Housing associations are not, perhaps, best known for lifestyle design or innovative marketing, says Josephine Smit. But here are two schemes, one in Glasgow, the other in east London, that are turning convention on its head
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Coming back for seconds

Glasgow's interest in promoting exciting design by no means came to an end when its year of prominence as a City of Architecture ended at midnight on 31 December, 1999. Developers and architects are waiting for planning consent to embark on a second phase of the innovative Homes for the Future project, which was one of the flagship schemes three years ago. Homes for the Future challenged conventions about home design, as well as conventional opinion of the public's attitudes to modern design, bringing together a number of architects' practices, housing associations and private sector housebuilders to create a new residential quarter packed with design innovations. Bellway Homes and architect RMJM Scotland won the competition set up by Glasgow council last summer to undertake the second phase, and the team promises that it will be no less innovative than the first. "We'll continue to build on the good work from phase one," says Paul Stallan, design director with RMJM Scotland. "Our aim is to create a very vibrant development on Glasgow Green; one that is aspirational and commercially viable." The masterplan for the second phase of 141 homes will, like the first phase, be a mixed community with private sale, affordable and rented housing; Bellway working in partnership with Queens Cross Housing Association and rented housing provider Park Lane. The housing proposed for the phase-two scheme, called the Kite project, is a thoroughly urban, high-density combination of apartments and townhouses, in villa, tenement and tower forms. Centrepiece of the proposals is a 14-storey tower, containing 33 open plan apartments. The villas come in two types: three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-storey townhouses with integrated garage and roof deck, and three- and four-bedroom versions with larger gardens that are designed for family occupation. Project team
Lead developer: Bellway Homes
Housing association partner: Queens Cross Housing Association
Rented housing: Park Lane
Architect: RMJM Scotland (masterplan), Zoo, Anderson Bell Christie

Luxury meets economy

The high level of demand in the capital for both low cost and luxury rented homes is attracting some housing associations to perform a neat balancing trick: developing market rented homes to provide cross-subsidy for social rented housing, and creating a mixed community into the bargain. Community Housing Association was one of the first registered social landlords to enter the private rented sector in London with its Citystyle Living company, and has just started developing its third scheme at Martello Terrace in Hackney, east London. The scheme will have 11 one- and two-bedroom social rented apartments alongside 33 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for private rent. The social rented housing in the £3.2m scheme is being developed with a grant from the Housing Corporation, but the income from the market rented homes will be fed back into the association's affordable housing development programme. There are other benefits in adding private rented housing to the mix, according to Kerryn Edwards, marketing manager with Citystyle Living. "By developing the site as part private rent, we are bringing income into the area," she says. "The scheme will make a significant contribution to improving the area, flanked by London Fields on the one side, and railway arches and industry on the other." The social rented units will be in a new-build block, whereas the private rented units are split between a second new-build block and conversion of a Victorian school. Community Housing Association is a member of the Amphion Consortium, a consortium of housing associations that is looking to achieve efficiencies and economies in timber-frame construction in partnership with contractor and timber-frame supplier Partnerships First, and will therefore be using timber frame for the new build. Inside the homes, the specification for the social and private rented stock will differ significantly, Community Housing Association having evolved a standard specification for its private rented housing. It has also applied for planning permission to develop a penthouse at the top of the old school. Citystyle Living will be preparing a show apartment to attract private renters, which will open a month before completion, due for next March. Private rents will not be set until early next year, but Edwards expects them to be roughly in line with its Delta Point scheme in nearby Bethnal Green where two-bedroom flats are available for £270 per week. Delta Point, a 37-unit private rented scheme in a made-over former local authority block, was launched just over two months and is now half occupied. "Our first scheme, Priory Heights, let very quickly, but Delta has let more slowly, due to the downturn in the market," says Edwards. Undaunted, Citystyle Living has also just embarked on a fourth scheme that will see the listed Haggerston Library, poised on the edge of trendy Hoxton, transformed to seven loft-style private rented apartments, with 10 social homes being created alongside it. Project team
Client: Community Housing Association, Citystyle Living
Contractor: Partnerships First
Architect: Pearlman Moiret Associates
Employer’s agent: Davis Langdon Management