Cornwall Council takes next step in tackling housing crisis by investing in new offsite homes

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Cornwall Council is set to announce an extension to its modular housing initiative to help tackle Cornwall’s housing crisis.

Up to 30 two and three-bedroom homes, across several sites, will be built as part of a new partnership with the South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA) and Constructing Modern Methods.

The local authority is calling on the offsite housing sector to get involved in the scheme and work at pace with the Council and its partners to create a legacy of affordable, energy efficient, housing.

The partnership behind the homes is embracing new technology to help the Council to quickly assess the modular housing market and make the right purchasing decisions for the Duchy. The team behind Constructing Modern Methods is calling for any modular housing providers to get in touch and join the project.

Modular housing, which makes use of offsite pre-manufactured walls, roofs, or even complete units, offers several benefits to traditionally constructed buildings, creating warmer, more efficient, and cheaper to run homes. Plus, the added benefits that they take a fraction of the time to build as well as offering a versatile housing solution.

With many households facing a cost-of-living crisis – energy bills are set to increase dramatically from April 2022 – reducing energy costs from a potential average of £2,000 per year represents a real opportunity to help people manage their utility bills.

Head of Construction and Sustainability at Constructing Modern Methods, Philip Stott said: “The initiative with Cornwall and SWPA represents a real change in seeing how a local authority delivers homes. Modular, offsite, housing is becoming more affordable than traditional because of the increase in energy costs. With this pilot we are showing that local authorities can lead the way in meeting the UK’s housing demand and now we need the modular housing market to come along with us in this exciting project. If you are a new, or established, offsite housing company it is time to get in touch!”

Olly Monk, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning at Cornwall Council, said: “This new initiative is the next step in the Council’s approach to help tackle the housing crisis. These new two- and three-bedroom modular homes will follow the one-bedroom units we have already bought to provide emergency accommodation.”

“Buying and deploying permanent quality modular homes such as these will allow us to put homes for families in key locations throughout the Duchy. This is about us recognising that there are people in our communities that really need our help, and us providing them with an exceptional quality housing solution that can be deployed quickly. These first 30 units are the start not the end of our Modular Project and we are looking for many more to be installed as and when we can identify land for them.”

Director of SWPA, Mary Bennell said: “This really is a ground-breaking project for Cornwall. Not just in terms the cost and speed of the housing delivery, but also in terms of how we are helping a leading local authority to support the offsite housing sector. Our technology and procurement systems will make sure that new and emerging building companies can compete with the larger, more established, housing providers to create a really innovative marketplace.”

Offsite construction businesses can get in touch with the project at: info@constructingmodernmethods.com or click here to visit the website