The Welsh Government is investing £45m in the pre-made and flat-packed homes industry as a way of solving the problem of a lack of affordable housing in Wales.
The factory-made ‘modular’ housing could be used to quickly increase the number of high-quality social and affordable homes being built across Wales, they say. They hope to use national assets such as Welsh steel and Welsh timber.
They are aiming to build 20,000 affordable homes across Wales by 2021.
Housing Minister, Julie James will today announce that the Welsh Government are investing in the scheme as part of a strategy to kick-start the modern methods of construction.
“Gone [is the] association with poor quality, temporary, pre-fabricated housing; modern methods of construction (MMC) now produces high quality, desirable and energy-efficient affordable homes that tenants can be proud of,” Julie James said. “ We have certainly moved from Pre-Fab to Ab-Fab!
“Developing the MMC industry in Wales presents us with a great opportunity to not only build beautiful new social housing, but also kick-start a new industry that will become increasingly important for our economy.
“Over the last 4 years, this Welsh Government has invested £2 billion in new housing across Wales, as part of our ambition to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2021.
“But we want to build more. And we want to build better. The significant investment we’re making in the modular housing industry will enable us to do that.”
£20m is being made available for MMC businesses, who in partnership with Welsh social landlords, want to build the next generation of social housing.
A further £25m is being made available for round 4 of the Welsh Government’s Innovative Housing Programme, which will focus on innovative housing delivered through MMC.
Investment will also help firms invest in locally sourced labour, they said. Other benefits include:
- Creating new jobs and developing the new skills required to accommodate greater use of MMC, which will represent a sea-change in the construction industry;
- Upskilling the existing construction workforce;
- Attracting new and diverse entrants from marginalised groups such as offenders and those who wouldn’t necessarily consider careers in traditional construction such as women.
The Housing Minister today witnessed MMC in action on a visit to SO Modular in Neath, who already supply the social housing market in Wales.