Our shortage of affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing Britain today. Arthur takes a look into the new plans to introduce more modular housing and whether or not it could provide the UK with a much-needed solution to the crisis.
What is modular housing?
Homes that are prefabricated in a factory and installed on site, resulting in a quicker and cheaper building process. On Monday 18th December, plans were announced to build 6 factories across the UK to produce modular housing – 1 in Scotland, 1 in South Wales, and 4 dotted around England.
The recent modular housing deal…
A new modular housing deal has been signed on the back of a £2.5billion investment from China National Building Material Company (CNBM). CNBM will partner with Your Housing Group, who currently manage 33,000 affordable homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, WElink energy specialists, and also has support from the UK Government.
The plans aim to bring 2000 modular homes to the UK by next year, scaling up to provide us with 25,000 prefabricated homes per year by 2022. The first scheme, in Liverpool, should receive its planning permission by January 2017. Brian Cronin, Chief Executive of Your Housing Group, firmly believes that the initiative “will provide a massive quantum shift in our ability to provide affordable homes”.
Prefabricated homes often associated with cheap , cold and undesirable post-War housing. However, 21st century modular housing is very different. The UK already built around 15,000 prefabricated homes last year, which are highly energy efficient and soundproof, making them suitable for a variety of locations. The modular housing type in this scheme will be based on designs from Spain’s leading Barcelona Housing Systems, who mix light-gauge steel frames with energy efficient composite materials to produce a panel system.
Government data shows that the UK requires 1 million new homes by 2020. However, last year just over 142,000 were actually built, falling short of the 200,000 per year target. It no surprise therefore, that our Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, is strongly in favour of this new initiative –“If we are to get this country building the homes we need, we need to make maximum use of modern construction”. This scheme has the potential to address the housing shortfall and help the Government achieve their housing aspirations expressed in the Autumn Statement by kickstarting the UK’s house building industry.
As well as increasing the quantity of new houses that we produce on a national scale, the plans will create over 1000 new jobs, providing certain local areas with some much rejuvenation. It is certain that this scheme has a lot of potential to improve upon our current shortage of affordable housing. Arthur will keep an eye on further development to access the extent to which modular housing is likely to solve the housing crisis.
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