Affordable Housing – Is The Outlook Improving?
With plans to scrap the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap and the Chancellor’s recent announcement of an additional £500 million for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, you might think that the availability of affordable housing, to rent or buy, is about to improve.
This comes at a time when the London mayor has also agreed a £1 billion plan to build 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels across 26 boroughs over the next four years.
However, whether you are attracted to joint ventures or plan to go it alone, the housing challenge for Local Authorities and Housing Associations remains enormous, even if funding prospects are improving.
One of the issues has been the difficulty of squaring the requirement for high quality, economic housing with conventional construction methods. This certainly hasn’t always worked well and there are still plenty of examples of ‘affordable housing’ that are beyond the reach of first-time buyers. Capacity challenges are also a major factor and the availability of suitable land is still likely to hold back social house building on the scale needed.
Modern development has also proved singularly ill equipped to take advantage of challenging and awkward urban sites, which often remain empty and wasted.
But, re-evaluating modular, prefabricated housing as part of the solution could be a way forward for many. Especially if it allows you to take advantage of land outside of the development plan and windfall sites where conventional construction simply doesn’t work. ZEDpod housing units, for example, can even be installed on raised steel decks above existing parking infrastructure – effectively doubling the utility of land assets.
Bristol, which is aiming to be at the forefront of developing the template for solving the UK housing crisis, recently hosted the first Bristol Housing Festival to seek out and highlight innovation in affordable housing. This was a terrific opportunity to showcase the benefits of ZEDpod living to the city as well as councillors, mayors and housing association specialists from further afield. You can find out more information here.
We were especially delighted when Bristol City Council committed to invest in six ZEDpod modular homes over the next six months, using city sites that are undeliverable in terms of conventional development, to provide essential accommodation to people in housing crisis.
Quality, affordable, sustainable and energy neutral. These remain key watchwords for any developments – whether to rent or to buy – and it was particularly valuable to meet the Mayor of Bristol and those involved with the provision of new housing, to hear their thoughts and concerns and to explain why modular homes that are quick to build have a real part to play.
Some specialists we spoke to were particularly interested that ZEDpods:
• Can be easily demounted and moved if required, but were still permanent homes
• Have a Q Assurance Warranty which is Lloyds register backed, CML approved and has a housing association package
• Are fully ‘Space Standards’ compliant
• Are zero carbon in terms of materials and build
• Use fire resistant Rockwool for insulation and fire-resistant cement board cladding with a 50 year life
• Can be built in 10 days and erected within 24 hours
If you would like to find out more or have an awkward site that you want to develop then please get in touch ….Back To News