United Kingdom plans to make 100,000 pre-made homes to solve housing crisis

By Matt Dathan

More than 100,000 pre-packed "modular" homes could be constructed as the Government looks at ways to meet its target to provide one million new homes by 2020. Photo / Getty Images
More than 100,000 pre-packed "modular" homes could be constructed as the Government looks at ways to meet its target to provide one million new homes by 2020. Photo / Getty Images

Ministers are planning a new wave of prefabricated homes in a drive to solve Britain's housing crisis.

More than 100,000 pre-packed "modular" homes could be constructed as the Government looks at ways to meet its target to provide one million new homes by 2020, according to reports.

A Government white paper due out next month will include measures to encourage banks to lend to firms which construct the homes off-site before delivering them to their final destination.

It comes as the influx of migrants is being blamed for the crisis, with 30,000 new social housing lettings given to immigrants in 2015, according to Government figures.

Pressure group Migration Watch - chaired by Lord Green of Deddington, said the crisis and its costs would continue to grow unless a 'sustainable' level of migration is achieved.

A statement on its website said: "There is a long standing controversy over the granting of social housing to immigrants. This has not been helped by local authorities' reluctance to publish the relevant information.

"Some immigrant groups have very low use of social housing whereas others are more likely to be in social housing than the UK born. There is absolutely nothing in the rules that state that immigrants should get preferential treatment.

"However, priority for social housing is largely determined by need and so some 'high need' immigrant families will gain access to housing over longer standing local residents deemed to be of lower need. This can be contentious."

It added: "In the future, any housing strategy must address both supply and demand. Immigration is a major part of housing demand.

"Unless net migration is reduced to a manageable and sustainable level a large house building programme will have to continue indefinitely, with all the costs and loss of amenities involved."

Offsite construction could provide a huge opportunity to increase housing supply and we want to see more innovation like this emulated across the house building sector.
Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell

As previously reported by Mail Online, politicians including former Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith have warned that immigration is "pricing young people out of the housing market" in Britain.

It is believed that there are now 2.1million EU workers in the UK. Some 800,000 citizens arrived last year, many more than previously thought.

The pre-made homes can be built off-side in as little as a day and take just 48 hours to install on-site.

The initiative recalls the reconstruction drive which followed the Second World War as ready-made homes - dubbed 'prefabs' - sprung up across the country as the government sought to house families bombed out of their homes by the Germans.

While the prefab nickname of the 1940s homes was often a byword for poor quality, improvements in technology mean that such concerns are no longer an issue.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that ministers were impressed by the fact that some of the new generation of prefabs could be put up on site in as little as 48 hours, as well as the potential cost advantages.

The Sunday Telegraph quoted a Government source as saying: "The first and most obvious advantage is speeding up the building of housing. There is pretty good evidence that if you did it at scale it is cheaper."

Ministers are understood to be considering a range of offsite construction methods made possible by modern materials and manufacturing techniques.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said: "Offsite construction could provide a huge opportunity to increase housing supply and we want to see more innovation like this emulated across the housebuilding sector.

"The £3 billion (NZ$5.1b) Home Building Fund will help build more than 225,000 new homes and provide loans for small firms, custom builders, offsite construction and essential infrastructure, creating thousands of new jobs in the process."

- Daily Mail

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