A new model for affordable starter homes

26 June 2020

A new model for affordable starter homes

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A ground breaking development of compact modular homes in the West Midlands could pave the way for a new approach to providing single person social housing.

The development in Wolverhampton has been designed and built by Accord Housing Association.

David Loon, Head of Locality at Accord said: “The aim for these apartments is to provide a home with very low running costs to enable tenants to sustain and secure employment. To further support the new tenants, we have equipped the units with a washer/dryer, oven and hob and a fridge freezer to avoid any large initial outlay.”

The 14 modular homes have been created in Accord’s LoCaL Homes factory with the bathrooms and kitchens being prefabricated as pods. This is the first time Accord has built homes using these pods which offer a sustainable build solution, creating highly energy efficient homes with affordable running costs.

David Loon added: “We designed these homes to be a quick, easy, low cost solution for providing accommodation for single people. Although the units are compact, they are fully self-contained, each tenant has their own bathroom and kitchen, which is much preferable to shared accommodation.

“The compact size and energy efficient construction of these homes means that the running costs are very low. Tenants get all the benefits of a self-contained home for the equivalent rent of a shared room.”

Accord chief executive Dr Chris Handy added: “This new method of construction opens up great potential. We are excited to see how the use of prefabricated pods can be expanded to offer a quick, low cost, low carbon solution to providing housing, especially on smaller plots such as former garage sites.”  

Work started on the £1.3m scheme in March 2019 and all the homes are now fully occupied.

Danielle Stokes, who is one of the new residents of the scheme said: “I’ve been stuck living at home with my parents which has not been easy as I’m 30 and they wanted their home back and I wanted my own space. However, I had not been able to afford a place of my own so had been sleeping on friends sofas to gain a little independence.

“This development is fantastic; it’s completely changed my life. I now have my own home which is cheap to run and is spacious for a first home. Accord provided the white goods which was so helpful, as I would have had to go into debt to buy them and I’d have worried about the bill. I’m so excited to get settled, I hope they build more homes like this to help others like me.”

The scheme was made possible thanks to partnership working between Accord Housing Association, Wolverhampton City Council and £390k funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

The development is supporting the wider community by developing a redundant site, providing good quality affordable housing for local people and offering a unique housing solution particularly for single people.

Accord’s own Construction Services prepared and completed the site works and can provide a complete construction package to external clients who want to use the LoCal Homes products. Orders are growing from Local Authorities and other HA’s who are committed to Modern Methods of Construction and higher quality through using precision engineering within a factory setting.

Mill Street resident

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