Could Prefabs be the Answer?

Added on December 1st 2016

Could Prefabs be the Answer?

The UK’s housing crisis often makes the news, as do the various solutions touted for it. The latest idea is a return to prefabs as part of a bid to add a million new homes to the market before 2020. Ministers are said to be looking at the construction of 100,000 ready-made houses, which will go some way to meeting this target.

Prefabs – or prefabricated – houses were used to great effect in the UK after World War II – a slight case of The Blitz meant there was a severe housing shortage. Although the prefabs were often slated for their poor quality, many stood for longer than their expected ten years and many a baby-boomer was born and raised in one.

It’s all gone modular

Nowadays we call prefabricated houses modular, and they are very unlikely to be criticised for their poor quality, thanks to improvements in tech and a lack of rationing!

Some houses can be erected in as little as 48 hours. However, people may still worry about the long-term stability of something that can be built so rapidly.

How will HM Government make this happen?

There should be a white paper this month which outlines the government’s housing strategy. It’s thought that a major part of this plan will be to encourage banks to lend money to modular house construction companies. These houses will be assembled off-site before being transported to their destinations.

There may be no set numbers in the white paper, but it’s believed that the government wants at least 100,000 such homes before 2020. Modular homes can range from three-bedroomed units to simple studio flats in a box, so all budgets and life stages can be catered for.

We’re yet to find out how this drive is to be funded, whether it’s directly from the state or whether there’ll be more investment in private sector contractors.

Of course there’s a lot to be sorted out yet, but an extra 100,000 homes, especially if they’re aimed at first-time buyers, will prove very welcome indeed.

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