The potential of off-site produced housing to help solve London’s Housing Crisis

21 December 2016
The potential of off-site produced housing to help solve London’s Housing Crisis




The Housing Forum made a full submission on the Rapporteur Review on the 30th November 2016.

The Rapporteur Review requested input / comments from industry on the potential of off-site produced housing to help solve London’s housing crisis.

The review assesses the benefits of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and how this can assist in accelerating building of new homes in London, the role the Mayor can play to support off-site produced housing, and how barriers for the use of modular housing can be removed.


The key points of The Housing Forum’s response to the review are:

  • The main attraction of turnkey MMC is speed of delivery, certainty of cost, safety, higher productivity, high quality, and a multi-skilled workforce operating in good working conditions.
  • MMC is less prone to cycles of inflation and of capacity and subcontractor shortages than traditional construction.
  • Our estimate is that the current capacity by established turnkey operators to build 9,000 homes per year could upscale to twice this number by expanding additional factories or adding extra shifts.
  • The rapid adoption of BIM principles simplifies the integration of supply chains and this approach could ultimately be more cost effective than traditional methods.
  • MMC will positively contribute to the new London Living Rent product as faster delivery of homes means rent can be collected quicker.
  • MMC will positively contribute to the Low Carbon Agenda due to less pollution, noise, disruption, waste, and traffic congestion in London.
  • One barrier for MMC is that it requires a greater level of project definition earlier in the programme and greater cash commitment to fees and manufacturers’ costs.
  • The GLA should promote good practice on completed schemes.
  • Modular demountable housing can be used to tackle the high cost of homeless temporary accommodation as in the example of the London Borough of Lewisham.
  • In terms of skills we recommend the GLA engage with industry to promote apprenticeships, increase awareness of school curriculum and refer to the Farmer Review.
  • A round table discussion with selected stakeholders would be beneficial.
  • GLA should engage with manufacturers through forming joint ventures.
  • To remove barriers the Mayor and GLA could:
    • Create demand through the Mayor’s procurement and land programme
    • Avoid project by project tendering and instead encourage framework arrangements
    • Create a framework for smaller SME providers for small sites to nurture the emerging MMC suppliers
    • Introduce tax breaks to encourage local factories which would lead to local employment and a reduction in transportation of models and panels

To read the full submission please click here. 


If you have any questions about the review or submission please contact Shelagh Grant, Chief Executive, The Housing Forum on