90,000 New Social Homes Each Year – How Could We Do That?

Shelter recently called for the Government to deliver 90,000 social homes a year. While that might seem an ambitious target, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t the right one.

According to Shelter, there were around half a million households last year who were in private rented accommodation while also being on council waiting lists. Fewer than 43,000 moved into social rented accommodation during that time.

For some people, private rented accommodation suits their needs. But for many on low incomes it means instability, substandard housing and the ever-present threat of eviction and homelessness. One fifth of private renters struggle to keep up with rent payments and many have to skip meals or don’t properly heat their homes just to keep their heads above water.

Realistically, the private rented sector will never meet the needs of a large number of people in the way that social rented accommodation could. The problem is supply. Hence the need to build 90,000 homes a year.

After ‘Why’ Comes ‘How’

Even when the funding and the will are in place, we know that traditional building methods will struggle to deliver decent quality homes at this scale to acceptable cost and quality standards. It is as much a question of how as it is about when and where social rented homes should be built.

It seems inevitable that Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will have a major role to play. This is the route not just to faster construction but also to more reliable standards of quality and energy efficiency.

A Viable Solution

An MMC approach offers the opportunity to build energy efficient and easily maintained homes, at scale and to a known budget. It is a solution that eliminates the uncertainties that can hold back the development of badly needed social housing and offer a more optimistic outlook to thousands of people trapped in unsuitable housing.

Osborne has a track record of innovation and a collaborative supply chain that includes specialists in building high quality homes using MMC.

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