Londoners who want to live in the Olympic Village after the Games will have to get a move on: nearly 3,000 people have already joined a list seeking one of 1,379 affordably-priced flats that will be on offer once athletes’ accommodation is converted into homes.
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It will be at least five months following the 2012 closing ceremony before the first homes are released for sale and a full year before any are ready to move into.
Triathlon Homes, the housing association behind the sale of the subsidised homes, says that it is fielding a rush of interest despite the long waits involved.
Since the homes — some of which will be rented at subsidised rates and the rest sold on a shared-ownership basis — are already over-subscribed there is certain to be disappointment when allocations begin.
Triathlon’s Wendy Hegarty said top priority would be given to military personnel and council tenants looking to get on to the property ladder, freeing up a home elsewhere.
Key workers and first-time buyers will also be encouraged to apply.
All the properties will be reserved for people with a household income of less than £64,300 for one and two bedroomed flats and £77,200 for the larger homes.
“If we are oversubscribed by people who do meet our criteria then we will take individual circumstances into account to decide,” said Ms Hegarty.
Once the games are over the site - designed by leading UK architects including Glenn Howells, Ian Simpson and Niall McLaughlin - will be renamed East Village. It also includes 1,439 private flats, most of which are expected to be rented out.
But before any residents can move in the “suites” the 17,000 Olympic athletes and officials have stayed in will need to be converted into full-time homes - kitchens need to be fitted and any wear and tear caused by high spirited competitors repaired.
But a row is brewing over the rest of the Olympics site, writes Philippa Stockley. Eleven thousand or more new homes are to be built in the next 20 years, of which more than a third were promised to be ‘affordable’. But because of changes to the rules about ‘affordable’, these can now be rented out at up to 80 per cent of market rents.
Given rising prices in the Olympic area, this could mean rents of more than £750 a month for a two-bed flat. Keith Fernett, a director of a homeless skills centre in Newham, says that affordable means earning more than £30,000 per year, which is more than the average Londoner makes.
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