Would you buy a 'naked' home?

New flats come with nothing but a loo and a sink

The interior of one of the shell apartments

In an attempt to help solve London's housing crisis, mayor Sadiq Khan has given his backing to a scheme for 'naked homes' that come with nothing but a lavatory and a kitchen sink.

The 22 homes, planned for a site in Enfield, don't even have a bathroom or partition walls, let alone flooring, wall finishes or decoration.

But buyers prepared to turn them into homes will be snapping up a bargain, with the empty shells costing from just £150,000. Other homes in the area sell for an average of £459,000.

The aim is to make them affordable for people earning £40,000, the average salary in the area. If approved, they could be completed by 2020.

The house that costs nothing to heat - and even charges your car for free

Khan has given a £500,000 grant to not-for-profit developers Naked House, who say they were inspired by their own difficulties finding affordable housing.

"Our solution is to strip it back to the bare essentials - saving design and build costs by creating a community of 'naked' houses," they say.

"It's then down to the people who'll live there to create the homes they want. We think this will create homes better suited to people's needs. And we hope the process itself will build a real sense of community."

They say they are hoping to develop another seven sites in the city, and that the model could in theory be rolled out across the UK.

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Similar 'shell' homes have been popular in the Netherlands for years. However, they're not being welcomed by all, with Conservative Andrew Boff, who chairs the London Assembly housing committee, saying they don't appear to be designed for families.

"They are for singletons and couples," he tells the Guardian.

"They need homes as well, but if we don't build larger properties for families we are creating a time bomb in London. There are over 300,000 children growing up in overcrowded conditions and that number is rising."

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Affordable housing is in short supply all over the country. According to Shelter, typical new homes built today are out of reach for eight in ten working private renting families across the country – even if they use the government's Help to Buy scheme.

"The current way of building homes has had its day and it has failed the nation," says Graeme Brown, Shelter's interim chief executive.

"The only way to fix our ever-growing housing crisis is for the government to champion a bold new approach which responds to communities to build the genuinely affordable, beautiful homes they want."

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