John Lewis’s plans to enter the housing market have been met with ridicule and ‘disgust’ from some Brits.
The department store chain is set to build 10,000 homes for rental – some of which will come fully furnished.
A large number of the properties would be above Waitrose supermarkets or within empty John Lewis car parks, with homes available ranging from single studio flats to four-bedroom houses, according to the Sunday Times which first reported the story.
Read more: Peterborough shoppers gutted after ‘short sighted’ John Lewis closure confirmed
Nina Bhatia, executive director of strategy and commercial development at John Lewis Partnership, said: “As a business driven by social purpose, we have big ambitions for moving into property rental to address the national housing shortage and support local communities.”
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The company said that all housing developments would come with a concierge service and would feature a Waitrose convenience store near the entrance, reports BirminghamLive.
But the announcement has attracted widespread criticism, despite some supporters of the scheme.
One reader wrote: “Can barely afford a John Lewis lamp never mind a house.”
“Definitely not affordable. The state of this country when a struggling department store sees the housing market as a way to gain more revenue.”
A third said: “How can our housing market be up for grabs like this?”
Another commented: “Disgusting. Is this the future, where you cannot own a home, but have to rent it from a company like John Lewis? Utterly DISGUSTING.”
And another fumed: “Ask yourself what is affordable rent .. Affordable rent means nothing if you can’t afford it. Affordable has become a much-abused word in housing circles”
“We don’t need homes to rent, we need homes to buy!” said another.
“The reason for the housing crisis is not a supply issue, it’s an affordability issue,” said another.
“We need actual affordable housing for first time buyers built everywhere,” complained another.
The first John Lewis homes are set to be built in the south-east of England.
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