Britain could end homelessness within 10 years with the right measures in place, says a landmark report by the charity Crisis, backed by high-profile figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dame Louise Casey, and international homelessness experts.

Everybody In: How to end homelessness in Great Britain resets the current approach to homelessness and sets out the exact government policies needed to end it for good. It finds that everyone who is homeless could have a stable home within 10 years if the measures are adopted in full.

The plan comprises extensive new research, working with experts such as the Chartered Institute of Housing, Heriot-Watt University, National Housing Federation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). It has also been endorsed by experts in the US, Canada, and Finland who are leading highly successful movements to end homelessness in their countries.

Crisis is calling on all political parties to commit to ending homelessness. It is also calling for the governments of England, Scotland and Wales to produce an action plan that, once delivered, will get everybody who is homeless into a safe and stable home within 10 years.

There are currently 236,000 people across England, Scotland, and Wales who are experiencing the worst forms of homelessness: this includes people living on the streets, in cars and tents, in shelters, or in unsuitable temporary accommodation. An average of three homeless people have died every week on UK streets since last October, recent research from the Bureau for Investigative Journalism revealed, showing the increasing dangers of homelessness.

The plan’s policy proposals are tailored for the governments of England, Scotland, and Wales. Its findings include:

  • 100,500 social homes need to be built each year for the next 15 years to meet the needs of both homeless people and the wider cohort of people in Britain on low incomes – including those at risk of homelessness.
  • A national rollout of Housing First would benefit more than 18,000 homeless people, by providing homes that come with a package of specialised support.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, parts of Britain dramatically reduced rough sleeping – one of the most visible forms of homelessness. Parts of Scandinavia and North America have now virtually ended rough sleeping.

Drawing on evidence of what works, the plan also sets out the policies needed to support people once they are housed. This includes better rights and longer tenancies for private renters, and reforming housing benefits so they meet the true cost of private renting.

Ending homelessness will also require hospitals, prisons, the care system, and other parts of the state to play a role, the research finds. These organisations should be legally required to help prevent people leaving their care from becoming homeless. The plan also proposes that job centres have homelessness specialists.

PwC has estimated the costs and benefits of the most targeted policies in the plan. They found that, over the next decade, these policies would cost £9.9 billion and deliver benefits worth £26.4 billion. This means that for every £1 invested, an estimated benefit of £2.70 would be generated.

These estimates cover the costs and benefits of solutions specifically related to homelessness, but not wider reforms that target broader low-income groups (such as house-building and certain welfare reforms).

While these benefits are significant, the moral argument for ending homelessness is equally important. Rough sleepers are 17 times more likely to be victims of violence, previous research from Crisis has shown.

Along with the newly commissioned research, the plan is the result of an 8-month consultation involving hundreds of frontline workers and people who have experienced homelessness.

Crisis is encouraging the public to get involved by emailing their MP, MSP or Assembly Member and asking them to call on their party leader to commit to ending homelessness.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said “For the first time ever, we have a comprehensive plan that shows exactly how we can address the root causes of homelessness and make it a thing of the past. Other parts of the world are taking huge strides towards ending it, and Britain can too. We must not become a society that simply accepts homelessness as ‘a sad fact of life’, because the good news is that we know it doesn’t have to be this way.

“It’s been inspiring to see the recent surge in public support and political will to tackle homelessness, including strong commitments from all three governments. Now is the time to build on those commitments. With the right measures in place, we can do what it takes to end homelessness and make sure that no one in Britain has to face it again.”

Rachelle, a Crisis client and a member of the charity’s Experts by Experience panel, which worked closely on the plan, said “I got involved in this plan because I really wanted to help shape change. It’s been powerful to share my own experience of homelessness and come up with ideas about how to make things better. No one should be experiencing homelessness in this country. I really believe that if everyone plays their part, then we can do this.

“People’s perception of homelessness is often just people who are literally on the streets. But it’s something much wider than that. A hostel isn’t your home. Someone else’s sofa isn’t your home. When I became homeless, I ended up having to live in a hostel for almost a year.

“When you have nowhere to call home, it effects your mental health, your life overall. No one should have to go through that indignity. This Plan needs to succeed, I want to see it succeed.”

