London councils sign modular housing supply deal

London Housing Directors
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Irish modular housing manufacturer Extraspace Solutions has won a £40m contract to supply a group of London boroughs with temporary accommodation for the homeless.

Extraspace Solutions will supply 200 homes by 2021 to the Pan-London Accommodation Collaborative Enterprise (PLACE).

Extraspace Solutions will design and manufacture PLACE’s modular housing units, which have been specified with the quality of permanent housing but can be relocated to a different site as and when required. London boroughs will use the units as temporary accommodation for homeless families.

PLACE was developed by the London Housing Directors’ Group, supported by the umbrella body London Councils, to improve the availability of temporary accommodation in the capital. There are currently 54,000 households living in temporary accommodation in London, PLACE said.

PLACE’s modular housing units will be placed on vacant ‘meanwhile’ sites earmarked for development in the long term, but which would otherwise remain underused over the short-to-medium term.

Several boroughs are looking into suitable locations for PLACE accommodation and it is expected that the first site will be confirmed later this year.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ executive member for housing and planning, said: “PLACE is an exciting new collaboration designed to secure more and better accommodation for homeless Londoners.“The capital faces a worsening housing crisis. In response, the boroughs are joining forces to procure modular housing to use as temporary accommodation. PLACE will deliver high-quality, family-sized accommodation for homeless Londoners in their local borough – close to their schools, jobs, and support networks – and delivering new housing on previously unusable sites in the process.

“This is the first time UK local authorities have jointly procured modular housing for this purpose and it shows London government’s determination to create better housing outcomes for homeless families.”

PLACE director Mark Baigent said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Extraspace Solutions, who share our vision of innovative, attractive, and high-quality housing units that will help meet the needs of homeless Londoners. Extraspace Solutions bring considerable expertise to PLACE’s crucial mission.”

Extraspace Solutions lead designer Eleanor Moloney said: “Extraspace are delighted to be supporting PLACE’s mission to provide high-quality, local accommodation for people needing a home. We are thrilled to be helping to deliver this exciting initiative, showcasing modern modular solutions in the residential market.

“This scheme will combine innovative design with a community feel. Our precision-manufactured modular houses will deliver the quality of permanent homes, meeting the London Plan’s space standards, and can be relocated to the site of most need.”

The temporary housing units can be moved around the capital as required

The temporary housing units can be moved around the capital as required