October 8, 2007 IKEA has welcomed potential homeowners into their Gateshead store to apply for the first release of Boklok houses in the UK. Gizmag has been following the progress of this innovative housing development that aims to create affordable and sustainable housing to offer space and flexibility to low income families.
The event was designed to provide information about the different homes on offer, along with application forms needed to be considered for taking up residence. Claire Pooley, a single mother from Gateshead said her reasons for wanting to move into the new development centered around safety and affordability. “At the moment I live in an area where I am concerned to allow my daughter to go out so I would really like to buy a home on this new development, which is very family friendly,” Pooley said. “I have saved up a deposit to buy a home and I am particularly interested in taking shared ownership on a two or three-bedroom house.”
Once applications have been received BoKlok will begin the process of allocating homes. This will involve interviews with people who meet the necessary criteria, which include prioritizing those who earn between £15,000 and £35,000 per year and do not currently own a home. Alan Prole, Managing Director of Live Smart @ Home, said: “So far, many of the people we have spoken appear to meet the criteria and although we would love to be in a position to give everyone a home, unfortunately all we can guarantee is that all the people who qualify will get an equal opportunity to purchase a BoKlok home.”
First pioneered in Scandinavia by furniture giant IKEA and construction firm Skanska, BoKlok (pronounced Boo Clook) housing in the UK is a partnership between property company Live Smart @ Home and IKEA. IKEA are providing factory-fabricated flat pack family homes which are easy to construct, allowing the developers to create homes quickly and keep costs down.
Featuring high ceilings and large windows, the Scandinavian-style timber framed, open-plan layout properties will be aimed at households earning between £15,000 and £35,000 a year and will be sold on a rented, outright sale or shared ownership basis.
In April it was announced that that Gateshead would be home to the first Boklok development in the UK after the council sold the company a site at St James Village. In May Smart @ Home applied to almost quadruple the number of properties that the company is building at the site to 120 and in August we reported that work has begun on the first property due for completion in January 2008.
In the first release there will be 60 flats and houses available for shared ownership or outright sale. A one-bedroom flat will cost £99.500, a two bedroom flat will cost £124,950, two-bedroom townhouses (known as the Molna) will cost £132,500 and £139,500 (the Ålsten), a larger version, and a three-bedroom townhouse (the Järnbro) will cost £149,500. Some additional units will be released for rental in early 2008.
Further info is available at www.boklok.co.uk.