Crisis’ Experts by Experience panel is made up of people who are or have been homeless. Rachelle, aged 37, was homeless in Coventry in 2013.

Juha Kaakinen, CEO of Finland’s Y-Foundation, which has been at the forefront of Finland’s recent successes in virtually eradicating rough sleeping, said: “Everybody In: How to end homelessness in Great Britain is quite an extraordinary paper. You can read it as a highly ambitious report on state-of-the-art of homelessness policy. But it is much more: a manifesto and a roadmap to a policy that eventually could end homelessness for good. After this no one can say that they don’t know what should be done to end homelessness.”

Is it possible to end homelessness?

Examples from Britain and around the world

England: Between 1990 and 2006, two government initiatives had big successes with reducing rough sleeping. The Rough Sleepers Initiative ran 1990-1999 and rough sleeping in London fell by over 50% during its first two years. The Social Exclusion Unit, which succeeded and expanded on the initiative, cut rough sleeping by 68% across England in 1998-2002.

Finland: Finland has virtually ended rough sleeping and dramatically reduced other forms of homelessness. In 2008, Finland introduced Housing First, a scheme that quickly provides homeless people with a stable home and then offers them support services. In the 1980s, rough sleeping in Finland hit a high of 4,700 people. Today there is just one 52-bed temporary shelter in Helsinki.

Canada: Medicine Hat, a city in Alberta, announced in November 2015 that it had ended chronic homelessness. Like Finland, the town achieved this thanks to Housing First, which has also been adopted across Canada and in parts of the US.

Scotland: Scotland has cut rough sleeping by over 70% since 2003, after passing a law to gradually end the “priority need” system, under which only some homeless people are legally entitled to accommodation (single adults without children are typically not considered “priority need.”) Priority need was fully abolished in 2012, but the increase in who is eligible for support has caused a rise in people put in temporary accommodation – Crisis and others are campaigning for a seven-day limit on stays in unsuitable temporary accommodation. In England and Wales, priority need tests are still carried out.

Consumers are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new home if it was built by a small and medium-sized (SME) house builder, according to research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Key results from the FMB’s research into satisfaction rates among people who have bought a home in the past five years show that twice as many people (36%) say they are ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new build home if purchased from an SME house builder, compared with those whose home was built by one of the top 20 large builders (17%).

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said “There is a popular misconception that new build homes are poor quality compared to period properties that were built to last. Small local house builders, who hang their hat on delivering high-quality new build homes, find this view immensely frustrating. Our research shows that you are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of your new home if it was built by an SME house builder as opposed to one of the large top 20 firms. This research draws a clear distinction between what is being delivered by SMEs and what is being delivered by larger firms.”

“For a small, local builder, reputation is everything. They will typically reside in the same community that they’re building in and are therefore doubly motivated to deliver a high quality product that the home buyer will love. Furthermore, SME building firms are more likely to work with a small team of broadly skilled tradespeople. For example, if an SME house builder only employs three bricklayers, they all need to have a wide range of skills and experience. Large house builders tend to use gangs of semi-skilled bricklayers who can lay row upon row of bricks in a line but only a handful of broadly skilled brickies who can turn corners, build chimneys and arches.”

“If we are to improve the image of the house building sector, all house builders, large and small, need to put quality at the heart of every project. Not only will this make our industry more attractive to new entrants, including children and young people, it will soften planning committees to the prospect of new developments. We are in the midst of a serious housing crisis and in order to win people over and make them more pro-development, we need to deliver fantastic new homes that local people would be proud to have built in their community.”

Communities and Children Secretary Carl Sargeant today launched a pact with the Home Builders Federation and the Federation of Master Builders to help boost the supply of market housing in Wales.

The Cabinet Secretary sealed the agreement on a visit to Edenstone Homes, a housing developer building homes across South Wales and South West England, in Magor, along with representatives of both organisations.

The aim of the pact is to set out a number of commitments for all parties that would help deliver against housing targets. It builds on the House Builders’ Engagement Programme which was established by the Welsh Government and the Home Builders Federation in 2014. The Federation of Master Builders has been invited to join the partnership to represent those building on a smaller scale.

