Government ‘must embrace’ MMC to tackle housing crisis

21st December, 2019

An All-Party Parliamentary report calls on the "unlocking" of finance for manufacturers to better meet demand.

The use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and the timber industries will be key in helping the government meet its housebuilding target, according to a report launched today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG).

Earlier in the year, a Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLGC) Commons committee report into MMC warned that over-reliance on "traditional building" will see UK fall far short of target housing numbers.

Committee Chair, Clive Betts MP said that if the government is to have any chance of meeting its target of 300,000-new-homes-a-year it "cannot simply rely on traditional methods of construction."

Outlined in today's (5th November) report, APPG have urged the government to unlock finance for manufacturers to "better meet increasing demand" - as well as awarding procurement contracts to manufacturers based on their contribution to the public good.

It further argues that timber frames - which are built using offsite construction methods, are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

To meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes this way, the report recommends that government should place an "increased emphasis" on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses.

Martin Whitfield MP, APPG Chair said: "This report addresses an important dilemma government has: increase housebuilding whilst reducing carbon emissions.

"The timber industry will provide skilled jobs, it can deliver sustainable and affordable homes and it should be at the forefront of addressing the climate emergency we face.

"Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets.

"Using timber will lock carbon within homes for generations and is considerably more environmentally friendly than other core building materials such as concrete."

Roy Wakeman OBE, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries added: "We know there is capacity in the industry which can be unlocked with the right policies, regulatory framework, and partnership between the public and private sectors.

"By bringing together experts from across the timber supply chain - all the way from the forest to the finished house - we will be able to make an even greater contribution."

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