Deputy Mayor of London Tom Copley at London Square’s affordable provider Square Roots first topping out – with 1,000 homes now under construction.

Tom Copley, The Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development, took part in the first topping out for London Square’s affordable provider Square Roots, marking an important milestone in its plan to deliver 3,500 homes over the next five years to help address London’s housing shortage. 

The centuries-old ceremony of celebrating the progress of a building nearing completion took part at Square Roots Lewisham in Silver Road, in the heart of Lewisham town centre, where 100 per cent affordable homes are being built – 141 in total. The topping out took place just nine months after Square Roots achieved Registered Provider status. Square Roots now has 1,000 homes now under construction across five London boroughs.

Tom Copley helped to lay a topping out plaque on the roof of the 16-storey building, assisted by London Square Group’s Chief Executive Adam Lawrence and Square Roots Managing Director Barbara Richardson. 

Tom Copley

I was delighted to join Square Roots and London Square for the topping out ceremony in Silver Road, a 100 per cent affordable housing development in Lewisham town centre part-funded by City Hall. This scheme will deliver 141 new affordable homes fit for the 21st century, supporting our aim to continue building a fairer and more prosperous London for everyone.

London Square and Square Roots is working closely with the London Borough of Lewisham, and investors Hestia, the residential operating platform from the international business of Federated Hermes, with a capital commitment for the project of £61.6m to build the new homes on the 1.2 acre former warehouse site. The scheme  is playing a vital role in growth plans for the area, delivering 141 beautifully designed, exceptional affordable homes, a mix of London Affordable Rent and Shared Ownership, set in landscaped gardens, with play areas and a communal terrace, plus riverside public realm. There will also be 4876 sq ft of commercial space. The first homes will be available from March 2024. 

The expansion of Square Roots  represents more than £0.5bn investment, with more starts on site in the first nine months than any other for-profit registered provider – demonstrating the appetite by institutional investors for this new operating model to deliver affordable housing. 

Square Roots aims to secure funding of £1.5bn capital to deliver 3,500 new affordable homes over the next five years to help address London’s housing shortage. Although established by London Square, Square Roots remains independent, with a separate board and governance in place. London Square is acting as developer, working in partnership with Square Roots and institutional investors. 

In addition, Square Roots is also working with the GLA as an investment partner and has secured £50.3m of grant funding on its first six projects.  The ambition is for Square Roots to be delivering affordable homes across all London boroughs within the next decade to help ease the housing shortage. 

Adam Lawrence, Chief Executive, London Square Group

We were honoured to have the Deputy Mayor of London and the London Borough of Lewisham joining us to see at first-hand why the topping out at Square Roots Lewisham represents an enormous achievement just nine months after being awarded Registered Provider status. Next year, the first residents will move in. The speed and agility that Square Roots has demonstrated  shows the appetite for this new model for delivering much-needed affordable housing, combining the integrity of an independent provider, backed by institutional investment and delivered by London Square, using our skills and experience to build exceptional homes for shared ownership and affordable rent.

Barbara Richardson, Managing Director, Square Roots

We are determined to become the market leader in the provision of affordable housing in the capital, supported by the strong relationships we are nurturing  with local authorities in Greater London.  We are demonstrating how affordable homes can be of outstanding quality, backed by first-class customer care, in excellent, well connected locations where people who work in the capital will now have an opportunity to live.  While remaining independent, our unique partnership with London Square means we are in an unrivaled position to deliver this.

Square Roots developments are under way in Kingston, Lewisham, Barnet, Bexley and Waltham Forest. Each scheme features well designed homes of the highest quality, mirroring the standards delivered by London Square for homes available for private sale.  

There are two schemes in Kingston, with 52 one, two and three bedroom shared ownership and rented apartments in Crescent Road on a former riding school site close to Richmond Park, which launched this month, with the first residents moving in this summer.  The second site near Kingston town centre will deliver 125 homes for shared ownership and rent in Hawks Road, on the site of a former health centre.   

In the London borough of Barnet in Hendon, 244 studio, one, two and three bedroom homes are being built, near the Welsh Harp (Brent) Reservoir, park and nature reserve, close to Hendon and Colindale tube stations. 

Other developments include  240 affordable homes at Crayford in the London borough of Bexley and 231  homes at Lea Bridge in London borough of Waltham Forest.  

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