18 housing associations form northern alliance to deliver off-site homes

18 housing associations form northern alliance to deliver off-site homes

The Off-Site Homes Alliance (OSHA) currently consists of 18 registered housing providers across the north of England: Bernicia, Bolton at Home, Gentoo, Great Places Housing Group, The Guinness Partnership, Irwell Valley Homes, Jigsaw, Mosscare St Vincent’s, One Manchester, Ongo, Riverside, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, South Yorkshire Housing Association, Stockport Homes, Thirteen Group, Together Housing, Trafford Housing Trust, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, Your Housing Group and Yorkshire Housing Group.

The group, along with other supporting partners, are collaborating to deliver “high quality affordable homes across the north, using 2d and 3d MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) /Offsite technologies.”

What is off-site construction?

The term is used when the whole or part of a build is done away from the location of the site, usually in a specially designed factory. Modules or components are then transported to the site.

The alliance plans to work with off-site technologies and the off-site supply chain to deliver its target of circa 9,000 homes per annum from 2023 onwards across the north.

OSHA says this “coordinated approach will provide sustainable options, at low risk and with a controlled mass customisation catalogue of designs for alliance partners and for a review of a JV opportunity as and when required in the latter phases of the programme.”

The alliance is being lead by project director Mike Ormesher, previously head of innovation and technical at modular housing specialist, Top Hat. Coordinated by Ormesher, the alliance is currently focused on completing a business case and setting up operational governance and road mapping.

Speaking with website Inside Housing Ormesher said: “The first objective of the alliance is to understand the robust systems out there, to stress-test them on sites and to aggregate the demand across all of the registered providers involved, so that suppliers aren’t looking to come in and do five houses or three houses because pilot projects are a nightmare for manufacturers to manage within their environment.”

In an interview with Construction Manager magazine, Pete Bojar, executive director of growth and assets at Great Places said: “OSHA provides the opportunity for housing associations to drive and support the development of the off-site homes industry, leaving behind the endless ‘pilot projects’ culture to secure strong supply chain partnerships for the future.”

OSHA currently have 75 supply chain partners registered on their purchasing system and are evaluating 36 off-site technologies.

First modular properties arrive at new Birmingham development

First modular properties arrive at new Birmingham development

The first phase of the Icknield Port Loop scheme in Birmingham is underway with the arrival of the first modular properties at the development.

The half-mile canal loop is within walking distance of the city centre and will provide a mix of 77 modular, factory built and traditionally constructed homes on this large brownfield site.

Homes England agreed a £7.45million loan from the government’s Home Building Fund for the development by Urban Splash and Places for People. The longstanding venture between the two regeneration companies encompasses plans for more than 3000 homes and will deliver phase 1 at Port Loop.

The scheme will see the development of 1,150 new homes along with commercial property and community facilities across the 43-acre site.

This first phase will include a new park, improved canal towpath and 77 homes built around shared gardens. In addition to the 37 traditionally built properties, there will be 40 modular homes, which can be customised by customers.

Once constructed, the homes will be craned into place on site, minimising construction time on site and speeding up the build process.

Adam Willetts, speaking on behalf of the partnership, said: “Port Loop is one of the most exciting regeneration developments in the country and we are delighted to be delivering the first of many homes there.

“We are also on site creating new public realm space in the form of a one-acre park, as well as progressing our plans for the broader area. We are delighted to receive the support of Homes England for our plans.”

Places for People and Urban Splash are working in partnership with the original landowners, Birmingham City Council and Canal & Rivers Trust on the wider scheme.

The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, added: “This government is committed to making the dream of home ownership a reality for a new generation as we power through to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

“Birmingham’s Port Loop is a great example of how our £4.5 billion Home Building Fund is helping to meet the triple challenge of delivering more, better, faster home construction, as well as revving a strong and prosperous Midlands engine.”

Ian Martin, head of investment in the Midlands for Homes England, said: “The sheer scale of the scheme provides the opportunity to build a whole new community and will be one of the largest regeneration schemes in the Midlands.

“This will provide a much needed boost to the region’s housing stock, which is exactly what the Home Building Fund was established to do.”