved for those that earn less than the area’s income cap for affordable housing, who live or work in the borough of the development, and who don’t own another property. As demand for affordable homes skyrockets, Pocket has doubled its pipeline each year since 2013, and will aim to complete 4,000 units by 2023.
New York-based Related owns and operates a global portfolio of assets valued at over $20 billion, and is known for a number of major projects, such as the Hudson Yards redevelopment in NYC. Last year, Related created a partnership with Argent, one of the UK’s leading mixed-use regeneration specialists. Through this transaction, Pocket and Argent Related will become strategically affiliated.
Related has developed or acquired over 55,000 affordable homes in the U.S. and has a long history of partnering with organizations committed to developing or preserving affordable housing. The investment in Pocket reflects this approach, and will draw upon Related’s access to capital, scale and experience in delivering affordable homes.
Pocket is already working with Argent at King’s Cross and worked with Argent Related on its successful bid to be the development partner with the London Borough of Barnet on the Brent Cross South scheme, which will provide 7,500 residences. This affiliation of Argent and Pocker creates the ability to provide a full spectrum of housing.
Recently the British government rolled out its Starter Homes initiative, whose goal is to facilitate new housing at 20 percent off the usual price, offered to first-time buyers under 40. The initiative will function along with London Help to Buy and the already active Help to Buy ISA.