Launching the pact, Carl Sargeant said “While recent figures published show that the numbers of new homes started and completed in Wales last year were at their second highest level since the start of the recession in 2007-8, there is still an acute need for more homes across Wales. As the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for Housing, I have made clear, my commitment to increasing housing supply.

“This pact, developed in partnership with the Home Builders Federation, the Federation of Master Builders and their members, will help deliver on our commitment to increase housing supply. It signals a positive step forward, and reflects our strong relationship with the house builders, which is vitally important to ensure the successful delivery of market and affordable housing across Wales.

“I look forward to continue working them to ensure the people of Wales are provided with the homes they need.”

Stewart Basely, executive chairman of HBF said “The Pact provides a framework for housebuildersto work with the Welsh Government to develop policies that will allow desperately needed homes to be delivered. Together we need to create an environment that allows the industry to invest in the land, people and supply chains required to increase output to meet the acute demand for housing.”

Ifan Glyn, Director FMB Cymru said “Although in-roads have been made of late, a lot of work needs to be done if we are to build the numbers of homes required to meet demand. This pact brings together the main players that need to work closely if we are to achieve this objective.

“Federation of Master Builders members are all small local firms, once the main drivers of house building here in Wales. Over a number of decades they have increasingly become mere marginal players in the market which has hampered the capacity of the industry to deliver the homes we need. We hope this pact acts as a catalyst to reverse this trend. We look forward to working in a progressive, innovative, and positive way with ourpartners to make this happen.”

In their election manifesto, the Conservative Party has pledged to 500,000 extra homes by 2022, as well as reaffirming their previous 2015 commitment to deliver a million homes by the end of 2020. As part of this, Theresa May must put SME house builders at the heart of her ambitious plans for housing, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

In response to last week’s release of the Conservative Party’s manifesto, Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB, said “The importance of addressing the country’s chronic shortage of homes is as great as ever, and the Conservative Party’s manifesto seems to appreciate the scale of the challenge ahead of us. A revised house building target of 1.5 million homes from 2015 to 2022 ups the ante on housing delivery again, but these ambitions can only be delivered with an accompanying focus on creating a more diverse and innovative house building sector. The decline in the number and output of smaller local house builders over the past few decades has led to the industry’s capacity haemorrhaging. To deliver the PM’s vision we will need to reverse this. The Manifesto’s explicit pledge to diversify the delivery of new homes is therefore extremely welcome. Key to doing this will be being able to build on some of the sensible reforms outlined in the recent Housing White Paper, which we hope to see implemented.”

“The Conservative Party’s manifesto sets out an ambition not only to build more, but to build better. There is a welcome emphasis on balancing the pressure for increasing the delivery of new properties with the need to deliver those homes to a high standard. As is widely recognised, smaller scale house builders have a strong focus on quality. By supporting greater diversity in terms of the companies building our new homes, a Conservative Government would be killing two birds with one stone. This is a vision that SMEs can build on.”

UK Construction Week, the UK’s largest gathering and community of construction professionals, has conducted a survey to uncover and tackle issues facing construction, housebuilding and skills in the run up to the General Election. With over 1,000 responses from a cross section of professionals working in the sector, key points from the survey include:

  • Sir Richard Branson is named as ‘the best person’ to head up new UK infrastructure projects
  • 77% believe state intervention is needed for more housing
  • 38% want Gavin Barwell to retain his position as Housing Minister
  • 54% call for more housebuilding on brownfield sites

One of the most significant results from the survey was for Sir Richard Branson, who was voted as the best person to spearhead new UK infrastructure projects, such as HS2 and Heathrow Airport, signalling a need for more entrepreneurial vision in tackling large scale projects.

On the result, Sir Richard Branson said “I’m very flattered by the survey. The only danger is that if I oversaw these key infrastructure projects then by the time I’ve finished there would only be room for one airline and one train company, both beginning with the letter V! The key thing one needs to get right is to plan these major projects with the customer’s needs in mind. Too often these are planned by engineers for engineers and fail to meet the user’s demand. This means they are underused and fail to have the major impact they should do.”

