Ikea flat-pack homes go on sale for low income earners

Last updated at 10:32 05 October 2007

People on low incomes are getting their first chance to buy a flat-pack home made by Swedish firm Ikea.

The Scandinavian-style timber-framed houses and flats, which have been designed by Swedish construction firm Skanska, are being built in Gateshead.

The homes, which cost up to £150,000, will be available only to those earning between £15,000 and £35,000 who are not already homeowners.

Potential purchasers can apply at the local Ikea store at Gateshead's MetroCentre on October 5 and 6.

The application process will involve filling in a form, followed by an interview to determine financial circumstances. If demand is high, the homes might eventually be allocated by lottery.

The timber-framed BoKlok structures were designed in the mid-1990s to address the need for affordable properties in Sweden and to provide people with high quality properties at a low price.

Alan Prole, managing director of Live Smart @ Home, the company licensed to build BoKlok properties in the UK, said:

"There has already been significant interest via the website and now this will give even more people the opportunity to come in to find out more and to apply to buy a home."

"We must stress that no homes will be sold on the day and we guarantee that everyone who qualifies will get an equal opportunity to purchase a BoKlok home."

The BoKlok flats have a flexible open-plan layout, with high ceilings and large windows which give the apartments a light, airy and contemporary feel.

BoKlok homes are designed around factory processes that enable them to be constructed in quality-controlled conditions that would be impossible to create using traditional construction methods.

They are constructed using a highly-insulated closed-panel system with a range of claddings and are energy-efficient.

Homes come with standard features such as extra-height rooms to give a feeling of space, wooden flooring throughout, fitted kitchens and free interior design advice from Ikea, as well as an Ikea furniture voucher.

Work on the St James site, which is near the Gateshead International Stadium, is already under way and the first homes should be ready to move into in January.

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