Seven housing associations across south Wales have joined forces to support the Welsh Government in reducing the country’s housing shortage by seeking effective solutions to deliver more affordable homes.
The Associations: Coastal Housing Group, Hafod, Family Housing Association (FHA), Linc Cymru, Pobl Group, United Welsh and Valleys to Coast (V2C) have teamed up to explore the best ways to meet the Welsh Government’s target of building 20,000 affordable homes by 2021, and to continue the delivery of new homes beyond that.
The collaborative project will see the seven housing associations conduct research into the economic and practical feasibility of a variety of potential strategies to meet Wales’ growing housing demand.
Funded through Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme – a scheme designed to support the development of new approaches to delivering housing in Wales – the research will take place over six months, with findings from the study subsequently presented to the Welsh Government.
Off-site manufacturing, which sees homes pre-built in modular components and installed on site, will be one avenue researched. The approach has been hailed as a potential way of solving the UK’s housing shortage, thanks to its ability to deliver homes to market much more quickly than traditional building approaches.
As properties can be turned around quicker and on mass, modular homes could also hold the key to tackling homelessness in south Wales, while helping to relieve the pressure placed on social landlords to build high quality, good value housing quickly.
A spokesperson for the partnership said, “The UK has a complex housing problem with a clear shortage of quality, affordable homes. While building more homes is the obvious answer, improving the speed and efficiency of construction by embracing new methods of delivery will be essential if we are to succeed in providing the tens of thousands of new affordable homes that the country needs.
“Our study will look into a full range of options to find the most appropriate solution to meet government targets. Off-site construction is one avenue that could provide a way of achieving these goals and raises exciting possibilities for the world of social housing. It has the potential to enable landlords to build new housing quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, with major benefits for tenants, particularly those on low incomes, thanks to the reduced rental costs stemming from savings during the construction process.
“This collaborative process will take an objective view at providing more affordable housing, looking at projects currently happening across the UK and assessing whether they could also succeed here in Wales.”