Happy Communities Helps Good Health
3 minute read
According to the NHS, the choice of where you live impacts on your health. Working with the government, it is launching guidance for developers, and local health providers, to create places where communities can thrive.
‘Putting Health into Place’, reflects ambitions for active and independent living across all age groups and abilities, promoting health and wellbeing, allowing different generations to support each other through a range of activities and facilities. Together with restrictions on junk food outlets, recommendations include after school clubs, cycle paths and dementia friendly walking trails, as well as parks and allotments.
Several developers have signed up to the plan, working with local authorities, to design schemes embracing the ideals, originally formulated in Garden Cities.
However, meeting housing needs also means adapting construction methods and modular homes are attracting interest, with a recent £30m government investment to expand a factory in Yorkshire, claiming it will produce 2,000 homes in 2020 and a further 5,000 in 2021. These structures bear no relation to the temporary post-war prefab dwellings, but are high quality and easily assembled on site, speeding up delivery at a time when there is a growing shortage of experienced labour.
In the last 20 years 11,000 units have been built across Scandinavia by BoKlok, owned by Ikea, and a £90m scheme in Manchester, together with a 44-storey tower in Croydon, add weight to the drive for change, led by a government-appointed Modular Tsar. Author of ‘Modernise or Die’, he promotes innovation, with technology being used ‘in a powerful way’.
Berkeley Homes is reportedly moving in this direction in 2020, acknowledging ‘it is the future’, whilst Ikea is planning various schemes in the South and South West; Worthing council has granted consent for 150 eco homes, and the company is in discussion with two High Street lenders, and one Swedish lender, to develop a specific mortgage for first-time buyers. The company is ambitious to acquire sites in other locations to provide more well-designed affordable homes to meet rising demand.
It only remains for the mortgage industry as a whole to support the revolution; their representatives are already visiting factories to satisfy themselves about manufacturing standards. In particular, lenders demand assurances, including local authority and National Housebuilding Council approval, and a 10-year warranty (which also applies to traditional new build properties).
Importantly, they are also assessing resale value, so their customers can purchase a modular home, confident in the knowledge that it is a good investment, allowing them to move on in time, without a financial loss.
All the evidence points to environmentally friendly modular homes soon becoming an integral part of the new housing market. When they arrive near you, take a look and be impressed. For advice on mortgages, contact Just Mortgage Brokers, who have the latest information on financial options.