Modular flats proposed to help tackle local homelessness
Published: Wednesday 21st June 17
Wandsworth could become one of the first councils in London to adopt a faster way of building housing to meet the need for temporary accommodation.
Up to 10 flats built by modular construction are proposed for sites beside Nightingale Square hostel, Balham, according to a report which went before a council committee on 20 June.
Modular techniques see completed flats assembled in factories, before being transported and installed on site, with fewer trucks and less waste involved.
A flagship development using modular construction is currently being built by Pocket Living in Mapleton Crescent, central Wandsworth, with properties that are smaller but sold with a discount of at least 20% to first time buyers.
The Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee report states that building works on a tarmac area between blocks at Nightingale Square hostel are expected to take six months, quicker than if built using more traditional methods. Landscaping for other nearby outdoor communal areas would also be included.
Other councils, such as Ealing and Merton, have also made use of modular construction to provide additional temporary accommodation, the committee heard. The recommendations are for properties that are smaller than standard residential flats, but bigger than the alternative of bed and breakfast properties.
Cllr Clare Salier, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “As a council, it’s important that we look to investigate new ways to find high quality accommodation for local people in need. Modular construction is used widely in Europe, and could well be useful in a city like London which needs more new housing, and fast.”
Subject to planning permission, building works could begin next year.
More about Wandsworth Council’s housebuilding:
- Wandsworth Council received £13million from the government to spend on frontline services after overseeing the second highest amount of affordable housing built in London last year
- Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, is a member of the Government’s Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, and also of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, referred to Wandsworth Council as a ‘fantastic example’ of local authority housebuilding during the Mayor’s Question Time of 19 October, 2016
- Wandsworth’s pioneering Hidden Homes programme has built more than 250 new council homes on under-used sites such as vacant garages, making use of 100 per cent of proceeds from Right to Buy sales of council homes, and the scheme has since been copied by other local authorities
- Construction is under way in Battersea on 57 new Hidden Homes, the first of 300 planned for the next three to five years
- Wandsworth financially supports council tenants to buy a home on the open market, which frees up housing for local households in need and last year saved over £430,000 in temporary accommodation costs
- More than 3,000 new homes for shared ownership, social renting, low cost rent, market rent and for sale are to be built by the council and partners at two major estate regeneration schemes in Battersea and Roehampton which guarantee newly built homes for all council tenants, leaseholders and freeholders on their estates
- The council’s housing strategy target is to ensure a minimum of 18,000 homes are built in Wandsworth during the next ten years