Modern methods of construction (MMC) will play a vital role in increasing the supply of affordable housing in the UK, according to a new guide published by The Housing Forum.
In a document called MMC for Affordable Housing Developers, the organisation said MMC will help the government meet its 300,000 homes per year target, by offering “speed and efficiency in a time of labour shortages”.
The guide contains a section on myth-busting, highlighting common assumptions people make about MMC such as lack of quality, difficulty in securing finance and confusion over contracts.
It also includes advice on procurement, planning, design and post-build stages of MMC projects.
Compliance with the procurement regime was identified by the forum as one of the biggest issues preventing public sector organisations from adopting MMC, as it can be confusing to understand how the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 apply to what is being procured.
The Housing Forum represents 150,000 companies across the housing sector and the guide was developed by a cross-industry working group that included architects, manufacturers, contractors, housing associations, trade bodies and government.
Earlier this month, the government released its response to a report on MMC published by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
While ministers accepted many of the report’s recommendations, they rejected calls to force house builders to incorporate MMC into projects that benefit from public funds, for example through the Help to Buy scheme.
Shelagh Grant, chief executive of The Housing Forum, said: “The guide challenges the myths surrounding procurement, contracts and costs, to help public sector organisations assess the business case for MMC, armed with accurate information.
“MMC will help the government meet its commitment to deliver 300,000 homes a year, but also benefit affordable housing providers and its tenants. Using MMC effectively will future-proof the housing supply.”
Writing in the report, John Synnuck, chief executive of Swan Housing Association, said: “We believe that offsite construction methods will enable us to deliver these much-needed homes quickly, designed to a high specification and with reduced impact on both local residents and the environment.”