How build-to-rent can help to combat urban loneliness

Back to News

A 2018 survey from The Economist revealed that more than two in ten adults in the UK often feel lonely, lack companionship, or feel left out or isolated.

A similar piece of research released in October 2018 by the BBC also found that a third of Brits said they often or very often feel lonely.

The UK is in the grips of a loneliness epidemic, and its impact is concerning – scientists found in a 2017 report that loneliness is as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.

The number of single households is on the rise, and due to increase by a quarter (1.7m) by 2039, according to government projections. Therefore, many working-age Britons spend a sizeable chunk of their time commuting, getting their heads down at work, and coming home in the evening to an empty house.

Slipping into this routine can see isolation quickly becoming the norm, with many people not realising how little social interaction they’re experiencing day-to-day for some time. Big cities tend to lack the tight-knit community feel often found in smaller towns and villages, making urban loneliness especially widespread in this day and age.

How build-to-rent can help

However, the rise and rise of build-to-rent living presents the UK with a unique opportunity to help combat the loneliness problem creeping in to our cities.

Build-to-rent apartments – sprung from the American multifamily style of living – are designed in a way which puts community at their very heart, incorporating far more shared space than is typically found in traditional PRS schemes.

Clayworks, for example, offers co-working space, a roof terrace, a private, landscaped courtyard, and a residents’ lounge – all free for people who live in the apartments to use however they’d like to. Each of these spaces encourage socialising between occupiers, and will play host to a variety of events throughout the year – meaning that residents will be able to share and bond over experiences together.

Events usually found in apartment blocks such as Clayworks can span everything from yoga to macramé workshops; Friday evening drinks to French lessons; and pop culture discussions to pop-up food stalls. They offer residents a relaxed, informal and familiar setting in which to forge new friendships, with likeminded people who may only live a few floors away.

A team that cares

Build-to-rent schemes also have a dedicated team of staff who can play a pivotal role in helping to ward off isolation and promote a community spirit.

Ordinarily, as the role requires so much face-to-face customer service, people appointed as community managers and concierges in developments like Clayworks are friendly, helpful and outgoing. It’s also their responsibility to have up-to-the-minute knowledge on what’s happening in and around Stoke-on-Trent – meaning they can recommend to you events taking place around the city based on your interests, allowing you to meet and connect with likeminded people.

They’re also big on resident welfare, getting to know you and your habits, likes and dislikes on a personal level.

Pets welcome!

And if you’re a natural introvert? Not to worry – many build-to-rent apartments are pet friendly, meaning your four-legged friends can come along for the ride. Studies have shown that animals, especially dogs, can be instrumental in helping to combat loneliness.

Overall, build-to-rent apartments like Clayworks help to foster real communities in their buildings, providing residents with ample opportunity to interact with each other and socialise. In today’s tech-first world, where FaceTime calls can often replace face-to-face conversations, experiencing human contact has never been more crucial.

Build-to-rent offers that in spades, in a stylish and modern setting – putting occupier needs first and making your life as comfortable as possible.

Get in touch

Like what you’re reading? Get in touch with the Clayworks team to discuss options, pricing or arrange a viewing.

Don’t forget to follow @SmithfieldST1 on Twitter to keep up with all things Smithfield!