A Guide to Affordable Housing in Soho
A huge new development that is set to fill the housing affordability gap in London is taking shape in the neighbourhood of Soho. London City Council has approved the sale of the former Victoria Hospital Lands located on South Street to a new group of not-for-profit housing developers known as Vision SoHo Alliance. The developers plan to transform just over 2.5 hectares on the north side of South Street into a multi-use housing complex, with over six hundred different units expected to be available, around half of these at affordable rates.
According to Greg Playford from the London Community Foundation’s Housing Action Committee, affordable housing is no longer what it once was. Mixed, modern affordable housing is very different to the public housing of the old days, and developments such as the one planned for Soho are a great opportunity to bring both market housing and affordable housing together in one place.
What Happens in Soho London – Why Live Here?
Soho is a vibrant, popular London area that has long been famous for shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment. It is often referred to as the beating heart of the capital city and is a top spot for nightlife and clubbing. It offers something for everybody whether you are looking to have a drink in a traditional pub, want to visit one of the several upmarket cocktail bars in the area, or are looking for a restaurant to enjoy a family meal. Partygoers will not be disappointed; although the clubs here are not as large as some of the super clubs that can be found in various other areas of the capital, there are plenty of smaller nightclubs and bars to choose from, offering an amazing night-time experience.
Who Owns Property in Soho London?
Property in Soho London is quite similar to the rest of the capital in that it has a combination of different owners from housing associations to private landlords, overseas investors, property development groups, and private owners and residents. Royals and aristocrats used to be the only answer to the question of who owns property in central London, but the situation today is very different. Property entrepreneurs and investors have been snapping up opportunities in the capital regardless of any recession, with a lot of long-term gains to be had from investing in properties in the vibrant and highly sought-after area of Soho in particular.
Paul Raymond, aged 75, is the biggest new player on the landowning scene in London since the 1950s. From a career that started with washing dishes for just £1 per week to opening the Raymond Revue Bar in 1958, he now owns almost half of the 140 acres in Soho and is worth over a billion pounds, much of which comes from rents collected on commercial and some residential properties in Soho.
Who Owns Soho Housing Association?
Soho Housing aims to provide affordable accommodation for people in the heart of the city. It was set up in the early 1970s by people who were living in Soho at the time, with the aim of improving local housing conditions and to ensure that existing homes in the area were not destroyed by redevelopment. Soho Housing Association is managed by a Board of Directors who work in conjunction with Shareholders and Residents. The housing association purchased its first properties in 1977, which included the site at the rear in Bridle Lane now known as John Broadwood House and a terrace of listed houses in Great Pulteney Street. Since then, Soho Housing has purchased and improved many other blocks of flats and houses in the area to provide homes for families and individuals in Soho, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Victoria, Queen’s Park, and Farringdon. They also offer a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly in Soho, which is known as Pargiter Court and consists of nineteen flats. Altogether, they own over eight hundred residential homes and have thirty-five commercial tenants.
Who Owns Soho Housing?
Soho Housing is the only housing association that is committed to exclusively providing affordable housing within the Central London area. They believe that in order for the housing association to work at its best, it must have strong links to the community that it serves, which is why they solely focus on the Central London areas. They believe that every home that is built or made available in Central London means one less incoming commuter journey, and the aim of the housing association is to make it possible for more people to afford to live in the centre of London where they can easily walk or cycle to work. Soho Housing Association is governed by a Board of directors who make all key strategic decisions in conjunction with shareholders and residents.
Why Live in Soho?
With more affordable homes planned for Soho in the upcoming few years, it’s no surprise that more and more people are flocking to live in this vibrant central London area. Along with close proximity to key Underground stations like Tottenham Court Road and Leicester Square, Soho is located in one of the busiest and most exciting areas of the capital city with several amazing things to see and do. Some of the key things that you’ll find available in Soho include:
Soho is one of the most popular areas in the capital for foodies, and it’s easy to see why. With a huge range of diverse restaurants and eateries available, you can find everything from a cheap bite to eat to Michelin-starred French cuisine. Whether you are looking for a cheap and cheerful lunch with friends, bottomless brunch or a five-star, fine-dining experience, you’re sure to find it here. Café-lovers also enjoy Soho with a strong café culture that was started thanks to the influence of Italian, Greek, and French immigrants to the area bringing continental styles of eating and drinking to the city with them.
Drinking and Nightlife:
Soho is definitely one of the most popular options for a night out in London, whether you want to dance the night away at a busy club or enjoy a few drinks at a cosy and atmospheric cocktail bar. There are tons of different options available with something to suit everybody whether you are looking for a drink and dinner at a traditional English pub or want to try out some unique and different cocktails.
The clubbing scene in Soho is one of the biggest in London, and although you won’t find any of the city’s huge super-clubs here, there is certainly no shortage of smaller fun clubs to choose from including a thriving gay club scene that welcomes everybody.
When it comes to keeping yourself entertained, Soho is located very close to the West End of London where you can find some of the best Broadway musicals and shows on offer. The Curzon Arthouse Cinema is another popular entertainment option in Soho showing a huge range of different movies along with offering a bar and restaurant where you can start or finish an enjoyable night. While Soho does not have much in terms of attractions and landmarks that you can find in many other areas of London, what it does offer is an excellent way of living with something fun for everybody to do, any night of the week.
Although it might not be one of the more famous shopping districts in London, Soho is known for being a great place to find hidden gems and unique finds from the many independent and boutique stores that line the streets. For a seriously unique shopping experience where you can escape from the usual department stores and off-the-rack items and find gems that you won’t get anywhere else, head to some of the best shopping areas in Soho like the Newburgh Quarter, Seven Dials and Carnaby Street.
Transportation in Soho:
Although Soho does not have its own Underground station, getting here is easy with three nearby stations within walking distance. If you’re arriving in Soho by tube, get off at Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square or Goodge Street stations to be there in minutes. If you’re arriving in London by plane, you can easily travel by tube from one of the Underground stations at the Heathrow terminals directly to Leicester Square station, getting you into Soho in less than an hour.
If you’re planning to drive to or in Soho, bear in mind that street parking is limited, and you may need to apply for a resident’s permit if you plan to park your car outside your home. The central location of Soho in London also means that you will be required to pay the congestion charge unless your vehicle is exempt. Street parking is available but not guaranteed. You can find two NCP car parks located in Soho on Lexington Street and Brewer Street.
Soho is leading the way for affordable housing in London, with new developments planned to make finding somewhere to live in the city centre easier.