helping local councils tackle short term housing demand

Chief Executive Stephen Wicks explains how hugg bespoke modular units are helping local councils tackle short term housing demand in this article for 24housing:

Three million new social homes are needed by 2040, but only 6,000 a year are being built. For local authorities, this shortfall is reflected in the harsh reality of ever-increasing waiting lists and a growing number of families seeking temporary accommodation.

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At the end of June this year, there were 82,310 families in temporary accommodation, up from 55,840 in June 2013. Local authorities responding to this need face huge challenges.

Not only does temporary accommodation come at great expense, with local authorities’ spending on temporary accommodation soaring to almost £1bn in 2017/18, often the accommodation on offer is cramped, relies on shared facilities and can be located miles away from family and community connections.

Maximising dormant land

hugg bespoke modular homes offer a practical, affordable and quick solution. Making use of inactive land owned by Inland Homes or a third party, hugg offers value to local councils in a way that does not compromise on quality of build and design. The homes can be available in as little as 12 weeks and the ‘pop-up’ nature means that family displacement can be avoided, offering continuity of community services, education and family support networks.

Modular homes also benefit from flexibility and can be tailored to meet the land available – from one or two units to whole communities.

No compromise on quality

Modular homes have been criticised by some as a symptom and not a solution to the housing crisis in the UK, with concerns raised about the standard of living offered to residents. Rightly there’s been some damning recent coverage about the quality of some modular homes. Often made from converted shipping containers, these homes, while providing shelter, cannot offer an acceptable standard of living. A distinction needs to be made between this shipping container accommodation and the high-quality building regulation compliant modular homes now available.

hugg Homes

Purpose built, bespoke to the site, well-designed, properly insulated to thermal and acoustic required standards, with quality as a priority. Each hugg home maximises space, with fitted furniture and appliances chosen to create an efficient living environment. These developments also offer external landscaped areas to create a sense of community. Our Southampton units are let as mixed-tenure with the whole scheme fully let within six weeks of launch.

hugg’s private renters recognise that the standard of accommodation on offer ranks favourably with similar priced market rent accommodation options in the city. For Broxbourne Council, where just over 200 families were reported as living in B&B or hostel accommodation in June 2018, hugg homes present an attractive proposition, offering both high quality accommodation and significant financial savings.

Challenging the preconceptions

Modular homes may not be the panacea to the housing crisis but I do strongly believe they are a solution for now. A pragmatic solution no doubt, but one that can improve the lives of those in need. We need to be vocal in challenging the preconceptions about modular living, demonstrate the quality available and act as advocates, not defenders, of this innovative model.

Invitation

With this mind, I invite readers to join me at our hugg Cheshunt open afternoon on 7th November. See more here.

Andy Hutchinson