Further results show a three way split on the government’s current housing policy with a third of those polled voting both for and against current policies, and a third not convinced either way.

Over half of those surveyed (54%) called for the next elected government to be more aggressive with planning permissions on brownfield sites to enable house building. Only 11% voted to loosen Green Belt restrictions, dispelling the myth that the construction industry wants to build on protected land.

Although the industry isn’t wholly satisfied with current housing policy, Gavin Barwell was voted overwhelmingly in favour as the best man for the job of Housing Minister, with the next name suggested, Boris Johnson, only receiving a quarter of the number of nominations. Labour’s John Healey, previous Housing Minister under the Labour government, was the third suggestion.
77% of those surveyed believe the only way to reach 1 million homes by 2020 is by state intervention, and for a council house building programme to begin.

For infrastructure, there was a two way split between Vince Cable and Sir Richard Branson who were both voted as the best people to lead UK infrastructure projects, followed by Sir Alan Sugar and Sir James Dyson. A clear indication the industry feels it needs entrepreneurial visionaries to successfully take projects forward to 2021.

In terms of major projects the industry is generally positive about these going ahead with a Conservative government, with HS2 and Heathrow seen as the safest projects followed by Hinkley point, Crossrail 2, Thames Tideway and the road renewal building programme.

However, there is a real concern that major projects will stall if the Conservative government is not re-elected, with a majority of those surveyed believing all projects will stall with HS2 coming out on top (44%) followed by Crossrail 2 (40%) followed by the road renewal building programme (40%), Hinkley Point (30%), Thames Tideway (30%) and Heathrow third runway (26%).

Nathan Garnett, Event Director at Media 10, which runs UKCW, said: “We have seen a great deal of talk around housing and infrastructure in this general election campaign so far, so I think that the main political parties should take note of this industry wide survey. It shows that there are still a lot more assurances and interventions needed to build the homes we need and the infrastructure we have been promised. We will be using these results to make sure the main political parties know what the industry wants, and one clear message is that innovation and entrepreneurial endeavour cannot happen without government assistance.”

Building a home of your very own is the ultimate dream for many families. Recently, there has been an addition of the word ‘luxurious’, right before home, in the aforementioned sentence because why not? Each of us wishes nothing but the best, the most comfortable, and the most pleasant for our families. And even though it has become fairly easy to buy such a house, thanks to ready-made luxury properties, building one from scratch still tops the list of aspirations of many.

However, luxuries don’t come easy these days. It can be hard to find a luxury property on sale; building one, even harder. That is why we have made this list of all the economical ways to build a luxurious home and make that dream of yours a reality for your family. Here we go:

1. The Shape of the House

The cost of building a house varies greatly for differently shaped pieces of land. For example, a 2,000-square-foot single-story rectangular ranch-style home will be way more expensive than a-2,000 square-foot two-story square colonial because the colonial’s foundation is based on a smaller piece of land.

The rooms built on the foundation of the colonial will be simpler and rectangular cutting down on overall construction costs. Therefore, preferably go for square shaped homes if you want to save the buck from the very start.

2. Cost and Quality of the Materials

When it comes to materials, you have to make the difficult choice of compromising durability over costs. The standard ‘builder-grade’ materials for homes are least durable and fairly inexpensive. The prices as well as the quality and durability of materials increases as you move on to quality-grade, custom-grade, and ultra-custom-grade home building materials.
Using the builder-grade materials may not be as long lasting an option as the other three, but it will cut down costs by a good notch.

3. Flooring Shenanigans

Ceramic tile or hardwood flooring can really be a cherry on the top, no denying. But, they also cost quite a lot. One way to maintain a balance between your wallet and dreams is going for vinyl flooring, while construction.

Vinyl floors cost less and can be made to look very aesthetic and luxurious with the right furnishing. Also, they make sturdy underlayment for tile or wood if you wish to install either of the two at a later date.

4. Ultimate Affordable Homes

You can get one of those ‘tiny homes’ ranging from 60 to 900 square feet that are delivered to site by the providers or built from scratch. Now there are several options and a vast variety of companies selling these tiny homes. One such company offers models with complete exterior furnishing and upgrades for as little as $12,900. That’s very reasonable! How luxuriously you decorate and utilize the space depends more or less on you!

