Britain set for new wave of prefabs to help tackle housing crisis

Tony Gosling tony at
Mon Oct 31 01:22:29 GMT 2016

Britain set for new wave of prefabs to help tackle housing crisis 

Riley-Smith, assistant political editor
29 OCTOBER 2016 • 9:45PM

Britain is to get a new wave of prefabs as 
ministers plan to offer help to build 100,000 
ready-made homes to try to solve the housing crisis, the Telegraph has learnt.

In a major strategy shift, the Government has 
decided to meet its ambitious housing targets by 
embracing the first new generation of pre-packed 
homes since the great reconstruction drive that followed the Second World War.

Many of the modern prefabs, now known as “modular 
homes”, will be aimed at younger Britons to help 
them on to the housing ladder.

It is understood that a Government white paper 
expected to be published next month will include 
measures to encourage banks to lend to small 
firms that build houses off-site, which are then 
delivered to a final destination.

Ministers have taken a “huge interest” in 
21st-century prefabs after being impressed that 
some were erected on site in just 48 hours.
A sign for Whitehall

A sign for Whitehall

While the Communities Department is not expected 
to set a hard target, government sources said it 
was hoped that the change would result in more 
than 100,000 prefabs being built over this parliament.

Gavin Barwell, the housing minister, today 
confirms that the Government sees a “huge 
opportunity” in manufacturers building houses 
off-site as it tries to hit ambitious building targets.

Winston Churchill backed a surge in prefabs that 
helped families across Britain left homeless after the Blitz.

The homes – designed to last only 10 years but 
often still habitable for decades longer – came 
to symbolise Britain’s post-war years but were 
often also synonymous with poor quality.

However, government sources and industry experts 
said improvements in technology meant that issues over quality no longer exist.
Nick Clegg: garden cities 'answer' to housing crisisPlay!02:56

Theresa May’s Government is attempting to work 
out how to meet a commitment to build a million new homes by 2020.

House building has lagged behind targets for 
several years, with proposals delayed while 
awaiting planning permission and the country 
facing a manufacturing skills shortage.

Ministers are now convinced ready-made homes – 
from three-bedroom houses made by factories to 
simple packed homes constructed on site – should be a key part of their plan.

A government source told The Sunday Telegraph: 
“The first and most obvious advantage is speeding 
up the building of housing.” The source added: 
“There is pretty good evidence that if you did it at scale it is cheaper.”

Ministers are said to be looking at two areas of potential support.

The first is whether the state can provide more 
direct funding to help firms build new prefabs.

Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, announced 
a £3 billion “home building fund” last month that 
offers loans to small firms – seen as a crucial first step inside Whitehall.
Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary

Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary CREDIT:  DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

The second drive is to convince lenders, who are 
risk-averse and unwilling to fund the firms 
making prefabs according to industry experts, to start giving out more loans.

Government sources credit the newfound political 
support for prefabs with a number of recent 
ministerial trips to housebuilders leading the charge.

Accord Group, a housing association in the West 
Midlands, can produce a three-bedroom house from 
scratch in a day in its factory and has been visited by government figures.

Alan Yates, the company’s executive director of 
regeneration, said they were initially importing 
the homes from Norway before starting 
construction in the UK. “These are really 
high-quality homes, very well insulated. They are 
a totally different product from the prefabs after the war,” he said.

Pocket, a London-based firm creating affordable 
flats for first-time buyers, has had recent 
visits from Mr Barwell and Mr Javid.

Lucian Smithers, the company’s director, said: 
“What we need is a renaissance in small- and 
medium-sized developers making 100, 200 homes at 
a time. A lot of them were eradicated in 2008 in 
the financial crash, when many were bought out. 
If ministers can help with that it is a great thing.”

Mr Barwell said: “Offsite construction could 
provide a huge opportunity to increase housing 
supply and we want to see more innovation like 
this emulated across the housebuilding sector.”

So much emphasis is placed on select Jewish 
participation in Bormann companies that when 
Adolf Eichmann was seized and taken to Tel Aviv 
to stand trial, it produced a shock wave in the 
Jewish and German communities of Buenos Aires. 
Jewish leaders informed the Israeli authorities 
in no uncertain terms that this must never happen 
again because a repetition would permanently 
rupture relations with the Germans of Latin 
America, as well as with the Bormann 
organization, and cut off the flow of Jewish 
money to Israel. It never happened again, and the 
pursuit of Bormann quieted down at the request of 
these Jewish leaders. He is residing in an 
Argentinian safe haven, protected by the most 
efficient German infrastructure in history as 
well as by all those whose prosperity depends on his well-being.
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