…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
John Lewis Plans to Build Rental Homes for Key Workers in London
John Lewis, in partnership with Waitrose, is embarking on a new project to construct hundreds of rental homes in west and south-east London.
With a focus on providing housing for key workers such as nurses and teachers, this initiative is part of the company’s broader plan to develop approximately 1,000 “build-to-rent” homes in various locations.
Building Features and Location: The rental homes will feature John Lewis furniture and will be located next to flagship Waitrose stores and cafes.
The properties will also offer amenities such as a roof garden, co-working spaces, and a communal gym.
The company has recently submitted planning applications for the London developments.
Addressing Housing Crisis and Affordable Housing: The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) aims to contribute to tackling the UK’s housing crisis and meet the growing demand for rental properties.
Amid private landlords exiting the market, JLP’s plan is to offer affordable homes to key workers.
While more than a third of the homes will be designated as affordable, specific rental costs have not been disclosed.
Number and Completion Timeline: The project will involve the construction of 428 homes in West Ealing and 353 homes in Bromley.
Additionally, JLP plans to convert an empty warehouse in Reading into homes later in the year.
The company expects the first tenants to move in towards the end of 2027, with the completion of the scheme scheduled for 2028.
Different-Sized Homes and Tenancy Options: The rental homes will cater to households of varying sizes, providing flexibility for potential residents.
Tenants will have the option to secure both short- and long-term tenancies based on their needs.
Collaboration with Abrdn and Commitment to Affordable Housing: In December, JLP announced a £500 million deal with investment giant Abrdn.
Together, they plan to build 10,000 rental homes over the course of a decade.
The company also intends to manage three existing “build-to-rent” developments later this year, despite not owning them.
JLP emphasizes its commitment to affordable housing and community-oriented living.
Employee Ownership Structure and Financial Challenges: Recently, John Lewis faced criticism regarding a potential change to its employee-owned structure.
However, the company’s chairwoman, Dame Sharon White, reaffirmed the commitment to maintaining an employee-owned business.
JLP experienced a £78 million loss before exceptional items in the year ending January, primarily attributed to inflationary pressures.
Dame Sharon acknowledged the need for a financial turnaround, but acknowledged the possibility of job losses within the organization.
Conclusion: John Lewis’ plan to build rental homes in London for key workers reflects its commitment to addressing the housing crisis and supporting the community.
By offering affordable housing options, the company aims to provide much-needed homes for public sector workers.
With the project set to be completed in 2028, John Lewis is taking significant steps to contribute to the housing needs of key workers in the capital city.