Rachel Stinson

We hope the dream of building your own luxurious house seems less far-fetched now. Just be very vigilant about where your money goes and what results it generates. And remember, that no house seems luxurious and comfortable from day 1. It becomes so as you begin to own and liven up the place.

Written by guest blogger Rachel Stinson

A deal has been signed between Birmingham City Council and the fifth largest property developer in China to focus on HS2 and deliver homes for Birmingham.

As part of the agreement, which is estimated to be worth up to £2bn to the local economy, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company Country Garden intend to explore large-scale investment opportunities in and around the city.

The news of this agreement follows this week’s China visit by Prime Minister Theresa May for the G20 summit. Following the referendum result, the government have being investigating the potential for Chinese investment in major UK construction projects..

Council leader Cllr John Clancy commented on the potential that China have to offer, saying “The landscape has inevitably changed post-Brexit and Birmingham is already out of the starting blocks. That’s why I’m here selling our city to many of China’s leading investors.

“This agreement is about bringing good jobs and quality homes to Birmingham. Country Garden have a proven track record of building homes at pace and scale. They have played a major role over the last 20 years, as housebuilders have met the massive demands of China’s rapidly expanding economy.

“Bringing this level of investment and experience to Birmingham would be a massive economic boost to the region’s businesses, skills base and families. It’s about bringing new, big capital spend to the city, quickly. This is about building houses, jobs and futures for young Brummies and families across the region.

“Country Garden understand the demands in Birmingham and are clearly excited at the prospect of investing in our young, growing city.”

Country Garden founder and chairman Mr Yang Guoqiang commented “I have been impressed with Birmingham’s ambition and huge potential and I am delighted to announce this investment commitment to support significant housing and infrastructure development in the city.

“We have a proven track record in delivering quality housing at a scale to match Birmingham’s ambitions and with major projects coming to the city, including the forthcoming High Speed two project, these are exciting times for Country Garden and Birmingham.”

The Government must lift its target by 50% and build 300,000 homes each year to tackle the housing crisis, says Lords economic affairs committee.

In their report, Building More Homes, published today, the cross-party House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee have stressed that Local authorities and housing associations must be freed to build substantial numbers of homes for rent and for sale. The report criticises the Government’s housing policy for:

  • Setting a new homes target which will fail to meet the demand for new homes or moderate the rate of house price increases.
  • Restricting local authorities’ access to funding to build more social housing.
  • Creating uncertainty in the already dysfunctional housing market by frequent changes to tax rules and subsidies for house purchases, reductions in social rents, and the extension of the Right to Buy. All of these changes reduce the supply of homes for those who need low cost rental accommodation.
  • A narrow focus on home ownership which neglects those who rent their home.

The Committee makes wide-ranging recommendations to address the housing crisis, including:

  • Restraints on local authority borrowing should be lifted. Local authorities should be free to borrow to fund social housebuilding as they are other building programmes. This would enable local authorities to resume their historic role as one of the major builders of new homes, particularly social housing.

The current historically low cost of borrowing means local authorities could make a large contribution to building the houses we need for the future. Further, the new Prime Minister has announced that the Government will abandon their fiscal target. This paves the way to increase local authority borrowing powers.

  • Council tax should be charged on development that is not completed quickly. The Government’s reliance on private developers to meet its target of new homes is misguided. The private sector housebuilding market is oligopolistic (An oligopoly is a market structure in which a few firms dominate) with the eight largest builders building 50% of new homes.

Their business model is to restrict the volume of housebuilding to maximise their profit margin. To address this the Committee recommend that local authorities are granted the power to levy council tax on developments that are not completed within a set time period.

  • Maximise the use of public land. The Government must take decisive steps to build on the very substantial holdings of surplus publicly owned land. The Committee recommends that a senior Cabinet minister must be given overall responsibility for identifying and coordinating the release of public land for housing, with a particular focus on providing low cost homes. The National Infrastructure Commission should oversee this process.
  • Local authorities should be given the power to increase planning fees to help fund a more efficient planning system and the upper cap on these charges should be much higher than the current limit.

