Demand for city centre homes continues to rise, pushing young professionals to the commuter zone to secure homeownership. By 2025, due to the aging population, a record number of people will have paid off their mortgage. The imbalance is evident, with the younger generation labelled ‘Generation Rent’ whilst the older generation has equity tied up in their home but a need to draw a living allowance through retirement. Our ‘Disco’ proposal, (disparate property equity + cohabitation = disco) sets out a cohabitation complex that can provide benefits for both user groups.
New land, new use
Only when we decouple land value from construction costs do other measures to streamline construction and reduce developers’ risk premium start to become efficient. To be successful, borough councils need to commit to identifying imperceptible sites for what we are calling ‘Use Class C6’. Councils are then encouraged to create new land to be tested as ‘Use Class C6’. This includes bridges, parks, above railways, and existing buildings or between terraces and estates.
Decoupling land value provides the opportunity to secure affordable housing through open book accounting with the local authorities. If council land is identified as suitable for a Disco complex, the land rent they choose to charge will have a direct impact on the level of affordability achieved. With Disco, one does not buy property but instead buys shares in the disco fund which will gain value above base rate, making it an attractive but affordable investment.
To further increase efficiencies, bespoke elements are limited to groundworks or assessment of the building to be extended. A frame of standard components is then erected, and panalised infills dictated by those configured by each Disco investor. By operating as an investment fund, Disco generates profit to be reinvested in future developments. This allows the transmission of the idea and way of living to available land across London.
Disco was a collaboration with Gus Zogolovitch of Inhabit Homes and originally part of an NLA insight study looking at new ideas to stimulate the delivery of housing targets in London.