Modular Construction key to tackling housing crisis
With the economic and financial effects of Covid-19 continuing to pile pressure on those most vulnerable, concerning figures emerging from recent homelessness studies demonstrate why the housing crisis remains a top priority for local authorities and housing associations as we move further into 2022.
Highlighting the severity of the crisis, figures report around 37,000 people have required emergency accommodation since March 2020, with this number likely underestimated due to the pandemic. According to studies by UK charity Shelter, 668 people died while homeless in England and Wales in 2020. Meanwhile, homelessness-related deaths in Scotland presented an increase of nearly 20% year on year with 256 estimated mortalities. The vast majority of mortalities registered are males, with men representing a staggering 88% of the total number.
Completed modular home development ©Volumetric
Local authorities and councils are now looking for effective, long-term solutions to the housing crisis. Heavy reliance on costly temporary and hostel accommodation currently creates a system by which long-term housing issues remain unaddressed.
Leaving many rough sleepers trapped in a cyclic system of permanent instability, limiting possibility for rehabilitation and reintegration. Adaptable interim housing offers a solution. While the UK has yet to fully embrace a culture of providing housing from the first point of homelessness, this approach has seen incredible success in mainland Europe.
Finland, for example is now on track to eradicate homelessness in capital city Helsinki by 2025 following years of investment in housing solutions. Proof of this success is evident in their declining homelessness figures as reported by The Big Issue in December of last year. In 2020 4,341 people were homeless in Finland, compared to 274,000 in England. But how did Helsinki achieve such a turn-around? By offering immediate secure residences to rough sleepers the city saw more people find their way into employment and less reliant on support schemes and charities.
Modules constructed in advanced offsite facilities ©Volumetric
Similar utilisation of modular housing in the UK has already proven effective with the sustainability of such construction methods well documented. The collaboration between specialist offsite manufacturer VOLUMETRIC™ and Hill Group has seen the development of the award-winning MODULHAUS™ system – with single-person accommodation units successfully installed in areas such as Cambridge, Cornwall, London and Ipswich.
Designed specifically to address the housing crisis, following extensive market and industry research, MODULHAUS™ offers an investment in social housing that is cost-effective, future-proof, and sustainable with running costs of just £5 per week. Stackable to two storeys, robust and reliable, VOLUMETRIC™ has designed MODULHAUS™ to feel like a traditionally constructed property. LABC Assured with a 60-year BOPAS Certified design-life, modules arrive 100% complete ready for simple site connection and commissioning. Modules are provided on a turnkey basis, fully equipped for immediate occupation
As we face the future, there are certainly lessons to learn from Finland’s approach to tackling homelessness. Most importantly, there is an answer that is both cost-effective and sustainable long-term, and which can create a stronger system of support and security for those most in need.
Low-energy goods complete comfortable interior ©Hill Group
Interested and want to find out more?
VOLUMETRIC™ adopts a partnership approach and works in close collaboration to develop bespoke MODULHAUS™ systems to meet individual site briefs and budgets of Councils, Local Authorities and Third Sector Organisations. To see examples of MODULHAUS™ projects and learn more go to: www.volumetric.co.uk