Lord Hollick, Chairman of the Committee, said: “We are facing an acute housing crisis with home ownership – and increasingly renting – being simply unaffordable for a great many people.

“The only way to address this is to increase supply. The country needs to build 300,000 homes a year for the foreseeable future. The private sector alone cannot deliver that. It has neither the ability nor motivation to do so. We need local government and housing associations to get back into the business of building.

“Local authorities are keen to meet this challenge but they do not have the funds or the ability to borrow to embark on a major programme to build new social homes. It makes no sense that a local authority is free to borrow to build a swimming pool but cannot do the same to build homes.

“The Government are too focussed on home ownership which will never be achievable for a great many people and in some areas it will be out of reach even for those on average incomes. Government policy to tackle the crisis must be broadened out to help people who would benefit from good quality, secure rented homes. It is very concerning that changes to stamp duty for landlords and cuts to social rent could reduce the availability of homes for rent. The long term trend away from subsidising tenancies to subsidising home buyers hits the poorest hardest and should be reversed.

“If the housing crisis is to be tackled the Government must allow local authorities to borrow to build and accelerate building on surplus public land.”

Lord Hollick has recorded a video setting out the key recommendations in the report. Watch video below:

Urban Splash and shedkm announce the first phase of their new and innovative ‘hoUSe’ project.

Offering customers bespoke, architect-designed homes along the canal in New Islington, Manchester, the development gives buyers the power to choose the layout of their home.

The first 43 hoUSes adopt a traditional terraced approach but internally layouts can be configured to tailor one, two, three, four and five bedroom homes with an open-plan or more traditional feel. The hoUSe project represents an alternative to the established mass house-building schemes across the UK in terms of design and delivery.

These homes in New Islington are made of volumetric timber pods that are delivered to site with minimal disruption to neighbours. The benefits of building homes in this manner is that all standards and tolerances can be monitored in a factory-controlled environment, meaning the houses are warm and incredibly energy efficient, as well as flexible to plan and adapt. With a striking modern design, featuring familiar pitch roof motifs, the hoUSe has proved incredibly popular with the first 43 homes selling out prior to launch. It’s not just the method of construction that is revolutionary but also the manner in which hoUSe was conceived.

Architects shedkm and developers Urban Splash came together to generate the concept in the first instance and this evolved into a delivery system and a search for the right sites; it can easily be adapted for a range of different locations across the UK.

The hoUSes on the New Islington plot are long and slender and range from two to three storeys. The grey exteriors are broken up by thick-banded black window bays that offer occupants with views out over Manchester, while also allowing an abundance of sunlight to enter the rooms. Internal configuring means that owners can select between ‘loft’ or ‘garden’ living, which means that you can opt for the communal areas to be located at the base or top of the house. This approach to upside down living was pioneered by shedkm and Urban Splash at Chimney Pot Park, where gardens were located at first-floor level to create parking spaces below and best use the space available of a tight urban site. This development is now regarded as an exemplar housing scheme in the area.

Director at shedkm, Ian Killick said “We’re delighted to see the first phase of the hoUSe project completed at New Islington. This concept has been a long time in the making and we believe that it is a game-changer to tackle the current housing shortage this country is facing. They also happen to be homes that people are proud to live in.”

Urban Splash Chairman Tom Bloxham MBE added “hoUSe is born from our desire to create something for customers who want to live in well-designed homes and stay in the city centre. We noticed that within UK cities there is a real lack of diversity in terms of new residential stock and our traditional customers – those who had bought and enjoyed Urban Splash flats – would ultimately get older, richer and end up moving to Victorian and Georgian terraces in the suburbs.”

“hoUSe is our way of offering them something in the city. It’s a really exciting prospect and I am as excited by this as I was by our first lofts over 20 years ago. At prices less per square foot than city centre flats, lower maintenance costs than old Victorian houses or blocks of flats, big floorplates, high ceilings and huge windows they have already been well received and I’m certain will be a big part of Urban Splash’s future.”

Legal & General Capital (LGC) has today announced the launch of its modular housing business, Legal & General Homes, which will seek to modernise the home building industry by providing modern, precision engineered factory manufactured houses through its new factory in the North of England.

