London’s Olympic Village Upcycled Into Affordable Housing

Like a good portion of the world, London has experienced a housing crisis since late 2007. The population keeps growing, but incomes stay the same or decline. This leaves a lot of people without an affordable place to live. Though the London Olympics ended over a year ago, the Olympic Village built to temporarily house the world’s best athletes is slated to become part of a permanent solution to this problem.

The complex that provided living quarters for 17,000 athletes and trainers is being refurbished and will soon become part of “Get Living London“: a new neighborhood of apartment homes in the East Village built around walkability, community, and green spaces.

Olympic East Village Apartments

Image via East Village

The East Village sports over 2,000 residences, in one, two, three and four bedroom plants. According to the managing companies, each one was built to the highest environmental standards and designed by 16 of the world’s leading architects.

The entire community was built around the concept of green space. Balconies, winter gardens, landscaped courtyards and tree-lined streets are common within the neighborhood. In the interests of keeping traffic to a minimum, 30 small local shops, cafés, a pub, restaurants, a convenience store, even a gym are all within a few minutes walk of the East Village residences. The site will eventually include an education campus and a health center as well.

Olympic East Village Apartment

Image via East Village

To prepare for the first residents, who should be able to move in by early Fall 2013, construction teams are busy installing 2,818 new fitted kitchens.

When finished, “about half of the flats, a total of 1,379, will be then handed over to the local housing association Triathlon Homes to house some of the thousands of low-income Londoners in the five ‘Olympic boroughs’ — Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich,” reports The National. The other half “will be rented out on the open market as London’s first major rented housing scheme to be built in living memory.”

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog