Co-Living concept

Housing led regeneration means more than just building identical blocks of one and two bed room flats. For a project to be truly regenerative, it needs to provide housing across the demographic spectrum. This should include provision for the first time renter.

This is what the Co-living concept provides. These are not buy-to-let flats or student accommodation but, housing which has been designed to appeal to and fulfil the needs of this specific demographic.

This is a highly mobile demographic with considerable disposable income. Therefore, any type of development which can attract this demographic will have a significant financial benefit to the wider local economy. If a city wants to grow and expand economically it needs to attract the people who are going to be the lifeblood of the economy going forward.

What do we mean by a Co-living development? What we mean by this, is housing and accommodation designed and centred on the needs of graduates, trainees, apprentices and first time renters. Our cities and towns are awash with student accommodation and buy to let flats for investors but little or no suitable housing for first time renters or people moving to a city for the first time for work.

None of our major cities have any provision for housing targeted specifically at first time renters. If cities were to provide this type of Co-living housing, it would help with city regeneration, but it would also boost the industries it relies on if it could provide something to appeal to this mobile and desirable demographic. Nissan in Sunderland is already in the early stages of working with the local authority to be able to provide not only housing but a campus in the city as part of their package to new graduates and apprentices.

What would be the key ingredients of a Co-living development?

  • Appropriate living spaces, predominantly 1 bedroom and large studio units
  • Units would only be for rent, they would not be for sale, to ensure there is a constant supply of housing going forward. As people want to become homeowners they would move into the general housing market.
  • The units would be fully serviced, to include all costs, council tax, utilities etc.
  • This would be a smart building; it would be fully connected with its own intranet system.
  • There would be communal leisure and recreational spaces and facilities.
  • A work hub area to help encourage innovation and start-ups.
  • A concierge service to provide a 24 environment as we are no longer a 9-5 society. This would also help with on line shopping and deliveries.
  • Encourage and engage with local retailers, leisure and food and drink providers to create a virtual mall on the building intranet.
  • Organised activities and events
  • Public roof terrace spaces for communal use

In many ways the key to regeneration is attracting this type of demographic and being able to keep them. The Co-living concept provides this and also helps the local economy and businesses by engaging with them directly by way of the virtual mall.