The UK’s housing supply is in crisis. This is a chronic production problem; we simply don’t supply enough houses to meet the demand by customers, both young and old. The UK has an annual output of around 130,000 homes, with a requirement for 250,000. Legal & General is aiming to build thousands of modular houses to help tackle this long term problem.

Legal & General Homes has signed a long-term lease with Logicor on a 550,000 sq ft warehouse in Sherburn-in-Elmet, 15 miles east of Leeds, representing the largest modular homes construction factory in the world. Initially employing 400 to 500 local people, it expects to deliver its first houses from the factory in June. The customer response to our modular housing has been extremely positive from a wide range of developers.

Paul Stanworth, Managing Director of Legal & General Capital, said: “Sustainable, durable modern materials and proven technology will enable us to create high-quality homes meeting a wide range of housing needs and help solve the UK’s housing crisis. Modern modular housing in the UK has so far been restricted to the top end of the market: the scale of our Sherburn facility will enable many more people to benefit from new, environmentally-friendly construction techniques which have already become mainstream in Europe.”

A flexible, cost-effective solution, it will produce high quality homes tailored to meet customers’ designs and needs, ranging from 20-storey apartment blocks to rows of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. The technology has been proven right across Europe, including countries such as Austria, Germany and Scandinavia where off-site manufacturing of housing is increasingly common place. Time spent building on site will be reduced by more than 70%, compared to traditional techniques, manufacturing sections in advance and delivering them to the site to be installed.

Tom Ground, Chief Executive of Legal & General Homes, commented: “Legal & General Homes aims to deliver a new solution to the problems we face in the UK, addressing the shortage of suitable, affordable and sustainable housing by manufacturing higher quality, energy efficient, lower cost housing.”

Legal & General Homes will not have the typical defects associated with house building by using cross laminated timber and automated technology to remove shrinkage, cracking, wet trades, plaster jointing and nailing – reducing repair costs as the building settles. Its homes will be precision engineered in order to make them energy efficient, great to live in, and better for the environment than traditional homes.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) commented: “I am delighted that The LEP was able to play a significant role in securing Legal & General’s investment into Selby. The confidence shown not only brings over 400 jobs to the area, it highlights the strength of the City Region’s workforce within the manufacturing sector and underlines our attractiveness to international investors due to our location at the heart of the UK which ensures easy access to both domestic and global markets.”

“The investment, which is the second in the region by Legal and General in the last 12 months following the joint venture with Scarborough Group at Thorpe Park, will also see The LEP and Legal and General work together to help meet the region’s growing housing demands.”

Leader of Selby District Council, Cllr Mark Crane, added: “This is a real vote of confidence in the Selby district as a great place for business investment. Our transport links, the availability of affordable business space, and the quality of life here in Yorkshire all contribute to the growth potential of our area. This isn’t just about jobs, this is about housing too and we’re excited by the products that will be made at this site. We’ve been working with Legal & General for some time now, and we’ll continue to do so, to finalise plans for this major investment in the Selby district.”

Charlie Howard, Managing Director – UK, Logicor, said: “We are very pleased to lease this building to L&G Homes. The Big555 is the UK’s largest readily available warehouse, located in Sherburn Distribution Park which provides strategic access to Yorkshire, the North West, the North East and the Midlands.”

As one of the largest UK property investors, with significant volumes of patient long-term capital under management, Legal & General has identified high quality housing stock as a key asset for society and wants to work with the Government, local authorities, housebuilders, social housing providers, charities and other specialist organisations to create more housing stock in the UK. It recently announced the launch of a Build to Rent partnership with PGGM, through which it will invest £600m into building purpose built private rental housing across the UK, providing over 3000 homes.

Our Mortgage Club provides large scale distribution of mortgages. In 2015 the Club completed £46bn of mortgage lending, with around one in five new UK mortgages going through it. It is part of the company’s Housing Partnerships Division, which includes Legal & General Surveying Services who managed over 490,000 mortgage valuations and surveys in 2015, and Insurance which provides a full range of protection products for homeowners, tenants and landlords.