/ News & Views
/ Modular Homes (Pre-Fabs!)
There is a housing crisis in England and it is a crisis of supply.
Since 1939, the delivery of more than 200,000 homes per year in England has only happened in years when there have been major public sector house building programmes and the last time that the Government target of 300,000 homes were built in one year in England was in 1969, when councils and housing associations were also building new homes.
I believe that the only way we will reach 300,000 homes a year is through new approaches. One is ready today, designed for scale. It is, of course, modular homes - or pre-fabs. When I met with a developer named Ilke Homes, I was shown high quality homes constructed in less than half the traditional time - and at a lower cost! They are incredibly efficient and can save a staggering 90% of energy bills. What's more, the homes are delivered ready to live in and they can deliver homes for 10 families per day - that's a whole street per week.
In my constituency of Mitcham and Morden, we have the wonderful Y:Cubes. 36 apartments rented out at 65% of the market rate with a build programme of just 5 months. They are adaptable to the space availbale, additional units can be added, and they can even be moved.
And so I invited the Sunday Politics team down to Mitcham to see the wonderful Y:Cubes first hand. Those who saw the programme were amazed to see incredible views across Merton taken by their incredible drone.
So where can these modular homes go? One possible area has to be the scrap plots of Network Rail land that sit unoccupied, undesirable and unused. In February, I brought together Network Rail and the YMCA South London to talk about an abandoned strip of land on Rialto Road in Mitcham close to Mitcham Eastfields Station. Plots of land like this are perfect for pre-fab housing. I brought the idea to the Houseof Commons and am pleased that it has secured a meeting with the Minister for Transport. You can see my question to him here:
There is no single solution to the housing crisis, but this is certainly one of them!