Government to launch taskforce to accelerate delivery of MMC housing

3rd March, 2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is set to establish a Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Taskforce to accelerate the delivery of MMC homes in the UK.

Announced as part of today's Budget, the MMC Taskforce will be backed by £10m of seed funding and will be based at MHCLG's new office in Wolverhampton.

The government said the taskforce will be made up of "world-leading experts from across government and industry" and will work closely with local authorities and mayoral combined authorities.

A number of interventions have already been made by the government in a bid to boost the delivery of MMC housing in the UK.

In 2019, the government invested £30m in Ilke Homes, a Yorkshire-based modular housing factory.

And in the same year, Homes England, the government's housing delivery agency, struck a multimillion-pound deal with Japan's biggest house builder Sekisui House, to build thousands of modular homes across the UK.

The government has also made MMC a condition of its strategic partnership grant programme, with all strategic partners expected to deliver a minimum of 25% of homes through MMC.

A recent report authored by the government's MMC champion Mark Farmer found that the government should set a target of 75,000 modular homes per year by 2030.

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at Ilke Homes, says: "The government's new MMC taskforce is a sign that ministers continue to place their faith in offsite manufacturing as a means of ramping up housing delivery, creating green skills and lowering emissions from the UK's housing stock.

"Encouraging more developers, investors, councils and housing associations to increase their uptake of offsite manufacturing will not only be vital in the UK economy's efforts to reach net-zero, but also to avoid costly retrofitting programmes later down the line, as the products we deliver already exceed current and soon-to-be-introduced building regulations."

Jordan Rosenhaus, chief executive at modular housebuilder TopHat, said: "It's great to see the government continuing to champion modern methods of construction in today's Budget with the creation of an 'MMC taskforce', which will be backed by £10m of seed funding.

"If, as an economy, we're going to reach our 2050 net-zero targets while simultaneously ramping up housing delivery, it's going to be vital that the housebuilding sector is encouraged to diversify supply. By manufacturing offsite, we're able to achieve carbon savings by producing better-performing homes that consume less energy, leak less heat and are made from more environmentally friendly materials.

"Our product's sustainability credentials also translate into huge cost savings for consumers, who, because of our homes' better energy performance, save hundreds on their heating bills every year. These cost savings are vital, and should be better communicated to consumers, as there is an urgent need to ween consumers off decades-old, polluting technology – such as gas boilers – and onto more low-carbon technologies – such as solar panels and air source heat pumps.

"Unless more homes are built in factories, we won't meet net-zero or new house building targets."

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