Association seals £2.75bn modular housing JV

A housing association has entered a joint venture with a Chinese construction firm to deliver thousands of modular homes across the UK.

Your Housing Group (YHG) has signed a contract worth £2.75bn with government-linked private firm China National Building Material Company (CNBM) and renewable energy company WElink.

The joint venture will open six housebuilding factories in ‘strategic’ locations across the UK to construct pre-fabricated homes that will be energy efficient in their construction and operation.

The partnership is planning to create 2,000 pre-fabricated homes across five pilot schemes in 2017, with the production target increasing to 25,000 homes per year by 2022. Panels for the first 2,000 homes – to be delivered in Liverpool, subject to approval – will be built in Barcelona and shipped and assembled in the UK.

YHG, which manages 33,000 properties across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, will continue to operate separately from the JV, so there will be no changes affecting its tenants.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said:

“This joint venture shows the potential modular construction has to meet the UK’s housing needs and help build a country that works for everyone.

“This Government is committed to delivering a more diverse and innovative housebuilding sector and our £3 billion Home Building Fund will encourage more pioneering housebuilding projects and partnerships like this one.”

International Trade Minister, Greg Hands MP, said of the deal:

“This is a clear endorsement of the UK’s attractiveness as a place for inward investment. This announcement has the potential to benefit local communities across the country, creating jobs, boosting local economies and creating homes.

“The Department for International Trade has worked closely with the consortium to highlight the strengths of the UK and played a fundamental role in bringing together the partners in this exciting joint venture.”

Brian Cronin, CEO of Your Housing Group, commented:

“This is an opportunity for YHG to get back to building more social and affordable homes across a wider geography of the UK, it also ensures new types of employment, new building skills, and the nurturing of additional apprenticeship opportunities are available, which can only be good news for local people and businesses where we develop our housing and supply chains.”