Loneliness in our society
It’s a feeling that can affect us all. Over nine million adults say that they’re often or always lonely, and with a government minister for loneliness appointed earlier this year, Britain’s isolation epidemic is finally being brought into the spotlight.
Many of the reasons for us being lonely are straightforward: moving to a new place, bereavement or starting a different job. However, how we live also contributes to loneliness in a big way, and the build-to-rent sector may help in bringing us all closer together.
How can build-to-rent help tackle loneliness?
Research from the US, where ‘multifamily’ – the American equivalent to build-to-rent – has been around for decades, shows that people in an apartment block are more likely to stay if they have friends in their building. So it’s in a build-to-rent landlord’s interest to help nurture genuine communities in their properties, as it means people will stick around for longer, reducing costly ‘voids’ (vacant homes).
That’s why in many build-to-rent developments you’ll find amazing communal spaces such as lounges, gyms, roof terraces and work spaces. At Vantage Point, our flagship project right above Archway tube station, rather than turn the top floors into a swanky penthouse apartment, we gave this away to all residents as a stunning shared space with awe-inspiring views of the London skyline.
This space becomes an ideal place for residents to connect and build friendships – whether gathering to watch the football, collaborating on a BBQ or having a game of pool.
But rather than leaving residents to mingle and make friends on their own (and let’s admit us Brits, and especially Londoners, are very awkward and not good at small talk), many build-to-rent landlords are actively managing their buildings by putting on events designed to help neighbours connect.
For example, in the last few months at Dressage Court we’ve held a cheese and wine tasting evening, a pizza and prosecco party on the roof terrace and linked up with Sofar Sounds to deliver initmate acoustic gigs.
Changing how we live
Build-to-rents provide a huge step forward in addressing how we utilise space, while also helping us rethink about how we live with one another. As our cities continue to grow and renting increasingly becomes the norm, smart planning will be needed to help more of us enjoy where we live, engage with our neighbours, and feel less lonely. Build-to-rent can offer a solution.
We’re at the forefront of transforming how people view renting. With no admin fees, a 24-hour on-site team to deliver amazing customer service and rapid on-site maintenance, as well as a raft of amazing shared spaces, we’re raising the standard that renters should come to expect. With high quality homes in Bethnal Green, Islington and Maidenhead (and more in the pipeline!), we want to help bring people together.
If you’re thinking of renting in London, get in touch.